Harry Souttar’s goal edged Fleetwood Town closer towards the League One playoff picture, while Aaron Mooy and Mat Ryan were involved in a six-goal Premier League thriller.
Souttar struck his second goal of the 2019/20 season – and only the fourth senior goal of his club career – to earn the Cod Army a 2-1 victory against Doncaster Rovers at Highbury Stadium.
The 21-year-old, who already has four international goals from two Socceroos caps, could have opened the scoring early but saw his header cleared off the line by Donny’s Tom Anderson.
Fleetwood’s captain Ched Evans netted a rebound to break through on 35 minutes and Souttar doubled the lead four minutes after the interval after Danny Andrews’ free-kick fell to the Scotland-born defender inside the visitors’ penalty area.
Niall Ennis grabbed a reply for Rovers six minutes later but the home side held on to their advantage to climb within five points of the top six, in ninth place in England’s third tier.
Featured image courtesy of fleetwoodtownfc.com
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Up in the Premier League, It was a rollercoaster match for Mooy and Ryan as Brighton & Hove Albion came back to draw 3-3 against West Ham United.
The Seagulls found themselves 2-0 and 3-1 down at the AMEX Stadium but a late rally with goals from Pascal Gross and Glenn Murray salvaged a point for Graham Potter’s men.
Brighton had fallen behind at half-time at the London Stadium to Issa Diop’s close-range effort and Robert Snodgrass’ powerful drive, but an own goal from Angelo Ogbonna two minutes after half-time gave the visitors hope.
Scottish attacker Snodgrass smashed in a long-range shot to extend the Hammers’ lead on 57 minutes but German winger Gross poked a loose ball home to launch the comeback on 75 minutes.
Murray brought Brighton back level on 79 minutes after a VAR review for handball was given the green light, and head coach Potter cut a relieved figure after his side secured a valuable point to keep them 15th in the ladder.
“I'm very proud of the players - proud of their reaction to being down in the game. We had to suffer a bit,” Potter said.
“Mistakes don't just happen on their own. Something has to force them to happen. We pushed and pushed.
“In the second half the game was played in the opposition half and their keeper has made more saves than ours.”
In the Championship, it was a day to forget for Jackson Irvine as Hull City fell to a 5-1 home defeat against high-flying Brentford, while Kenny Dougall was an unused substitute in Barnsley’s 2-1 reverse against Charlton Athletic at the Valley.
Brad Smith’s new club, Cardiff City, came back to draw 1-1 with Reading. Callum Paterson scored a second-half equaliser as the Bluebirds cancelled out Yakou Meite’s opener for the Royals.
In League One, Bailey Wright and his new Sunderland side fell to a 2-0 defeat against Portsmouth to slightly derail the Black Cats’ promotion chase.
Up in Scotland, Socceroos attacker Martin Boyle played 90 minutes and recorded an assist as Hibernian were locked in a 2-2 draw against St Mirren in the Scottish Premier League.
Hibs slipped two goals behind against the 10th-placed side at Easter Road, but Boyle found Scott Allan to pull a goal back and Christian Doidge levelled the scores for the sixth-placed Edinburgh outfit.
Ajdin Hrustic played 65 minutes as Groningen FC suffered a 1-0 Dutch Eredivisie defeat against PEC Zwolle, while Craig Goodwin was on the losing side as Al-Wehda went down 3-1 to Al-Ettifaq in the Saudi Pro League on Friday.
Trent Sainsbury’s Maccabi Haifa saw their Israeli Premier League title hopes take a blow in a 1-0 loss against Hapoel Kfar Saba, and Aziz Behich remained on the bench as Istanbul Başakşehir beat Genclerbirligi 3-1 in the Turkish Süper Lig.
Back Down Under, Jamie Maclaren and Melbourne City came up short in a 3-1 defeat against Adelaide United, after Josh Risdon helped Western United shut out the Newcastle Jets in a 0-0 draw.
Ryhan Grant and Andrew Redmayne also logged a clean sheet on Friday night as Adam Le Fondre’s goal led Sydney FC to a 1-0 win against Brisbane Roar.