EFL Round-Up – Gameweek 11: Midweek Madness Hits the Football League

BLACKBURN, ENGLAND - JULY 26 A general view of Ewood Park before the Pre-Season friendly match between Blackburn Rovers and Everton at the Ewood Park on July 26, 2018 in Blackburn, England. (Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images)

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.

There was a full programme of EFL fixtures across Tuesday and Wednesday this week to run alongside the Champions League fixtures being played across Europe. This week, we look closer at Billy Sharp’s double for when the Blades went to Blackburn, an eight-goal thriller at Glanford Park and MK Dons returning to winning ways in League Two.

EFL Round-Up – Gameweek 11

Billy at the Double For High-Flying Blades

Sheffield United went level on points with top-of-the-table Leeds United with an impressive away victory at Blackburn, who had not lost a home game since September 2017 before the game.

David Raya was at his best to keep out Jack O’Connell, David McGoldrick and John Fleck with the Blades having the best of the opening exchanges but it took them three-quarters of the game to finally make the breakthrough.

Sharp opened the scoring and scored the first of his brace after 69 minutes, converting McGoldrick’s cross at the second attempt, and the captain added the second when he headed home a delightful cross from Enda Stevens.

Chris Wilder’s side now trail Leeds and Middlesbrough just on goal difference and they have won more Championship games than any other team so far – can they keep it going all season?

Scunthorpe Victorious in Eight Goal Thriller

Scunthorpe are now unbeaten in seven matches following an eight-goal thriller at Glanford Park against Charlton. The Iron took the lead through defender Charlie Goode, but Charlton turned it around within 19 minutes with goals from Lyle Taylor and Joe Aribo.

Before the half-time whistle, though, Scunthorpe had turned it around themselves and they went into the break ahead with a Cameron Borthwick-Jackson brace – the first an excellent drive and the second a cool finish.

Aribo pulled Charlton level again midway through the second half, however, Scunthorpe regained the lead through Josh Morris’ penalty following Jason Pearce’s handball and Stephen Humphrys made the game safe in stoppage time for the home side.

MK Dons Back to Winning Ways

Having not won in five games in League Two, four of them being 1-1 draws and the other one almost being too were it not for Lincoln’s late winner, MK Dons went to Port Vale perhaps expecting another point on the road at a tough place to visit.

For the first time since the opening day of the season, though, the Dons were able to score more than twice in a game, and both goals came within the opening 31 minutes.

After some neat interchange play between Dean Lewington and Baily Cargill, Chuks Aneke converted Cargill’s cross from the left to score his third league goal of the season. His strike partner, Kieran Agard, was not to be outdone though.

He could perhaps have won a penalty after he appeared to be shoved in the back when chesting down a lofted ball into the area, but instead, he picked himself up, turned past the defender and struck a shot right into the corner.

The Dons could have had more after the break and came closest when George Williams’ thunderous half-volley crashed off the bar, but the two first-half goals were enough to take the Dons back into the play-off places.

Elsewhere in…

The Championship

On Tuesday night, Aston Villa’s home draw to Preston proved to be Steve Bruce’s last action as Villa boss following his sacking today. The hosts took a two-goal lead but by the 85th minute, Preston had turned it around and were 3-2 ahead. Yannick Bolasie equalised at the start of stoppage time and they had a chance to win it, but Glenn Whelan saw his weak penalty saved by Chris Maxwell.

There were wins for Stoke City, QPR and Middlesbrough against Bolton, Reading and Ipswich respectively, Leeds United were victorious at Hull and there were draws for Birmingham away at Brentford and Swansea away at Wigan.

On Wednesday, two late goals for West Brom saw them earn a point at Hillsborough after Sheffield Wednesday had a two-goal half-time lead. It was also draws for Rotherham at home to Bristol City, Nottingham Forest at home to Millwall and Derby at home to Norwich.

League One

Accrington Stanley continued their excellent start to life in League One with a 1-0 win over Doncaster Rovers while Bradford and Portsmouth won by the same score away at AFC Wimbledon and Coventry respectively.

Southend and Luton were also away winners, both 2-1, against Burton and Oxford, while there were 0-0 draws for Rochdale at home to Bristol Rovers and Walsall at home to Shrewsbury.

Barnsley and Fleetwood were held to 1-1 draws at home by Plymouth and Wycombe and, finally, Peterborough left the Stadium of Light with a point against Sunderland.

League Two

Macclesfield Town came agonisingly close to their first win of the season but Newport scored deep into stoppage time to rescue a point in a 3-3 draw.

There were 3-1 wins for Forest Green, away at Cambridge, Colchester, at home to Yeovil, and Notts County, at home to Crawley, while Crewe, Exeter and Tranmere were 1-0 winners at home against Swindon, Stevenage and Lincoln respectively.

Grimsby took all three points at Carlisle courtesy of Luke Hendrie’s goal, Cheltenham and Morecambe drew 2-2 and, finally, Northampton were held to a goalless draw by Bury.

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