Town defender Conor’s goal-den night is thwarted by the ref

Town defender Conor McLaughlin figured for Northern Ireland last night
Town defender Conor McLaughlin figured for Northern Ireland last night

Conor McLaughlin’s celebrations were cut short as the Fleetwood Town full-back helped Northern Ireland to a 1-0 win against New Zealand last night.

McLaughlin thought he had netted his second international goal but his stylish first-half strike during a friendly in his home city of Belfast was ruled out by referee Laurent Kopriwa due to a foul.

Despite being denied a second goal Michael O’Neill’s men triumphed due to Liam Boyce’s early effort at Windsor Park.

McLaughlin’s first international goal came earlier in the season during a 4-0 World Cup qualifying win against Azerbaijan.

The Town player’s brother, Ryan, has also been included in the overall squad both for last night’s friendly and the return game with Azerbaijan in seven days.

However, he did not feature in Northern Ireland’s matchday squad last night, though it’s anticipated Conor will keep his starting spot.

Away from the international scene, McLaughlin’s future at Highbury is still up in the air.

The 25-year-old out of contract defender has been offered a fresh deal but is yet to sign with Championship clubs like Barnsley reportedly chasing the international.

Back in Lancashire, Fleetwood have added a new fixture to their pre-season schedule.

A Town XI will head to National League North side FC United of Manchester on Tuesday August 1, just four days before the new League One campaign will get underway.

Town will send a mixture of first team and development players to the fixture at Broadhurst Park with ticket information to be released in due course.