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Review: EFL Matchday 3

19 August 2018

A round-up of the second weekend of 2018/19 EFL action.

The standout result of the day came at the Hawthorns, where West Bromwich Albion put seven goals past Queens Park Rangers in a sensational showing.

Matt Phillips and Jay Rodriguez scored two apiece, while Kieran Gibbs, Hal Robson-Kanu and Dwight Gayle’s first for the Baggies added to the scoresheet, while the R’s sit bottom of the league after three straight defeats.

Martin Braithwaite and Britt Assombalonga efforts kept Middlesbrough unbeaten and top with a 2-0 win at Bristol City, and that was the scoreline at Elland Road where Luke Ayling scored his first competitive Leeds United goal to help sink Rotherham United. Kemar Roofe doubled the lead for the Whites, who maintain their 100 per cent record.

Bradley Dack’s stunning start to the season continued as he scored the goal which handed Blackburn Rovers a 1-0 win at Hull City, and their Lancastrian neighbours Bolton Wanderers also enjoyed success on the road, courtesy of Yanic Wildschut’s second-half strike at Reading. Phil Parkinson’s side remain unbeaten in fifth, but the Royals are still searching for a first point.

Billy Sharp scored a last-minute winner to earn Sheffield United a 2-1 victory over Norwich City, and Millwall scored two early goals to see off the threat of Derby County. David Nugent grabbed a consolation, but Lee Gregory and Shaun Williams’ first-half finishes proved enough for maximum points.

Aston Villa’s perfect start came to an end at Ipswich Town despite the hosts being reduced to 10 men towards the end of the first half. Jonathan Kodjia had opened the scoring with his first of the season, but Trevoh Chalobah’s first goal in professional football earned the Tractor Boys a share of the spoils.

Elsewhere, Wigan Athletic led Nottingham Forest twice, but Hillal Soudani pounced in stoppage time to rescue a 2-2 draw for Aitor Karanka’s outfit, and that was the score in the evening kick-off at Deepdale where Preston North End and Stoke City shared the points – a game which saw Peter Crouch net his 200th goal in English football.

Sunday afternoon's game pitted Brentford against Sheffield Wednesday, and it was the hosts who came out on top. Neal Maupay slotted home a first-half penalty, before teeing up Ollie Watkins to put the game beyond doubt after the break.

Two League One clubs maintained their perfect start to the season, both recording comfortable home victories on Matchday 3.

A superb first-half showing from Peterborough United saw them coast past Luton Town — Jason Cummings scored twice either side of a Siriki Dembele strike for Posh, while Portsmouth ran out 4-1 winners against an Oxford United side bottom of the league and without a point. All the goals came after the break, with a late Jamal Lowe rounding things off for Pompey.

Barnsley remain unbeaten but were held to a 0-0 draw by AFC Wimbledon, which means both sides are still yet to concede this term — the only EFL sides who can boast such a feat. Walsall are still without defeat too, after Morgan Ferrier and Isaiah Osbourne’s first-half goals saw off the threat of a Gillingham side who had won their opening two games.

Doncaster Rovers were the other side to lose their 100 per cent record, after Liam Boyce netted his third goal in three games to give Burton Albion a first three-point haul since returning to League One. Coventry City also tasted success for the first time, winning 1-0 against Plymouth Argyle thanks to Amadou Bakayoko’s penalty.

Wycombe Wanderers scored their first goal of the campaign but it was nothing more than a consolation in a 2-1 home loss to Bristol Rovers, while Southend United registered victory over Bradford City thanks to quick fire goals from strike duo Tom Hopper and Simon Cox.

A stoppage-time Ian Henderson penalty salvaged a point for Rochdale at Fleetwood Town, which was one of several draws on Saturday afternoon. Accrington Stanley took a point at home to Charlton Athletic after Jordan Clark cancelled out Karlan Grant’s goal, while Shrewsbury Town and Blackpool played out a goalless draw at Montgomery Waters Meadow.

On Sunday afternoon, Sunderland maintained their unbeaten start to life in League One with a comfortable 3-0 triumph over Scunthorpe United. Max Power, Josh Maja and Chris Maguire scored in a first-half blitz at the Stadium of Light.

The three League Two teams with perfect records were all held to draws on Matchday 3, while a trio of teams are still seeking their first point of the 2018/19 campaign.

Firstly, Lincoln City were held to a draw at Lincolnshire rivals Grimsby Town in a 1pm kick-off, but they will be pleased with a point after John Akinde grabbed an equaliser at Blundell Park with 20 minutes to play.

Exeter City looked on course to take advantage, but teenager Mark Harris’ first Newport County goal earned the Exiles a point in Devon. Milton Keynes Dons, the third of the trio, couldn’t find a way through in a 0-0 draw at Crewe Alexandra.

As a result, Stevenage climbed into the top three thanks to a 1-0 win at home to bottom club Morecambe, courtesy of Michael Timlin’s brilliant effort on the stroke of half-time. Cheltenham Town are also waiting to get off the mark after falling to a 1-0 loss against Carlisle United, and Macclesfield Town lost their third straight game — a 3-1 defeat at Oldham Athletic.

For the second home game in a row, Swindon Town battled back to claim a dramatic victory. The Robins went two goals down at home to Tranmere Rovers, but the dismissal of Jay Harris after 18 minutes gave them hope, and Elijah Adebayo, Marc Richards and Joe Romanski secured an unlikely three points.

Elsewhere, Luke Hannant got the only goal of the game as Port Vale defeated Crawley Town, while there were a number of score draws on a tightly contested weekend.

Will Aimson and Sammie Szmodics grabbed late equalisers to rescue Bury and Colchester United, who pegged back Forest Green Rovers and Mansfield Town respectively, while Cambridge United replied twice to a Kevin van Veen double in an entertaining second half at Northampton Town.

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