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McAllister and Doherty get to experience magic of Cup

IT was a landmark weekend in the life of two young Dubliners who are adjusting to life in the England having graduated from the League of Ireland.

Former Bohemians defender Matt Doherty and former St Patrick's Athletic midfielder David McAllister made their respective debuts for Wolves and Sheffield United thanks to the opportunity provided by the FA Cup.

The emergence of 18-year-old Doherty has been quite remarkable. The Belvedere graduate was in the background at Bohemians last year and only came into the first-team for friendly matches. One of those was against Wolves and that secured the right-back a move to Molineux.

Mick McCarthy is clearly a huge admirer and had promoted Doherty to the bench due to some injuries in defensive areas. He duly pitched him in for Saturday's 2-2 draw at Doncaster and the youngster lasted the duration.

McAllister is a late developer in comparison. The 22-year-old was in the background at Drogheda United before moving to Shelbourne, where he thrived as a goalscoring midfielder at League of Ireland First Division level. St Pat's took him to Inchicore last year and the athletic performer impressed with his versatility.

An end of season trial was enough for Sheffield United to sign him up, and he was thrown into the fray with 15 minutes remaining of Saturday's loss to Aston Villa.

Elsewhere, there were some other Irish good news stories from the weekend. In-form duo Seamus Coleman and Shane Long were on target again, as Everton thrashed Scunthorpe and Reading squeezed past West Brom.

And Clinton Morrison was on target for a victorious Sheffield Wednesday side, while Andy Reid's return to the Sunderland team was soured by their loss to Notts County; Irish pair John Thompson and Alan Judge were involved for the underdogs.

Dubliner Rene Gilmartin was called up from the bench to play a part in Watford's dismissal of Hartlepool, while Limerick's John McGrath was part of the Burton team that eliminated Middlesbrough.

However, it was a grim weekend for Wes Hoolahan, part of the Norwich team humbled by Leyton Orient. Sean St Ledger and Keith Treacy were back in Preston's XI, alas they lost 2-1 at home to Nottingham Forest.

Leeds United players Andy O'Brien and Alex Bruce will get another chance to lock horns with Arsenal after their 1-1 draw at the Emirates Stadium.

And midfielder Glenn Whelan, set to leave Stoke this transfer window, might receive a last chance to wear the club's colours with a replay required following their draw with Cardiff.

Irish Independent