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Match Roundups

Round-up: EFL Opening Weekend

5 August 2017

After Friday night’s Sky Bet Championship curtain raiser, Sky Bet Leagues One and Two burst into life as the EFL season got fully under way.

Nottingham Forest’s win over Millwall, and Sunderland and Derby County’s draw, got the 2017/18 season up and running, before the majority of the action was played out on Saturday afternoon.

Bristol City caught Barnsley napping, finding themselves 3-0 up after half an hour thanks to a Bobby Reid double and a solitary strike from record signing Famara Diedhiou. Ryan Hedges grabbed a consolation late on for the Tykes but the damage had been done. 

Queens Park Rangers were another to register a home win, with Conor Washington striking twice against Reading to send last season's play-off finalists home empty handed.

Making home advantage count was very much the theme of the day, with Wolverhampton Wanderers another side to pick up maximum points in front of their own fans. Garry Monk’s Middlesbrough visited Molineux, but were undone by Luca Bonatini’s first-half goal as new boss Nuno Espirito Santo made a winning start.

Last year’s League One champions quickly adjusted to their new Championship surroundings, Billy Sharp carrying on from where he left off last season and firing the only goal as Sheffield United defeated Brentford.

Ipswich Town got off to a winning start at home too, all thanks to a goal from debutant Joe Garner. The three points might not have stayed with them had it not been for the newly introduced Hawk-Eye goal-line technology.

The only away win on Saturday came at the Pirelli Stadium, where Cardiff defeated Burton Albion thanks to a Kenneth Zohore goal, but Leeds United doubled that figure with Sunday afternoon's 3-2 away win at Bolton Wanderers.

Elsewhere, Fulham and Norwich were tied at Craven Cottage, Preston defeated Sheffield Wednesday at Deepdale, and in the day’s evening kick-off Aston Villa and Hull City played out a 1-1 draw at Villa Park.

Sky Bet Championship results:

Pep Clotet’s time in charge of Oxford United got off to the perfect start, coming away from Oldham Athletic with a 2-0 victory thanks to goals from Wes Thomas and Josh Ruffels.

Bradford City went unbeaten at home in 2016/17, and Valley Parade remains a fortress. It was newly promoted Blackpool who were the latest side to leave without three points, falling 2-1 to the Bantams.

There were home wins also for Bury, Charlton Athletic, Peterborough United and Fleetwood Town - Conor McAleny scoring two debut goals for the latter in a win over divisional newcomers Rotherham United.

Another side who dropped down from the Championship, Blackburn Rovers, also fell to defeat. They were beaten 2-1 away at Southend United, with Ryan Leonard and Michael Kightly's first-half goals doing the damage. Wigan were the only one of the three relegated sides to pick up maximum points, winning 1-0 at Milton Keynes Dons.

Portsmouth got off to a winning start in League One thanks to a double from new signing, Brett Pitman. The striker scored early in the second half against Rochdale, and doubled his and Pompey's goal tally with a superb stoppage-time header.

Elsewhere, Scunthorpe United and AFC Wimbledon played out the only draw of the day at Glanford Park, while Shrewsbury Town grabbed a late winner against Northampton Town through Lenell John-Lewis.

Sky Bet League One results:

Look away now, Yeovil Town fans. The headline makers on the opening day of the Sky Bet League Two season were Luton Town, who netted eight goals at Kenilworth Road including a debut hat-trick from James Collins. The Hatters were a goal down, before romping to an 8-2 victory.

There was another hat-trick in the division, and that came at the Ricoh Arena. Jodi Jones netted a treble for Coventry City against Notts County as Mark Robins’ Sky Blues won 3-0.

Forest Green Rovers played out their first ever EFL fixture, and were 2-0 up at the break thanks to a brace from Christian Doidge. However, Jean-Louis Akpa-Akpro and Jamal Campbell-Ryce netted in the second half to earn Barnet a point.

Lincoln City were the other side promoted from the National League, and they also began their campaign with a 2-2 draw - sharing the spoils away at Wycombe Wanderers.

There was drama galore in the match between Stevenage and Newport County, where the Exiles fought back from a goal down and then 3-1 down to claim a point. Shawn McCoulsky struck the third and final of Newport's goals to rescue the draw in stoppage time.

Elsewhere, Exeter City, Morecambe and Accrington Stanley were home winners, while relegated pair Swindon Town and Port Vale picked up three points on the road. League Two proved not so welcoming for Chesterfield, who suffered a home reverse against Grimsby Town.

Sky Bet League Two results:


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