There were so many Welsh goal scorers in the weekend matches!

On Monday night, Matt Smith scored his first professional career goal for FC Twente against Jong AZ. Smith scored a volley in what happened to be the winning goal for his team.

Sam Vokes scored a stunning long-range header for Burnley against Newcastle, in what was the furthest headed finish for 3 seasons. Paul Dummett was not in the Newcastle squad.

Harry Wilson was on hand to score his third league goal for Derby on Saturday with an excellent volley in the 18 yard box. Ash Baker and Morgan Fox started for Sheffield Wednesday in the same game, both in full-back positions. Tom Lawrence was brought on for Derby for the last 15 mins.

Joe Allen also got his third of the season for Stoke City in a goalmouth scramble and Ashley Williams started in the same game at centre half.

Although he was absent from the Wales squad last week, Ben Davies was back in the Spurs starting 11 as they beat Chelsea 3-1 at home to go third in the Premier League, behind Manchester City and Liverpool.

Wayne Hennessey put in a stellar performance to keep a clean sheet at Old Trafford against Manchester United. Hennessey was tested throughout the game but made some excellent saves to earn Crystal Palace a 0-0 draw away from home.

Gareth Bale started for Real Madrid in their shock 3-0 loss away at Eibar. Meanwhile, Aaron Ramsey unfortunately continues to be used sporadically by Arsenal manager Unai Emery, only playing for 10 minutes on Sunday.

Swansea were hammered 4-1 at home by league leaders Norwich, but the main consolation was for Dan James, who tapped into an empty net for his first league goal for the Swans. Joe Rodon and Connor Roberts also started in the game, while Declan John was an unused sub.

After winning his first cap in midweek, Keiron Freeman grabbed an assist for Sheffield United on the weekend in their 2-2 draw with Rotherham. Ben Woodburn, who was absent from the Sheffield United squad again, put in an excellent display for Liverpool U23’s in a 1-0 win over Everton.

It was pleasing to see Chris Gunter back in the starting line up for Reading at right-back, following his record 93rd cap for Wales against Albania last week. Reading drew 0-0 with Wigan, for whom Lee Evans was an unused substitute.

James Chester and Neil Taylor both got 90 mins in the Second City Derby, as Aston Villa beat Birmingham 4-2 at home. Chris Mepham withdrew from international duty before the Denmark game last Friday, but he was back in Brentford’s team on the weekend, losing to Tony Pulis’ Middlesborough 2-1 at home.

And finally, new Wales-capped James Lawrence came on as a sub in Anderlecht’s 4-2 loss against Saint-Truden.

Follow the blog on Twitter to receive the latest updates on Welsh football.

Read more:
• Wales v Denmark: Pre-match Press Conference
• Wales Watch: Gwion Edwards, Hal Robson-Kanu and Joel Lynch among the goals 
• Ryan Giggs speaks at the squad announcement ahead of Denmark and Albania
• Wales Watch: James Chester’s heroics were the highlight of the weekend 

Wales Watch: Gwion Edwards, Hal Robson-Kanu and Joel Lynch among the goals

Gwion Edwards was back amongst the goals this week in a 2-2 draw with Reading. Edwards opened the scoring for Ipswich after 5 minutes with a perfectly struck low first-time volley. Chris Gunter was an unused sub.

Paul Dummett will go into the international break with another 90 minutes under his belt. He is more than likely going to start against Denmark on Friday because of Ben Davies’ absence through suspension. David Brooks played 90 minutes for Bournemouth in the same game in the no.10 position, after his excellent showing last weekend.

In the other Premier League matches, aforementioned Ben Davies played at left-back for Spurs in their 1-0 win over Wayne Hennessey‘s Crystal Palace. Sam Vokes played 73 minutes for Burnley but didn’t score in a 0-0 outing with Leicester.

Aaron Ramsey technically got an assist in Arsenal’s 1-1 tie with Wolves, giving the ball to Mkhitaryan to setup a stunning finish. Ramsey started on the bench again and only played the last 15 minutes of the match.

In the Steel City derby on Friday night, Keiron Freeman was the Welshman on the Sheff United side, while Ash Baker and Morgan Fox were part of the Sheffield Wednesday 11. The game finished 0-0; clean sheets for all of the Welsh defenders here, but none of whom are in Wales’ international squad this week. However, Ben Woodburn, who did not make the Sheffield United match day squad has been called up for Wales.

