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Monday 15 Jan 2024
NI Player Watch | Taylor on target for Wycombe

Northern Ireland striker Dale Taylor scored his sixth goal of the season as Wycombe Wanderers picked up a point in their 1-1 draw at home to Lincoln City in League One at the weekend.

It was the 20-year-old’s first goal in the league since October and Wanderers boss Matt Bloomfield, who was celebrating his 50th game in charge, would love him to get on the scoresheet more regularly. 

“I’m happy for him as I honestly believe he is a top player and a top boy,” said Bloomfield. “I like the way he trains, the way he applies himself and the way he wants to learn.

“He will do anything you ask him to do, and that includes playing in different positions up top, and I thought he was brilliant. 

“He’ll be a top player,” added the Wycombe boss, “and he’s been unlucky not to have scored more goals for us. We want him to score more goals.” 

Elsewhere in League One, Josh Magennis earned Wigan Athletic a valuable point with a second half equaliser in their 1-1 draw at Northampton Town and Jamie Reid took his tally for the campaign to a very impressive 19 with a second half winner for Stevenage at Shrewsbury Town.

Also on the scoresheet was midfielder Alfie McCalmont who scored a late consolation goal for Carlisle United in their 3-1 home defeat to Oxford United who had both Oisin Smyth and Ciaron Brown in the heart of their defence.  

In the Championship, Trai Hume continued his run of having played every league game for Sunderland this season as the Black Cats lost for the 11th time this term. They suffered a 2-1 loss to automatic promotion hopefuls Ipswich Town at Portman Road. 

Defenders Paddy McNair (back) and Jamal Lewis (hamstring) were again absent from their respective clubs' games through injury while midfielder George Saville missed Millwall’s home defeat to Middlesbrough as he was serving the final game of a three-match suspension. 

In the Premier League, Jonny Evans was replaced just after the hour mark after picking up an injury in Manchester United’s 2-2 draw at home to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday afternoon. 

It was the fourth round of the Women’s FA Cup over the weekend and there was disappointment for Reading duo Lauren Wade and Rachel Dugdale after they were beaten 2-1 at home by National League side Wolves who had Northern Ireland keeper Shannon Turner in goal for them. 

However, Ellie Mason’s Birmingham City will be in the fifth round draw after she provided an assist for her side’s final goal in a 3-1 extra-time win at Burnley.

Also making it through to the next stage of the competition are Laura Rafferty, who was part of the Southampton team that disposed of Sunderland, and Nottingham Forest pair Ella Haughey and Nat Johnston who were part of the squad which chalked up an emphatic 6-1 victory at Plymouth Argyle. 

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland Under-19 striker Makenzie Kirk, son of former international Andy, made his debut for Scottish League One outfit Hamilton Academical as a late substitute in the 2-0 victory at home to Cove Rangers on Saturday. 

The prolific 19-year-old is on loan at Accies from Hearts until the end of the campaign after scoring 27 goals for the Jam Tarts' ‘B’ side this season.

Finally, there was good news for two of West Ham’s U21 players from Northern Ireland, Patrick Kelly and Michael Forbes, who both extended their stays at Upton Park after signing new deals with the Hammers. 

Former Coleraine midfielder Kelly and 19-year-old defender Forbes, who made his full international debut as a substitute against Finland back in November, both penned contracts which will expire in June 2026.