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.
On this edition, we take a deeper look at Reading’s first win of the season in a battle against Preston at Deepdale, hat-trick heroics from Rochdale’s Ian Henderson and Yeovil’s demolition of high-flying Newport at Rodney Parade.
EFL Round-Up – Gameweek 8
Reading Record Maiden Win
Reading recorded their first win of the season as they battled to an impressive victory over Preston North End at Deepdale. The Royals led three times in a 3-2 victory in which former Aston Villa man Leandro Bacuna scored the decisive goal.
Sam Baldock, who joined from Brighton in the summer, opened the scoring after 23 minutes, converting from John Swift’s through ball. However, it took only eight minutes for the hosts to respond. Daniel Johnson’s effort took an enormous deflection off Liam Moore to wrongfoot Sam Walker and equalise.
The visitors were back in front less than ten minutes into the second half when Tiago Illori converted from Sone Aluko’s corner, but the hosts came back again, this time through Callum Robinson.
Reading could have settled for the point, but to their credit, they took a risk and reaped the rewards. Five minutes after Robinson’s equaliser, Leandro Bacuna converted the winner that took the Royals above their opponents on goal difference, but not out of the relegation zone.
Hat-Trick Hero Henderson Shines For Rochdale
Rochdale secured their first home win of the season thanks to Ian Henderson’s hat-trick in a 3-0 win against Gillingham. It also extended Gillingham’s run to five defeats in their last six games and left them languishing just above the relegation zone.
It only took nine minutes for Henderson to hit his first of the day as he latched onto a loose ball and slotted underneath Tomas Holy, and he doubled his own and Rochdale’s tally nine minutes later when he converted Matt Gillam’s pass.
The 33-year-old could have earned his third earlier in the day but saw his effort ruled out, but he made amends when he volleyed in a cross from Aaron Wilbraham just after the hour mark to seal the points for his side, and the match ball for himself.
Yeovil Destroy High-Flying Newport
Yeovil Town provided the shock of the day in the EFL as they produced a six-goal haul at second-place Newport.
Mike Flynn’s side were blown away by the Glovers, who raced into a 3-0 half-time lead thanks to Yohann Arquin, Jordan Green and Diallang Jaiyesimi.
Green bagged a second after the break and Olufela Olomola added the fifth after just 68 minutes. Carl Dickinson completed the misery for the hosts with a sixth, but the suffering was made worse 82 minutes in when Robbie Willmott was given his marching orders.
Stoke City continued to struggle as they blew a two-goal lead away at Sheffield Wednesday. Benik Afobe’s brace inside 22 minutes set them on their way, but Marco Matias halved the deficit within two minutes and Wednesday were rescued late on through Barry Bannan’s strike.
Josh Magennis’ late free-kick wasn’t enough to kick-start a comeback against QPR, who had taken the lead through Luke Freeman and Eberechi Eze.
There were home wins for Brentford and Hull, who beat Wigan and Ipswich 2-0 respectively, and it was also three points for Bristol City, who needed just a solitary goal to beat Sheffield United.
Norwich City defeated high-flying Middlesbrough at home, while their nearest challengers, Leeds United, needed a late equaliser from Manchester City-loanee Jack Harrison to claim a 1-1 draw at Millwall.
Derby had one of their star men, as well as their manager, sent off on a forgetful afternoon against Rotherham as Ryan Manning’s penalty earned them three points, Blackburn and Aston Villa couldn’t be separated in a 1-1 draw in the evening fixture and, finally, Swansea and Nottingham Forest couldn’t find a way past each other as they drew.
AFC Wimbledon and Scunthorpe played out a thriller at Kingsmeadow that saw the visitors go above the hosts. Josh Morris opened the scoring with a brace within half an hour, but Liam Trotter bought the Dons back into it. Ike Ugbo restored the two-goal cushion within three minutes, but three minutes after that Kwesi Appiah made things interesting, with the Iron managing to hang on.
Bradford’s unexpectedly poor start to the season continued as they went down 2-0 at home to Charlton, Shrewsbury won by the same scoreline as they hosted Southend and Burton were victorious over Sunderland.
Doncaster Rovers secured the joint-biggest League One win of the day as they ran out as 4-1 victors away at Walsall, while Coventry, Blackpool and Luton had the lowest victories, recording 1-0 wins against Barnsley, Plymouth and Bristol Rovers respectively.
Portsmouth picked up an impressive three points away at Peterborough in a 2-1 win and, finally, Wycombe were held to a 0-0 draw against Oxford United.
Harry Kewell picked up his first point at Notts County manager in a 3-3 thriller with Stevenage. Danny Newton equalised for the visitors with 11 minutes remaining.
There were 3-0 wins for Colchester and Oldham, home and away respectively, as they beat Cambridge and Grimsby, while the top two, Lincoln and Exeter, both won 2-1 away from home against Macclesfield and Mansfield.
Tranmere continued their impressive return to the EFL with an away victory against Carlisle United and Crawley were victors against struggling Morecambe.
A late Reuben Reid penalty secured a much-deserved point for Forest Green on their trip to MK Dons, Port Vale defeated Northampton 2-0 and, finally, Bury collected an away victory against Swindon Town.
Stats You May Have Missed
- Birmingham City are the highest-placed team in any EFL division yet to win a game, sitting 21st in the Championship.
- Portsmouth have the highest points per game (2.50) of any EFL league leader.
- A total of 29% of MK Dons’ goals this season have been scored inside the first ten minutes of a match.
- Notts County are the first side in the EFL to concede more than 20 goals this season.
- West Brom have won three games so far this season – it took until January for this to happen last season.
All stats from FootyStats