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EFL matchday review Feb 1-2

3 February 2019

All eyes were on Elland Road for the day’s late kick-off between two automatic promotion contenders in Leeds United and Norwich City.

After a big build-up, it was the Canaries who came out on top, winning 3-1 to leapfrog their opponents and add another layer of intrigue to this year’s title race. 

The biggest winners of the day were Brentford, as they came back from two-nil down to win 5-2 at Griffin Park, ending Blackburn Rovers’ winning run.

Middlesbrough boosted their Play-Off chances as they beat fourth-placed West Bromwich Albion by three goals to two, after being behind with less than half an hour to go in the game.

Wigan Athletic got their first victory in 11 games against QPR, running out 2-1 winners, former R’s man Leon Clarke with the winner on his debut for the Latics.

Sheffield Wednesday manager Steve Bruce got his first win on his first game in charge of the Owls, a last-minute winner from Lucas Joao was enough as they saw off Ipswich Town at Portman Road.

Birmingham City, Bristol City, Hull City and Sheffield United all saw off their respective opponents by a score-line of 2-0.

Nottingham Forest, Swansea City, Stoke City and Bolton Wanderers will all be looking to get back to winning ways next weekend.

There were three goalless draws in the Championship over the weekend, the first coming on Friday night as Preston North End held Play-Off hopefuls Derby County at Deepdale.

Millwall and Rotherham could not break each other down, and the same can be said for Reading and Aston Villa at the Madejski Stadium.

League leaders Luton Town continued on their assault on Sky Bet League One, this time ushering Shrewsbury Town aside with ease.

The Hatters are still looking for a full-time manager at Kenilworth Road, but that has not stopped them reaching the summit of table; two goals from James Collins and one from Matty Pearson saw them run out 3-0 winners against Salop.

Barnsley moved up to second in the table as they beat Scunthorpe United by two goals to nil at Oakwell; that saw Portsmouth slip to third as they could only draw 1-1 with Play-Off chasers Doncaster Rovers at Fratton Park.

Sunderland’s Aiden McGeady was on the scoresheet again for the Black Cats as they left it until the second half to overcome bottom-of-the-table AFC Wimbledon.

Joey Barton’s Fleetwood Town were 1-0 winners against Charlton Athletic and, elsewhere, it was an unhappy homecoming for Darren Ferguson as his Peterborough United side also lost by a goal to nil against Plymouth Argyle at the ABAX Stadium.

Bristol Rovers boosted their survival hopes and made it four unbeaten away from home, as they battled hard in a 2-1 victory against Southend United.

Keith Hill’s Rochdale also put a bit of distance between themselves and the drop zone, as they ran out 2-1 winners over Walsall.

Gillingham and Tom Eaves left it late to steal a point at Coventry City; meanwhile, Burton Albion and Oxford United, Wycombe Wanderers and Bradford City all drew 0-0.

Accrington Stanley’s game against Blackpool was postponed due to a frozen pitch at the Wham Stadium.

Before the start of play Northampton had not lost at home in 11 league games... step up, Colchester United. The U’s were clinical in attack and left Sixfields with a 4-0 win under their belts.

League leaders Lincoln City could only manage a draw against bottom-of-the-table Notts County, they could have snatched all three points late on in the game, but Imps’ top-scorer John Akinde could not convert his 86th-minute spot-kick. 

That slip up allowed Mansfield Town to cut their lead at the summit of Sky Bet League Two table to just two points, as the Stags saw off Macclesfield Town by three goals to one.

Exeter City put three past their former manager Paul Tisdale who brought his MK Dons side to St James Park, and Grimsby Town also scored three in a 3-0 win over poor travellers Newport County.

The Exiles’ latest defeat sees them lose seven league away games on the bounce, their longest losing run in the EFL since February 1988.

Bury could only manage a draw against Crawley Town at Gigg Lane, despite taking the lead through Nicky Maynard in the 83rd minute; Ollie Palmer is probably still wondering how he managed to squeeze the ball past Shakers’ keeper Joe Murphy.

In the final game in League Two, Stevenage’s Alex Revell was the usual hero down at Broadhall Way, as they saw off struggling Yeovil Town by a goal to nil.

Four games fell to the weather: Cheltenham Town v Cambridge United, Oldham Athletic v Morecambe, Port Vale v Tranmere Rovers and Swindon Town v Forest Green Rovers.

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