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 week we look at how Sheffield United took top spot in the Championship and how Sunderland closed the gap at the top of League One. There is also a look back at Ipswich’s first win of the season plus a seven-goal thriller at Morecambe.
EFL Round-Up – Gameweek 12
Blades Go Top of Championship
Sheffield United took top spot in the Championship due to a 1-0 win at home against Hull City. Manager Chris Wilder named an unchanged side four the fourth game in a row. United showed they meant business early on and were the better side for much of the first half. However, they could not find a way through, much to theirs and their fans frustration.
The Tigers improved in the second half and came close several times. However, when the breakthrough eventually came, it went to the home side. Jack O’Connell was fouled in the penalty area and David McGoldrick scored from the resulting penalty on 70 minutes. Hull thought they should have had a penalty themselves late in the game but the referee was not interested. The Blades hung on to claim top spot for now in the race to the Premier League.
Black Cats Close Gap on Leaders
Sunderland won 2-1 away at Bradford which saw them close the gap at the top of League One. It was an entertaining yet bad tempered game which saw two red cards and a penalty given. The Black Cats were backed by another large away following and went ahead on 20 minutes after leading scorer Josh Maja deflected in a Lee Cattermole shot.
After halftime the action picked up considerably. Bradford pushed for an equaliser and got it on 52 minutes. Sunderland failed to deal with a set piece and Anthony O’Connor scored at the far post. In the past the Black Cats may have went on to lose the game. Now, under Jack Ross, they are made of much sterner stuff. Just two minutes later Sunderland regained the lead. A Chris Maguire free-kick was not cleared and the ball fell to defender Jack Baldwin who scored with a neat volley on the turn.
On 66 minutes, Sunderland were once again reduced to 10 men. Max Power saw red for the second time this season after an off the ball incident in the penalty area. The resulting penalty by Jack Payne was expertly saved by Jon McLaughlin to preserve his sides lead. Sunderland defended well for the rest of the game and deserved the win. In added on time, another red card was shown. Bradford’s Sean Scannell was sent off for lashing out at George Honeyman. Other results went the Black Cats way meaning the are now a point behind second placed Peterborough. Bradford slip into the relegation places.
Tranmere Win Seven-goal Thriller
Morecambe and Tranmere played out a seven-goal thriller in League Two. An 89th minute goal sealed the victory for the visitors in a game which ended with a red card after a fracas which included players from both teams.
Morecambe took the lead but by halftime the found themselves 1-2 down. Tranmere increased their lead early in the second half, a curling shot from outside the box from Jonny Smith looked to be given the visitors the points. The home side were not about to lay down though. On 73 minutes the Shrimps pulled a goal back and on 80 minutes the home side were level.
The action continued and a minute before the end, Harvey Gilmour got his second of the game to secure the win. The game ended with Tranmere coach Eric Nixon being shown a red card.
Ipswich Town finally won their first league game of the season. It was also their first victory under new manager Paul Hurst. The Tractor Boys won a hard-fought game at Swansea 2-3. Trevoh Chalobah’s 84th minute goal was enough to seal the victory.
In the Championship’s early kick-off Leeds United and Brentford played out a 1–1 draw. United scored a late equaliser and also saw Luke Ayling sent off for a second bookable offence. Birmingham City won their first home game of the season beating Rotherham 3-1. Nottingham Forest ended Middlesbrough’s hopes of going top, winning 2-0 at the Riverside.
Norwich City’s eight game unbeaten run came to an end, with Stoke winning 1-0. Millwall made life at Aston Villa more difficult beating them 2-1 at the New Den. QPR and Derby County drew 1-1 at Loftus Road. In the Lancashire derby, Preston demolished Wigan 4-0. The win saw Preston move off the bottom of the table.
West Brom came back from being one nil down at halftime to win 4-1. Dwight Gayle with two of the goals. In the evening kickoff, Bradley Dack scored the only goal as Blackburn won at Bolton. In Sunday’s game, two goals from Lucas Joao saw Sheffield Wednesday move into the playoff places. They beat Bristol City 2-1.
Blackpool extended their unbeaten run to nine games with a 2-2 home draw against Rochdale. However, they are only 13th in the table after seven draws in their 11 games. A 94th minute goal saw Walsall take the points at Bristol Rovers. Another late goal, this time at Charlton, saw Coventry collect three points.
Fleetwood Town demolished promotion chasing Doncaster Rovers 4-0 to end their winless run. Luton Town moved to within two points of the playoff places with a 3-2 victory over Scunthorpe. Peterborough United were easily beaten at home by fellow promotion chasers Barnsley by four goals to nil. Plymouth ended their winless run with a 1-0 victory over Wimbledon.
A shock win by Gillingham at Fratton Park ended table-topping Portsmouth’s unbeaten start to the season. Final score 0-2. Shrewsbury Town beat 10-man Accrington Stanley 1-0 to earn their second league win of the season. Southend and Oxford drew 0-0 while Adebayo Akinfenwa scored his 200th goal in English football to help Wycombe beat Burton 2-1.
A 95th minute Nicky Maynard goal earned Bury a 2-2 home draw against Mansfield. Two second-half goals gave Crawley the three points at home to Cambridge. Newport County had to settle for a 1-1 draw at Forest Green after Mickey Demetriou sent his penalty kick out of the stadium.
Grimsby picked up their first three points at home this season, beating Port Vale 2-0. A second-half Tom Pett goal was enough for Lincoln to beat Crewe. The result keeps the Imps top of the table. At the other end of the table, Macclesfield Town continued their winless season after a one-nil home defeat by Notts County.
MK Dons made it two wins in a row after comfortably beating Cheltenham 3-0. The victory sends them to fourth in the table. Carlisle United climbed above their hosts Oldham Athletic after winning 3-1. Stevenage recovered from conceding a second-minute goal to beat Colchester 3-1.
Swindon Town came from a goal down to earn a point at home to struggling Northampton Town. Two Jayden Stockley goals helped Exeter City to a 2-2 draw at Yeovil. The draw keeps City second in the table.
Stats you may have missed
After their 2-1 defeat, it is now 43 years since Aston Villa last won at Millwall.
After winning 2-1, Sunderland have now won on their last seven league visits to Bradford.
Barnsley’s 4-0 victory at Peterborough means that 47 goals have been scored by the teams in the last 11 meetings at the ABAX Stadium.
Luton Town and Scunthorpe met for the first time this weekend since the 2009 EFL Trophy. Like then, Luton ran out winners.
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