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Six talking points from The Football League weekend

23 November 2015

The Football League returned at the weekend with a full schedule complete with managerial debuts, goals galore and changes at the top – here are six of the major talking points.

Exeter City take the spoils in Devon derby

Exeter City pulled off one of the shocks of the weekend by beating Sky Bet League 2 leaders Plymouth Argyle 2-1.

Ryan Harley's brace put the Grecians 2-0 up at half-time, before Oscar Threlkeld scored his first goal for the Pilgrims just after the hour, but Exeter held on for the win.

The loss has cut Argyle's lead at the top to two points, while Exeter moved up to 13th place, equal on points with Luton Town, Wycombe Wanderers and Bristol Rovers.

Read more: Sky Bet League 2: Matchday 18 review

Coventry City go top of Sky Bet League 1

Coventry City hit the summit of Sky Bet League 1 on Saturday by beating previous leaders Gillingham 4-1.

The Sky Blues were 4-0 up at half-time thanks to a Jacob Murphy hat-trick and a Ben Turner header, before Bradley Dack scored a consolation for the Gills.

The Sky Blues are now unbeaten in their last nine matches and lead Gillingham at the top of League 1 by three points, on 37. Walsall find themselves in third place, just a point behind the Gills with a match in hand.

The result capped a perfect birthday weekend for Coventry boss Tony Mowbray, who turned 52 yesterday.

Happy return to Elland Road for Neil Redfearn

Rotherham United boss Neil Redfearn left former club Leeds United with all three points on Saturday, beating Steve Evans' side 1-0.

Evans, who was manager of Rotherham prior to taking the Leeds job, watched as his side went down to a 54th-minute goal from Joe Nowell.

The result was much-needed for the Millers, who hadn't won any of their previous seven outings. Steve Evans bemoaned his side's wastefulness in front of goal, believing if they took their chances the match could have been won.

“We never did win the authority today so it ended up being more of a battle than a football match,” he told

“They had one chance and they took it. We had four or five – certainly two or three clear-cut chances – but we didn't take them and it's fine lines.”

Goals galore in Sky Bet League 1

It was a weekend full of goals in Sky Bet League 1, with the ball hitting the back of the net an incredible 39 times.

There were five or more goals scored in five separate League 1 matches, with Fleetwood Town and Peterborough United each hitting five in comfortable wins.

A number of players got braces, but Coventry's Jacob Murphy was the only player in League 1 to score a hat-trick.

What a day! First career hatrick.. 4-1 win .. And top of the league!! ? Thankyou for all the kind messages!

— Jacob Murphy (@JacobMurphy95) November 21, 2015
Read more: Sky Bet League 1: Matchday 18 review

Perfect start for Paul Lambert

Paul Lambert's reign as Blackburn Rovers manager got off to a winning start after his side beat Preston North End 2-1 at Deepdale.

Rovers went ahead after a Jordan Pickford own goal, and Jordan Rhodes doubled their lead from the penalty spot. Joe Garner pulled one back for the Lilywhites, but Rovers held out for all three points.

“I thought the players were extraordinary. I thought they were excellent in the way they played and the way they went about it,” Lambert told

“The back four were great for us, they were the catalyst and the cornerstone of the win.”

Read more: Sky Bet Championship: Matchday 17 review

Barnsley end run of defeats with win over Oldham Athletic

Barnsley beat Oldham Athletic 2-1 to end a run of eight straight defeats in Sky Bet League 1.

The match looked to be heading for a draw when Mark Yeates cancelled out Conor Hourihane's opener for the Tykes late in the second half.

However, on-loan defender Kevin Long scored on his debut in the 89th minute to seal a crucial win for Lee Johnson and his players.

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