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Six talking points from Match Round 1 of The Football League

10 August 2015

The Football League is back, and after three days of drama-fuelled action from across the three divisions, we've picked out some of the key talking points from the opening weekend.

Off to a flyer - Nathan Byrne

Having suffered the agony of Play-Off Final defeat last season, Swindon Town began their Sky Bet League 1 campaign with a statement of intent.

They thumped Bradford City 4-1 at the County Ground - despite going a goal down after just four minutes - and Nathan Byrne netted a 16-minute hat-trick.

The 23-year-old, who played in an advanced position on the wing, scored four goals in 48 appearances for the Robins last term, but now sits just one away from that tally after Match Round 1, and has already laid down the gauntlet for another strong season.

Great way to start the season 😊 3 points 💥💥💥 1st Career Hatrick ⚽️⚽️⚽️ Long may it continue 🔴⚪️ Fans were brilliant 👍🏾👍🏾👍🏾

— Nathan Byrne (@NathanByrne_) August 8, 2015
Brentford still have the late knack

Brentford made a habit of securing goals late on in games last season, and they've picked up where they left off for the new campaign.

The Bees trailed 2-0 in their opener against Ipswich Town with 92 minutes on the clock, before Andre Gray and James Tarkowski struck twice in the remaining four minutes of added time to steal a point for Marinus Dijkhuizen's men.

My Championship debut; enjoyed the incredible intensity of my players and the fans. With an amazing equalizer in the 95th minute.

— Marinus Dijkhuizen (@MDijkhuizen9) August 8, 2015
Exeter City 3-2 Yeovil Town - Adam Stansfield's life marked in thriller

With both Exeter City and Yeovil Town uniting to celebrate the life of former player Adam Stansfield, who died of bowel cancer in August 2010, few could have expected such entertainment.

Tom Nichols and David Wheeler had put the Grecians 2-0 up after 41 minutes at St James Park, but strikes from Harry Cornick and Matthew Dolan brought Yeovil back into the equation.

But it was Exeter debutant Will Hoskins who had the final say, netting with six minutes to go to steal the points for the home side, in a match that Stansfield would have been proud of.

@YTFC Great tributes to Adam Stansfield

— ♥ Ali ♥ (@alilamps88) August 9, 2015
An impressive shank

In what was quite possibly the most bizarre incident of The Football League's long-awaited return, Doncaster Rovers and Bury shared the spoils on Saturday in rather usual circumstances.

Rovers' Harry Forrester had put them ahead in the last minute of normal time when attempting to play the ball back to Shakers' goalkeeper Christian Walton, seemingly securing the three points in controversial fashion.

But Paul Dickov's men then allowed Bury and striker Leon Clarke to walk the ball into their net to level proceedings, and mark an odd start to life in Sky Bet League 1 for the visitors, but one that could have been much worse.

Apologies to Bury for the shank. I haven't got that placement from 40 yards I can assure you. Totally accidental 👍🏻🙌🏻 #drfc#buryfc

— Harry Forrester (@harry_forrester) August 8, 2015
Tough returns

Entering The Football League fray once again at the weekend were Barnet and Bristol Rovers, but they were each dealt harsh blows on a return to Sky Bet League 2.

For last season's Conference champions Barnet, they were made to pay in just 104 second-half seconds at Leyton Orient as Jay Simpson and Paul McCallum struck twice in quick succession to inflict defeat.

Rovers' first game back in League 2 also ended in a loss, as their former player John-Joe O'Toole bagged the only goal of the game in a victory for Northampton Town.

Brighton & Hove Albion start with a bang

A poor start to the 2014/15 season was the underbelly of a rather forgetful campaign for Brighton last time out, but the Seagulls have already started positively this time around.

Kazenga LuaLua's solitary strike wrapped up the points on The Football League's opening night, as Chris Hughton's men began much improved against Nottingham Forest.

Before that victory, Brighton had lost their last three season-openers, against Hull City (1-0, 2012/13), Leeds United (2-1, 2013/14) and Sheffield Wednesday (1-0, 2014/15).

Good win for us last night ...... Happy days .....#3point#brighton#kl30 .... Godisgood

— Kazenga LuaLua (@kazenga30) August 8, 2015
Read more: Sky Bet Championship: Match Round 1 review

Read more: Sky Bet League 1: Match Round 1 review

Read more: Sky Bet League 2: Match Round 1 review

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