Sports Update: Without a club for most of the summer, Irish striker McGoldrick scores crucial winner in the Championship

The 30-year-old striker was released by Ipswich at the end of last season.

IT CANNOT HAVE been an easy summer for Irish international David McGoldrick.

The 30-year-old striker was released by Ipswich at the end of last season, and only joined Sheffield United late in July, with the player convincing manager Chris Wilder to take a punt on him after impressing while on trial.

McGoldrick has since gone on to enjoy a decent start at the Blades, featuring from the outset in their two opening matches against Middlesbrough and Swansea, before coming off the bench to score a match-winning penalty amid a 2-1 victory over QPR today.

Fellow Irish internationals Enda Stevens and John Egan completed 90 minutes for Sheffield United, while Ireland U21 star Ryan Manning was an unused sub for their opponents.

Ebere Eze put the hosts ahead but Billy Sharp equalised just before half-time and  McGoldrick scored a controversial winner from the penalty spot to hand the Blades their first points of the campaign.

Elsewhere in the Championship, West Bromwich Albion got their Championship promotion campaign up and running with a thrilling 4-3 victory against Norwich City on Saturday.

Despite being ranked among the promotion favourites, Darren Moore’s side took only one point from their opening two games.

But Albion, relegated from the Premier League last season, finally kick-started their challenge with a powerful display at Carrow Road.

Striker Jay Rodriguez showed why Burnley were keen to sign him as he bagged a brace after Jordan Rhodes had put Norwich ahead.

Harvey Barnes scored his second goal for his new side to make it 3-1 but Norwich kept within contact.

Teemu Pukki pulled one back before Hal Robson-Kanu had scored West Brom’s fourth.

Grant Hanley netted Norwich’s third, but the hosts could not find a leveller.

Swansea City came down along with Albion, but they have maximum points after two Championship games thanks to a 1-0 victory over Preston North End.

Ollie McBurnie saw an early penalty saved by Declan Rudd but Jay Fulton netted the winner in the 32nd minute.

Middlesbrough won 1-0 against 10-man Birmingham City, who had Craig Gardner sent off, thanks to Britt Assombalonga’s early goal.

Aston Villa are expected to feature in the promotion chase after losing in the play-off final against Fulham last term.

They have made a solid start to the season and Birkir Bjarnason popped up to secure a 3-2 win over Wigan Athletic four minutes into stoppage time.

Callum Connolly marked his second debut on loan for Wigan by making it 2-1 after Nick Powell had cancelled out James Chester’s opener.

But a Chey Dunkley own goal soon had Villa back on level terms before Bjarnason won it.

Reading are still searching for their first points after losing 1-0 to Hillal Soudani’s goal for Nottingham Forest.

Jamie Paterson scored nine minutes from time to earn a 2-2 draw for Bristol City against Bolton Wanderers.

Rotherham United beat Ipswich Town 1-0, while Sheffield Wednesday drew 1-1 with Hull City and Blackburn Rovers were held to a 0-0 draw by Millwall.

Stoke City, relegated from the top flight last season, are still searching for their first win after Ollie Watkins cancelled out Benik Afobe’s opener in a 1-1 draw against Brentford.

Additional reporting by AFP

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