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Review: Matchday 17

It was another relentless day across the EFL on Matchday 16 and 17.

4 November 2018

With a flurry of late goals across all three leagues, records broken, upsets and comebacks – this weekend’s action didn’t disappoint.

As with previous weeks, there was another new leader at the top of the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday night after Norwich City continued their superb run of form beating Sheffield Wednesday 4-0 at Hillsborough. 

A double from Teemu Pukki was the catalyst as the Canaries scored four second half goals to send them top of the league and claim victory against Sheffield Wednesday for the first time in nearly 17 years. The win means Norwich City have now lost just once in their last 13 games. 

However, their time at the top was short lived as three points for Leeds United at Wigan Athletic on Sunday saw them steal top spot and go from fifth to first. 

Leeds went behind early doors when Reece James fired home a free-kick to score his first senior goal for Wigan, but the visitors were level just minutes later thanks to Pablo Hernandez. The visitors controlled large parts of the rest of the game and took the lead just seconds into the second-half as Kemar Roofe pounced on a defensive error to tap in from close range. 

Leeds were able to hold on and inflict a first home defeat to Paul Cook’s Wigan side this season. 

Frank Lampard’s Derby County side continued their impressive run as they came from behind to beat Birmingham City, whose own 11 game unbeaten streak came to an end. 

Lukas Jutkiewicz's eighth goal in seven games gave the Blues the advantage, but the Rams scored twice in three second-half minutes to turn the game on its head with goals from Mason Bennett and Harry Wilson, before Jack Marriott completed the turnaround. 

An impressive Nottingham Forest blunted Sheffield United’s promotion challenge thanks to Lewis Grabban’s eighth goal of the season. It was a very impressive display from the Reds who bounced back from their midweek defeat in the Carabao Cup. They kept Chris Wilder’s side at bay for large periods and did enough to claim all three points which moves them in to the play-off positions.  

Results elsewhere meant Middlesbrough had the chance to go top of the pile in Saturday’s late kick-off but they could only manage a 0-0 draw at the Bet 365 Stadium against Stoke City. Boro were close to claiming all three points but for the intervention of the Stoke stopper, Jack Butland, who was once again in fine form. 

Paul Lambert’s first game in charge at Ipswich Town ended in a 1-1 draw against Preston North End at Portman Road. The Tractor Boys took the lead in the first-half but substitute Paul Gallagher equalised for the visitor, before minutes later finding himself in goal for Preston, after Chris Maxwell saw red. Gallagher ended up playing the final 15 minutes and stoppage time between the sticks as the visitors held on with ten men, meaning Lambert’s side remain rooted to the bottom of the table. 

Reading had to fight off Bristol City from twice coming from behind to win 3-2 in a dramatic game at the Madjeski Stadium. Leandro Bacuna’s second half strike was enough to secure them maximum points as they hung on in the final minutes. 

Elsewhere, West Bromwich Albion’s stuttering form continued as they succumbed to a first half Hull City goal, while Blackburn Rovers scored a late penalty to beat an in-form QPR side 1-0 and Swansea’s poor away from continued as they lost their fifth in a row on the road, losing at Rotherham United 2-1 thanks to two penalties from Ryan Manning. 

Goals from Sergi Canos and Ollie Watkins gave Thomas Frank his first Championship victory as Brentford beat Millwall in a London derby, 2-0. 



Another impressive Sunderland performance saw them win their sixth match in a row thanks to a double from Aiden McGeady at Plymouth Argyle. The Black Cats look in excellent form and they have now moved in to the automatic promotion places after Peterborough United lost 1-0 at Wycombe. 

The game of the day in Sky Bet League One though came at Scunthorpe United, where there were five goals scored in a dramatic second half. Oxford United stormed in to a 3-0 lead, but the home side dramatically scored three equalising goals in just six crazy minutes to bring them level.  

Top of the table Portsmouth got back to winning ways as they continued their unbeaten away record with a comfortable 1-0 win at Bradford City. Despite a battling performance, the visitors were rarely threatened as they secured all three points for the first time in three weeks. 

Gillingham’s mini resurgence continued as they beat Fleetwood Town. They won 3-0 for the second successive week thanks to another double from Tom Eaves – who has now scored four goals in his last two appearances. The win moves the Gills up to 17thin the table. 

Blackpool lost at home for the first time since the opening day of the season as Bristol Rovers comfortably won 3-0 thanks to a brace from Ollie Clarke and a Tony Craig goal. It means the Seasiders have now lost successive games for the first time this season, while Bristol Rovers move out of the relegation zone. 

Nigel Clough won his first ever game against Walsall as his Burton Albion side beat the Saddles 3-1, continuing where they left off in the week when they secured their place in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals for the first time in their history. 

Elsewhere, Doncaster Rovers suffered their third successive defeat for the first time in over a year as they lost 2-0 at Charlton Athletic, while Barnsley scored in the final few minutes to secure all three points against Southend United in a 1-0 victory at Oakwell. 

Coventry City couldn’t win six in a row for the first time since 1964, but they did manage to at least stretch their unbeaten run to six games with a late equaliser at home to Accrington Stanley in a 1-1 draw. 



Tranmere’s James Norwood added two more goals to his tally as Rovers impressively beat promotion contenders Exeter City 2-0 at Prenton Park. The striker now has 12 for the season and helped his team move up to fourth in the table. 

Lincoln City scored late in the second-half to increase their lead at the top as they beat a stubborn Forest Green Rovers 2-1 at Sincil Bank. It ended three games without a win for the Imps, the victory courtesy of goals from John Akinde and Kellan Gorden. 

Another of the chasing pack, MK Dons, continued their impressive recent form by beating Crawley Town 4-0. The visitors scored three first-half goals to put the game to bed early on and they sit just two points behind the leaders. 

Colchester United kept yet another clean sheet as they made it five wins from six with a 1-0 win against Swindon Town. The U’s have conceded just two goals in their last six league outings and a solo Sammie Szmodics strike was enough to move them in to the automatic promotion places. 

Elsewhere there was a flurry of late goals across Sky Bet League Two in a frantic final few minutes across the league. 

Carlisle United were 2-0 to the good inside the first 12 minutes against Newport County but the visitors equalised with just three minutes to go – only for Carlisle to win it at the death thanks to Danny Grainger’s last minute strike. 

There was a similar turnaround as Stevenage, who scored twice in the second half to beat Oldham Athletic 3-2 in a frantic game at Broadhall Way. The Latics led 2-1 with 25 minutes to go, only for the home side to turn it on its head and take maximum points. 

Tom Pope headed a last-gasp equaliser as Port Vale extended their unbeaten League Two run to four games. Pope salvaged a point just seconds after Notts County had scored in the 88thminute and looked destined to take all the points – but it ended all square with virtually the last kick of the game. 

And finally, Tyler Walker scored three minutes into added on time to rescue a point for Mansfield Town at Cheltenham as they drew 2-2. 


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