Northern Ireland striker Dale Taylor scored twice as Wycombe Wanderers recorded a resounding 4-1 victory away to 10-man Fleetwood Town at the weekend.
The teenager who has been struggling to overcome a calf injury which kept him out of last month’s international double-header with Slovenia and Kazakhstan, started a league game for the first time since August and admitted it was great to get back among the goals again.
“It was unreal to score two goals,” he said. “I’ve been out with an injury for the past three weeks so it was brilliant to get back on the pitch again and credit to the gaffer putting his trust in me to start.
“I can’t wait now to go away with Northern Ireland as I missed the last international break through injury, so I’m really excited to be going away with them again.”
⚽️ One deft header, one cool finish.— Wycombe Wanderers (@wwfcofficial) October 8, 2023
Dale Taylor talks us through his goals at Highbury. pic.twitter.com/1mw6Dp2u1S
Also getting his name on the scoresheet over the weekend was 20-year-old Standard Liege midfielder Isaac Price who registered his first goal for the club when he hit a dramatic last-minute winner in the 2-1 home success over Club Brugge.
Meanwhile midfielder JJ McKiernan will join up with Tommy Wright’s Northern Ireland under-21 squad this week full of confidence following his ‘perfect’ hat-trick in Morecambe’s 3-1 win away to Colchester United. The consolation goal was scored by another Northern Ireland player, Cameron McGeehan.
In the Premier League, Jonny Evans got further valuable game time after playing the full 90 minutes of Manchester United’s dramatic injury time win over Brentford at Old Trafford on Saturday.
There was also plenty of game time for Northern Ireland players in the EFL Championship with Jamal Lewis (Watford), Paddy McNair (Middlesbrough), Jordan Thompson (Stoke City), Conor Hazard (Plymouth Argyle), Daneil Ballard and Trai Hume (Sunderland) all starting for their respective clubs ahead of the upcoming EURO 2024 games in Belfast against San Marino and Slovenia.
In League One, Bolton Wanderers, who had both Eoin Toal and Dion Charles in their starting line-up, lost 3-1 at home to Carlisle United while it was also a disappointing day for Oxford United midfielder Oisin Smyth who, after coming on as a late substitute, picked up two yellow cards in stoppage time.
Sarah McFadden, who recently won her 100th Northern Ireland cap, found the net for the first time this season as Durham Women drew 1-1 in their Championship clash at Charlton Athletic.
Simone Magill came off the bench in Aston Villa’s 2-0 defeat at Liverpool in the Women’s Super League while Rachel Furness was also used as a sub as Bristol City fell to a 3-1 reverse at Tottenham Hotspur.
Rangers interim manager Steven Davis faced former Northern Ireland assistant manager and now St Mirren boss, Stephen Robinson in their Scottish Premiership match at Paisley with the visitors running out 3-0 winners.
After coming on for his European debut last week, 20-year-old winger Ross McCausland, who is in Tommy Wright’s U21 squad,was given a further opportunity to impress by Davis when he brought him on just before the interval at the St Mirren Stadium.
Speaking to the club website after the game McCausland said: “I can’t describe the last few days. It has been my dream from a young age to play for Rangers.
“Two games in a week, I can’t ask for more and it is a proud moment for myself and my family.
“You look at the players in the changing room like James Tavernier, Connor Goldson and Jack Butland, learning off players like that is only going to make you better.”
Another member of Wright’s U21 panel, Charlie Allen, scored in Leeds United’s emphatic 4-1 victory over Luton Town in the U21 Premier League Cup.
Finally, in the U18 Premier League in England, defender Josh Briggs, scored his first goal of the season for West Ham United in their 2-2 draw at Southampton.
Northern Ireland take on San Marino and Slovenia in UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying on Saturday and next Tuesday. You can buy your tickets by clicking on the image below