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Monday 05 Feb 2024
NI Player Watch | Lane at the double for Pompey

Winger Paddy Lane helped Portsmouth maintain their four point lead at the top of League One by scoring a brace in their comfortable 4-1 success at home to Northampton Town at the weekend.

The 22-year-old struck his first on 16 minutes and just short of the hour mark fired home his second from 20 yards out to make him Pompey’s second highest scorer this season with nine goals.

Unfortunately former Glentoran midfielder Terry Devlin missed Saturday’s encounter after picking up a shoulder injury in the draw with Oxford United last week.

Also getting on the scoresheet in League One was Wigan Athletic skipper Josh Magennis. He took his tally for the campaign to eight after putting the final touch to a Thelo Aasgaard shot in the 3-2 victory at play-off hopefuls Peterborough United.

In the Championship, meanwhile, Conor Hazard kept his fourth clean sheet of the season as Plymouth Argyle secured their first away win in the league this term with a 1-0 success at Swansea City.

Following his loan move from West Ham, striker Callum Marshall came on as a second half substitute to make his debut for West Bromwich Albion in their single goal win in the Midlands derby with Birmingham City at the Hawthorns.

Elsewhere teenager Brodie Spencer started his fifth straight game for Huddersfield Town and former Glentoran youth Conor Falls was an unused substitute as the Terriers eased their relegation worries with a thumping 4-0 home win over fellow strugglers Sheffield Wednesday.

Defender Kofi Balmer made his first appearance for League Two side AFC Wimbledon on Saturday following his loan move from Premier League outfit Crystal Palace.

The 23-year-old helped his new employers keep a clean sheet in their goalless draw at Bradford City and Dons boss Jonnie Jackson was impressed by Balmer’s performance on his first start for the club.

“It was a defenders game today,” said Jackson. “Kofi looked at home, he was on the front foot, he won his headers and I thought he was excellent alongside Lee Brown.”

Meanwhile, former Under-19 international Sean McAllister made his debut for Scottish Championship side Inverness Caledonian Thistle following his loan move from Everton.

The 21-year-old midfielder was introduced as a first half substitute in the Highland outfit’s narrow 1-0 home defeat to Queen’s Park.

In the U21 Premier League Cup, Charlie Allen was on target as Leeds United drew 3-3 with Chelsea, while in the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup Kieron Morrison scored and also provided an assist as Liverpool defeated Fulham 3-0.

Following her transfer from Cliftonville, last season’s NIFL player of the year Danielle Maxwell was an unused substitute in Blackburn Rovers' 1-0 Championship win over London City Lionesses.

In the Northern Premier Division Natalie Johnston scored her seventh goal of the season as Nottingham Forest swept aside AFC Fylde 6-0 to consolidate second place in the table. Forest currently sit four points behind leaders Newcastle United.

Finally, in the game against Peterborough there was a 10th assist of the season for Wigan Athletic winger Jordan Jones, and fellow winger Ross McCausland chalked up his third assist of the campaign as Rangers defeated Livingston 3-0 at Ibrox in Scotland's top flight.