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Team of the Week: 8th-9th December 2017

11 December 2017

The weather got in the way of some of the weekend football, but it didn't prevent a number of fine performances on Matchday 21. Here's our selection of standout performers...

Goalkeeper: Sam Johnstone (Aston Villa)

Aston Villa drew 0-0 with Millwall at Villa Park, with goalkeeper Sam Johnstone making a string of saves to help Steve Bruce’s men take a point.

Johnstone had to repel eight efforts on target throughout the match and, in doing so, he ensured Villa remain fifth in the standings.

Defender: Josh Yorwerth (Crawley Town)

The Crawley Town defender turned in a Man of the Match display in the Reds’ 2-0 home triumph against Mansfield Town.

Yorwerth set the tone for a terrific afternoon by clearing a CJ Hamilton effort off the line, providing a platform for victory on an emotional day — the first home league outing since former boss Dermot Drummy’s passing.

Defender: Matt Clarke (Portsmouth)

Portsmouth were victorious in their trip to Charlton Athletic, meaning that the gap to the Addicks in sixth is now down to just three points.

Clarke was part of the defence which kept Karl Robinson’s men at bay, spoiling the party as the hosts celebrated 25 years since returning to the Valley.

Defender: Dan Burn (Wigan Athletic)

It was a great day all round for Wigan Athletic on Saturday, defeating Fleetwood Town 2-0 to extend their lead at the top of Sky Bet League One to four points.

After Nick Powell opened the scoring for the Latics, defender Burn then headed a Lee Evans free-kick into the top corner — which accompanied an assured defensive performance from the 25-year-old.

Midfielder: Cristian Montano (Port Vale)

Two goals either side of the interval from Montano saw Port Vale ease to a comfortable 2-0 win in their clash with Cambridge United at Vale Park.

It was the same combination on both occasions too, with David Worrall having a crucial hand not once, but twice, to tee up the Colombian.

Midfielder: Jack Byrne (Oldham Athletic)

Byrne kicked things off as Oldham cruised to a 5-1 win against Northampton Town, curling home a fine effort into the top corner with just four minutes gone.

The 21-year-old created the second and doubled his personal tally in the first half, while continuing to pull the strings as the Latics added the gloss after the break.

Midfielder: James Maddison (Norwich City)

After drawing Norwich City level with Sheffield Wednesday at Carrow Road, James Maddison then turned provider when his corner was dispatched by Timm Klose.

The midfielder’s performance was rewarded when he was presented with the Man of the Match award for his showing in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

Midfielder: Billy Bodin (Bristol Rovers)

Bodin weighed in with a goal and an assist in what proved to be a routine victory against Southend United, with the Pirates running out 3-0 winners.

He opened the scoring with a clinical volley from inside the area, prior to teeing up Ellis Harrison for the second.

Forward: Kemar Roofe (Leeds United)

Roofe’s inclusion needs little introduction or explanation, given that he hit a hat-trick in Leeds United’s impressive 3-1 away win at Queens Park Rangers.

All of his finishes came in the second-half, with the 24-year-old showcasing a vast range of qualities, opening the scoring with his head, demonstrating a poacher’s instinct for his second, while staying composed to seal things late on.

Forward: Sammie Szmodics (Colchester United)

Szmodics struck twice and had a huge hand in Colchester United’s opener, with the U’s seeing off Exeter City 3-1 at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

His deflected effort in the 23rd minute ultimately went down as a Troy Archibald-Henville own-goal, but there would be no doubts about the brace which would soon follow. Szmodics cooly slotted home a penalty kick, before grabbing his second with a sublime effort from the edge of the box.

Forward: David Ball (Rotherham United)

Two late strikes from Ball turned things around for Rotherham United at Blackpool, securing a 2-1 win and a first three-point haul in eight matches for the Millers.

The Seasiders had led through Kelvin Mellor, but the striker’s close-range finish and near-post header meant the points went back to the New York Stadium.

Manager: Nigel Adkins (Hull City)

Adkins made an instant impact at the KCOM Stadium, where he guided his Hull City side to a 3-2 home victory over Brentford — which subsequently earned the Tigers the EFL Result of the Day honour.

The hosts were trailing in the second half but, after Kamil Grosicki levelled things up, Hull kicked on and raced into the lead, giving the new boss three debut points.


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