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Monday 04 Sep 2023
NI Player Watch | Josh Magennis nets for Wigan

Northern Ireland striker Josh Magennis headed home his first goal of the season at the weekend though it was not enough to prevent League One side Wigan Athletic falling to a late 2-1 defeat at Blackpool. 

The 33-year-old had equalised for the Latics a quarter of an hour after entering play as a substitute, but Blackpool, minus the injured Shayne Lavery, clinched all three points with a winner in the fourth minute of injury time. 

“When I get on the pitch, I just need to take my opportunities, and I was able to do that today.,” Magennis told Latics TV. “Unfortunately, we didn’t come away with the three points, but we’ve just got to reflect on it and just try and eradicate the errors.”

Also on the scoresheet ahead of the upcoming internationals against Slovenia and Kazakhstan, was Bolton Wanderers’ top scorer Dion Charles who fired home his fifth goal of the season after converting a first-half penalty in the Trotters 2-1 home success against ten-man Derby County. 

Wanderers defender Eoin Toal was making his first League start for the club after recovering from an ankle problem while Conor Washington played 50 minutes up front for Derby before being replaced in a tactical switch by the visitors after having a player red-carded.   

Elsewhere, 35-year-old defender Jonny Evans, who signed a one-year deal with Manchester United on deadline day, had an instant Premier League ‘debut’ for Erik ten Hag’s team when he came on as a late substitute in their 3-1 defeat at Arsenal, eight years after his last appearance for United. 

International boss Michael O’Neill will be pleased to see that all three of his goalkeepers Bailey Peacock-Farrell (Aarhus), Luke Southwood (Cheltenham Town) and Conor Hazard (Plymouth Argyle) managed the full ninety minutes for their respective clubs with the latter keeping his first clean sheet of the season in a 3-0 Championship victory Blackburn Rovers. 

“I’m delighted for him, Conor has come in and added something to that already really strong goalkeeping department,” said Argyle manager Steven Schumacher. 

Another goalkeeper, 18-year-old Stephen McMullan, who was named in Tommy Wright’s first U21 squad last week made his first League start of the new season as Fleetwood Town went down 2-1 at Charlton Athletic.

Meanwhile in the Championship, there was an assist for Trai Hume as Sunderland, who also had Daniel Ballard in their line-up, put five past Southampton without reply at the St Mary’s Stadium.

Teenager Liam McStravick, who moved from Linfield to Airdrie in the closing days of the transfer window last week, made his debut for the Scottish Championship outfit when he started their 2-0 defeat at Dundee United at the weekend.

Finally, the prolific Callum Marshall made it 5 goals in 5 games for West Ham United’s under-21 side who recorded a 3-1 victory over Everton in the U21 Premier League on Saturday.