Goalkeeper Joseph Anang recorded a second consecutive clean sheet for St Patrick’s Athletic over the weekend, one of four West Ham United loanees in action.
The 21-year-old has now recorded three shut-outs in six appearances for the League of Ireland Premier Division title challengers, who moved level on points with leaders Shamrock Rovers with nine from their first five games.
A 2-0 win away at Finn Harps – courtesy of second-half goals from Jack Scott and Eoin Doyle – saw St Pat’s and Anang pick up three more points on Friday night.
But after a relatively quiet first hour of the game, it was Anang who helped his team on the way to victory with a vital one-on-one save with his legs from Filip Mihaljevic, after a defensive mix-up at the back.
The ‘stopper was also called into action after his side had taken the lead, springing to his left to keep out a looping header from Eric McWoods – and catching to boot to prevent any rebound chance.
Anang and St Pat’s will be in action again on Tuesday evening away at relegation strugglers UCD.
In League One, Conor Coventry and MK Dons claimed an important point in their promotion push, a last-gasp equaliser preventing defeat against Wigan Athletic at Stadium MK on Saturday.
The Dons were on a run of five straight wins which had taken them up to third in the table, level on points with the second-placed Latics.
But their run of ten matches without defeat looked in peril when Tom Naylor scored early in the second half for Wigan, who admittedly created the better of the few chances in an understandably tight game.
Yet Dons’ and Coventry’s persistence paid off and, in the 88th minute, Harry Darling was on hand to nod home Scott Twine’s corner and keep the two sides level on points – albeit with Wigan having three games in hand in the race for the second automatic promotion spot.
That draw saw Nathan Holland and Oxford United close the gap on Liam Manning’s team to five points with a 2-1 win away at Shrewsbury Town on Saturday.
Holland has been rotated in recent weeks with the U’s other attackers but started the game in a more central role and saw Matt Taylor prod his team into the lead early on, only for Ryan Bowman to equalise for the Shrews on the hour mark.
The 23-year-old departed the pitch on 68 minutes before Cameron Brannagan’s late penalty yielded Oxford’s fifth win in their last six matches, keeping them fourth and moving them closer to MK Dons and Wigan.
Elsewhere, Mipo Odubeko remains in search of his first Doncaster Rovers goal as they suffered a 1-0 defeat to fellow relegation candidates Gillingham at Keepmoat Stadium.
The 19-year-old will battle again for the strike when Doncaster travel to Fleetwood on Saturday afternoon in a match which is looking increasingly important to their survival hopes in the division.
Goalkeeper Nathan Trott remained on the bench for AS Nancy’s 1-0 defeat to Amiens on Saturday – a third straight defeat in Ligue 2 as the side slip closer to confirmed relegation.