Troy Parrott on target but promotion dream falls short

TROY Parrott’s ninth league goal of the season was not enough for MK Dons to stay in the race for promotion to the Championship as Wycombe Wanderers advance to the playoff final.

ycombe, with Ireland cap Daryl Horgan in the starting XI, held a 2-0 lead from the home leg of their League One playoff tie. But Parrott came up with a well-placed header on 29 minutes to make it 2-1 on aggregate and give them hopes of making it to a Wembley playoff final.

With compatriots Conor Coventry and Warren O’Hora in the side along with former Waterford FC player Scott Twine, MK Dons and Parrott threatened time after time in the hour after Parrott’s goal, persistent pressure on the Wanderers goal, but Wycombe bravely held on to deny them another goal, and they now go through to the final to face either Sunderland or Sheffield Wednesday.

Parrott will now get a short break before preparing for international duty for Ireland in the four-game series of matches in June, while he’s also due to hold talks with Tottenham about his long-term future as his loan spell has now ended. He scored nine goals in 42 league games for Dons, while Cabra lad O’Hora earned widespread praise for his displays this season, 47 league starts for O’Hora (23).

Meanwhile, Norwich City boss Dean Smith says that Ireland youth cap Tony Springett deserved the opportunity of his Premier League debut.

The Canaries were 3-0 down at home to West Ham, on a difficult day for the already-relegated side, when Smith called Springett (19) on for his first appearance, part of damage limitation for City.

And while the Hammers added one more goal, Smith praised wide man Springett, who has been capped by Ireland at U18 level but has not featured in the international setup since 2019.

“He has done really well. He is full of energy and will run all day,” Smith said, explaining his decision to bring on academy graduate Springett.

“I felt that is what we needed at that time. We were 3-0 down and it becomes a bit of damage limitation. There are some big scores that can creep up on you in this league and we wanted a damage limitation exercise and to get some more athleticism on the pitch. I thought we did that with him, and he did alright for himself.”

Eligible through the parentage rule, Springett was called up by Ireland for the first time in August 2019, capped twice at U18 level by Andy Reid in a friendly tournament in Sweden, playing in the same side as senior cap Andrew Omobamidele.

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