Connor Roberts and Joe Rodon were part of the Swansea defence that earned another clean sheet for Swansea. Dan James started again on the wing, but without a goal or assist this time around.

After making the squad for the first time under Ryan Giggs this week, Neil Taylor went off at half-time because of an injury in Aston Villa’s 3-0 hammering against Derby. James Chester was at the heart of defence for Villa with another clean sheet, while Tom Lawrence and Harry Wilson were off the pace for the home side.

More clean sheets for Ashley Williams‘ Stoke against Nottingham Forest on Saturday evening, Joe Allen was also in the same side. Meanwhile, Chris Mepham‘s Brentford conceded three against QPR, where Joel Lynch scored a rare goal for the home team.

Hal-Robson Kanu scored in a 4-1 hammering against Tyler Roberts‘ Leeds. Roberts only played 25 minutes of the game in the second half.

Third-choice goalkeeper, Adam Davies kept his place for Barnsley’s 4-0 win against Notts County in the first round of the FA Cup. Ryan Hedges came on as a late substitute.

New call-up James Lawrence played 90 minutes at centre-back in their 2-0 win on Sunday and Matt Smith played the full match for FC Twente on Friday night. Our other foreign export, Gareth Bale, came through seemingly unscathed against Celta Vigo on Sunday evening. He will meet with the squad in South Wales on Monday.

Follow the blog on Twitter to receive the latest updates on Welsh football.

Read more:
• Ryan Giggs speaks at the squad announcement ahead of Denmark and Albania
• Wales Watch: James Chester’s heroics were the highlight of the weekend 
• The Welsh Wingers are on fire 
• Doidge opens his account for Bolton 

Wales Watch: The Welsh wingers are on fire

It was a third goal in four games for Bournemouth winger David Brooks, who scored the second in a 3-0 victory against Fulham. The playmaker has been something of a revelation in recent times for Eddie Howe’s side after a goalless start to the season.

Paul Dummett kept a clean sheet at the back for Newcastle in a 0-0 draw with Southampton, as did Ashley Williams for Stoke as they beat Bristol City 1-0 away from home. Joe Allen assisted the only goal of the game with a headed pass.

There wasn’t much action for Aaron Ramsey, who only came on for the last 15 minutes of Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Wayne Hennessey‘s Crystal Palace. Sam Vokes, who played an hour for Burnley, was part of the team that lost 4-0 at home to Chelsea.

Dan James continued his very impressive form on the left wing for Swansea, grabbing an assist for a second goal to seal a 2-0 win at home. Connor Roberts played in an advanced role on the right, Joe Rodon kept another clean sheet at the back and Declan John came on for the final few minutes in a rare appearance since joining in August.

Tom Lawrence and Harry Wilson played 90 minutes for Derby, but were unable to impact the scoreline of 1-1 with Tony Pulis’ Middlesborough side. Chris Maxwell and Andrew Hughes both played 90 minutes for Preston, as did Chris Mepham for Brentford, but neither could keep a clean sheet.

Ben Woodburn returned to the bench for Sheffield United and didn’t make an appearance, however, Keiron Freeman played 90 minutes in their 4-2 win against Wigan. Another Welsh full-back, Morgan Fox popped up with an assist for his club Sheffield Wednesday, but they lost the game 3-1 against Birmingham.

Wes Burns netted his fourth of the season for Fleetwood, and 24-year-old right-back Liam Shepherd scored his second goal of the week for League Two team Forest Green.

Although coming close to scoring on Sunday, Gareth Bale‘s Real Madrid were beat emphatically in El Clasico at the Nou Camp 5-1. Another Welsh expat, Matt Smith, is having a much better time with FC Twente. The Dutch side won again on Friday, taking them to third place in the league table.

Follow the blog on Twitter to receive the latest news regarding Welsh football.

