Welcome back to EFL Round-Up by Last Word on Football. This column delves deep into the world of the Football League, looking at the key games from each of the three divisions as well as providing a brief overview of every result from the Championship, League One and League Two.
This edition takes a closer look at West Brom’s first win following their relegation from the Premier League last season, a sensational turn-around for Peterborough United as they took on Rochdale and Exeter’s excellent start to life without Paul Tisdale.
EFL Round-Up – Gameweek 2
West Brom’s First Win Back in the Championship
A stunning brace from Jay Rodriquez earned West Brom’s first win of the season as they beat Norwich in a thriller at Carrow Road.
The hosts took the lead through Jordan Rhodes’ first goal of the season but were back on level terms less than ten minutes later when Rodriguez converted from the penalty spot.
Two minutes into the second half, Rodriguez got his and West Brom’s second when he crashed home a loose ball, leaving Tim Krul stranged in the Norwich goal. Rodriguez also played his part in the third, dummying a cross brilliantly to allow Harvey Barnes to score from the edge of the area.
Norwich were given a lifeline when Teemu Pukki converted, but the Baggies restored their two-goal lead when Hal Robson-Kanu struck from inside the area after the hosts failed to deal with a corner.
A further Norwich goal, this time by Grant Hanley, wasn’t enough to mount a full-on comeback, so Darren Moore’s side held on for the win. On another day, though, this could easily have gone the way of Norwich.
Sensational Turn-Around Seals Three Points For Peterborough
Peterborough United made it two wins from two in League One after they came from behind against Rochdale.
The hosts took the lead within the first 20 minutes when Ian Henderson converted from the spot, but Boro levelled eight minutes later when summer signing Jason Cummings netted the first goal of his loan spell from Nottingham Forest.
Mark O’Hara, another player to have joined the Posh in the summer, then nodded in after Cummings’ cut-back from a Siriki Dembele free-kick, and Dembele had a hand in the third as well as Matt Godden headed in the rebound from his saved free-kick.
A win for the home side would have been a significant improvement on their start from last season, when they failed to win until their seventh game, but any hopes of that were dashed by the ruthless comeback from Peterborough, which was sealed in second-half stoppage time as O’Hara raced through the defence unchallenged and slotted underneath Josh Lillis.
Exeter Top League Two With New Manager
Exeter City started this season with a new manager for the first time in over ten years. Paul Tisdale departed the club for relegated MK Dons, with Matt Taylor taking the helm at St James’ Park.
Many thought it would take the Grecians time to adapt to life without Tisdale, but Taylor has them topping League Two with a 100% record so far this campaign. Their season started with a 3-1 win over Carlisle United, and they continued in the same vein yesterday with a comfortable win away at Morecambe.
The hosts fell behind when referee Thomas Bramall awarded a penalty, despite claims that the foul was outside the box. Pierce Sweeney swept in the penalty to give the visitors the lead, arguably against the run of play.
Hopes of a Shrimpers comeback were eradicated after the hour mark when Sweeney turned provider for Jayden Stockley to head home and extend Exeter’s lead.
Just two other teams match Exeter’s record so far in the league; Lincoln are second with an identical record to the leaders, while Tisdale’s new side, MK Dons, also have two wins from two, but are two behind in goal difference.
Aston Villa and Wigan played out a topsy-turvy thriller at Villa Park, which saw the hosts steal all three points in the fourth minute of added time. Birkir Bjarnason slid in to convert a cross to complete a comeback after Wigan had gone 2-1 ahead thanks to Nick Powell and Callum Connolly.
Bolton were made to pay for some slack defending as they surrendered a two-goal lead against Bristol City, having to settle for a point, while Stoke were also made to settle for a draw in their home fixture against Brentford.
Nottingham Forest continued their unbeaten start to the season with a narrow win over Reading. Hillal Soudani’s debut goal mid-way through the first half ensured their first win of the season. Also securing a 1-0 win was Rotherham United, who left it late to defeat Ipswich through Michael Smith’s goal. The same score was also on offer on Teeside as Middlesbrough beat Birmingham City.
Sheffield United came from behind in West London against Queens Park Rangers. Ebere Eze drilled home to give the hosts the lead, but Billy Sharp and a David McGoldrick penalty turned the game on its head. The Blades’ city rivals, Wednesday, secured a 1-1 draw at home to Hull thanks to Fernando Forestieri’s second-half penalty.
Relegated Swansea squeezed past Preston with a 1-0 win, while Blackburn and Millwall couldn’t be separated and played out a 0-0 draw.
The Championship’s evening game saw Frank Lampard lose for the first time as Derby manager, as Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds ran out 4-1 winners.
The Championship also saw some midweek action prior to Saturday’s games. Middlesbrough scored three goals in the first 25 minutes to beat Sheffield United and Nottingham Forest conceded late on to draw 1-1 against West Brom.
Burton Albion’s return to League One following relegation hasn’t gone to plan. They recorded their second loss from two games as they went down 3-1 away to Gillingham, despite Liam Boyce giving them a first-half lead. Doncaster Rovers were also big winners as they scored three unanswered goals in the second half against Wycombe.
There were away victories for Barnsley and Portsmouth, who won 2-0 and 2-1 against Bradford and Blackpool respectively, while Accrington Stanley ran out 2-1 winners away at Bristol Rovers to secure their first ever win at League One level.
Karl Robinson’s Oxford United endured another difficult afternoon. They are yet to score this season and have so far conceded six, two of them coming against Joey Barton’s Fleetwood on Saturday. His old club, Charlton Athletic, ran out winners, though, as they beat Shrewsbury 2-1 at home, gaining a measure of revenge for their play-off loss to the Shrews last season.
There were three 1-1 draws in the third tier; Luton held Sunderland, Plymouth and Southend couldn’t be separated and a Zeli Ismail penalty gained a point for Walsall against Scunthorpe.
Finally, AFC Wimbledon and Coventry City played out a 0-0 draw, despite the best efforts of Dons forward Kwesi Appiah, who was twice denied by Liam O’Brien.
Ousseynou Cisse made an enormous impact for MK Dons as his late goal continued their 100% start to the season, this time beating Bury. Lincoln were the other team to continue their solid start as they brushed aside Swindon with ease, winning 4-1.
Carlisle and Northampton drew 2-2, as did Yeovil and Mansfield, while Stevenage ran out 3-1 winners away at Crawley.
There were 2-0 wins for Colchester and Grimsby, beating Port Vale and Macclesfield respectively, while Tranmere’s good return to the Football League continued with a 1-0 victory against Cheltenham.
Finally, after their six-goal heroics of last season, Crewe went down 1-0 to Newport County thanks to Padraig Amond’s first-half goal.
Stats You May Have Missed
- It took Morecambe until their seventh game of last season to concede eight goals. This season, they’ve done it in just two. Additionally, they are yet to score a goal in this campaign, while they scored three in their opening two games last season.
- Stoke City’s current position of 22nd in the Championship is their lowest since the 2005/06 season.
- 1-0 has been the most frequent scoreline in the Championship so far, with 19.2% of games finishing that way.
- Sean McConville’s two goals for Accrington against Bristol Rovers were their first ever at League One level.
- 46% of League One games this season have gone in favour of the away side, compared to 33% that were home wins and 21% that were drawn.
All stats from FootyStats