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EFL: Opening weekend - 2016/17 rewind

31 July 2017

On Friday 4th August, it all starts again! The 2017/18 Sky Bet EFL season is just days away, and there is sure to be goals galore and drama aplenty on the opening weekend.

That was certainly the case last year, too. Fulham started the season off with victory in the first game of the season, before a weekend consisting of special strikes, topsy-turvy thrillers, and even a debut hat-trick.

Let's take a look...

Matt Smith's header on the stroke of half-time handed Fulham three points in the season opener, providing Newcastle United with a wake-up call as they adjusted to life in the Sky Bet Championship.

Burton Albion's second-tier debut saw them make the short journey to East Midlands neighbours Nottingham Forest, and the meeting was arguably the most entertaining EFL encounter of the opening weekend.

Britt Assombalonga - who will wear the red of Middlesbrough this term - netted twice as Forest edged the Brewers in a seven-goal thriller.

And the story of the weekend in the Championship was provided by Grant Ward, who netted his first professional hat-trick as Ipswich Town overcame Barnsley at Portman Road.

An opening weekend game between Bolton Wanderers and Sheffield United proved to be a battle between the top two, and it was Sky Bet League One's eventual runners-up who took maximum points.

Jay Spearing's stunning goal settled matters, but it was the Blades who went on to be crowned champions.

Josh Morris made all the headlines in the opening months of the season, scoring and setting up Scunthorpe United goals for fun.

He earned August and September's Player of the Month award for his efforts, and he opened his account on Matchday 1 with one of three fine strikes for the Iron.

Peterborough United fought back not once but twice as they kicked things off against Rochdale, and then they had the final say with Gwion Edwards gleefully heading home late on for three points.

Grimsby announced their return to the EFL with a 2-0 win over Morecambe, with new signing Ben Davies sealing victory with a fabulous free-kick.

In a prequel to the Sky Bet League Two Play-Off Final, Blackpool and Exeter City locked horns on the opening day. The Tangerines emerged victorious, just as they did at Wembley nine months later.

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