Former Dundalk midfielder Richie Towell came off the bench to make his league debut for Brighton and Hove Albion this evening, but he was powerless to prevent the south coast side from slumping to a 2-0 defeat in their playoff first leg with Sheffield Wednesday.
In what was his first appearance for Brighton's first team since January, Towell found himself in slightly unfamiliar territory as he sat in front of the 'Gulls back four, with Chris Hughton's team losing four players to injury in the opening hour.
Brighton finished the game with ten men for this reason, but Towell's rather unspectacular performance - which, again bear in mind was his first in the league, and came out of his preferred position - did little to inspire Irish football fans, or indeed some of the Brighton faithful.
The 24-year-old is likely made of sterner stuff than to let this sort of criticism get to him, but there were also a number of Brighton fans who rid Towell of any blame for a relatively inconspicuous outing.
— EFL (@EFL) May 13, 2016
Richie Towell is coming on for Brighton. Cue mass exodus from Dundalk fans in Finn Park for nearest pub.
— Neil O'Riordan (@noriordan) May 13, 2016
Dont worry Brighton, Richie Towell always scores in the important games, take this from a Dundalk fan. Every. Single. Time. #bbcfootball
— Karl McDonnell (@Karlos_mcos) May 13, 2016
— Conor.mortimer (😷)⚽️ (@Conmort) May 13, 2016
Poor oul Richie Towell 😂😂😂
— Stephen Martin (@Ste_Martin83) May 13, 2016
Richie towell looks out of his depth in the championship was never going to make the Irish squad
— keith farrell (@keithfarrell164) May 13, 2016
From what I'm seeing sum very harsh words for Richie Towell 2night. Makes his debut off d bench in a Champ play off, give d kid a chance
— Daniel Buckley (@dbux89) May 13, 2016
Jesus richie towell isnt good enough for the championship looks out of his depth on the pitch just not good enough..
— Anthony (@antohoop1) May 13, 2016
towell and Wilson undeserving
— T Fitz (@tomfitz12) May 13, 2016
On the plus side, I thought Towell was better than Sidwell in midfield. Didn't do a lot wrong #BHAFC
— Yorkyseagull (@Mystertoo) May 13, 2016
Feel a bit sorry for Towell. Didn't do badly considering the circumstances.
— BHAFC News (@BHAFC_NEWS) May 13, 2016
Goals from Ross Wallace and Kieran Lee on either side of the break ensured Sheffield Wednesday take a 2-0 advantage into next week's second leg, with Towell now likely to start in light of Brighton's four new injuries.