Read more:
• Doidge opens his account for Bolton
• Match Report: Rep. of Ireland 0-1 Wales 
• Chris Mepham is “loving” his season with Wales and Brentford 

Three Welsh players net their first club goals this season

Cardiff-born Andrew Hughes is doing all that he can to capture the attention of Ryan Giggs. The Preston left-back scored his first goal for the club from a free kick after signing in the summer. With Paul Dummett currently injured and other left-backs Neil Taylor and Declan John not getting regular football, Hughes could be in contention for his first international call up next week. Chris Maxwell was in goal for Preston but couldn’t stop West Brom scoring three goals to win the game 3-2.

It was the perfect day for Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium as they beat QPR 3-0. Connor Roberts scored his first goal for the club, following his first career goal just three weeks ago for Wales. Joe Rodon kept his place at the back and could be another player to earn his first Wales senior call up. Daniel James was an unused substitute for the Swans.

Tyler Roberts maintained his good form with Leeds as they drew 1-1 with Sheffield Wednesday. Roberts played the full match and bagged an assist for the stunning Leeds equaliser. Ash Baker played an hour for Sheff Weds at left back.

It was a first goal of the season for Sam Vokes, who headed in Burnley’s winner against Cardiff to win 2-1. Jazz Richards was an unused substitute for Cardiff in the same game.

Keiron Freeman is another player who will be looking to impress Ryan Giggs ahead of upcoming internationals, as he remains first-choice right-back for Sheffield United. He played 90 mins in a dramatic 3-2 away win against Millwall, where veteran Steve Morison captained the home side. Tom Bradshaw was an unused sub for Millwall and Ben Woodburn was not in the 18 for Sheff Utd.

Ashley Williams and Joe Allen started together in the Stoke team for the first time this month, but were unable to guide the team to their third league victory of the season. Stoke conceded two goals again and sit in 17th position after drawing 2-2 with 18th placed Rotherham.

Brentford’s Chris Mepham and Reading’s Chris Gunter played 90 minutes against each other on Saturday in a game that finished 2-2 at Griffin Park. Meanwhile, Derby’s Harry Wilson couldn’t quite match the excellent level he displayed at Old Trafford in midweek against Man Utd. Derby lost against Bolton 1-0 away from home and Tom Lawrence made his first appearance for The Rams after returning from suspension. Christian Doidge came on for the final 15 minutes for Bolton.

James Chester played his regular 90 minutes for Villa, but failed to keep a clean sheet again. The game finished 1-1 with Bristol City and Marley Watkins appeared for a few minutes to see out the match.

Lee Evans‘ Wigan lost 1-0 away from home against Norwich, where Louis Thompson made a second half appearance in midfield for the Canaries. Evans is a likely candidate to be called up next week because Andy King and Joe Ledley are not getting any first team football currently.

Aaron Ramsey will have been massively disappointed to be taken off after an hour for Arsenal. The breakdown in contract negotiations became public news this week and will have no doubt influenced Emery’s decision in the game to bring Ramsey off early. Ramsey is rumoured to move to Serie A, either in January for a fee or next summer when his contract finishes.

It was a slight worry to see Gareth Bale brought off at half time in the Madrid derby for what was thought to be a minor muscular injury. Here’s hoping he is fit for the matches against Spain and Rep. of Ireland in a couple of weeks.

In League One, Adam Matthews came on very early in the first half for Sunderland as they drew 1-1 with Coventry. Adam Davies remains as Barnsley no.1 and played 90 mins in their 3-1 win against Fleetwood. Tom Lockyer came off injured after 38 minutes for Bristol Rovers.

Alex Babos made his first appearance for Spanish Segunda side Real Union on Sunday evening, coming on in the 76th minute. 18-year-old Matt Smith played in central midfield in FC Twente’s 2-1 comeback win.

Follow the blog on Twitter to receive all of the latest updates.

Read more:
• Wales Watch: Harry Wilson shows his quality in the League Cup
• Wales Watch: Ramsey and Wilson hit form 
• Tyler Roberts was the star player of the midweek games 
• Club football restarts: Welsh player updates 

Final Welsh player roundup before the first set of Nations League matches

Wales fans will be delighted to know that Gareth Bale goes into the matches against Rep. of Ireland and Denmark in perfect form. For the seventh La Liga game in a row, Bale managed to hit the back of the net for Real Madrid with a superb strike.

Continue reading “Final Welsh player roundup before the first set of Nations League matches”

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