Here are five things you may have missed from the first action of 2021!
Swans swoop into second
Watford hadn’t lost away at the Liberty Stadium since 2016 before Saturday’s fixture, but Steve Cooper’s side put in an impressive performance to overcome their promotion rivals. With 13 clean sheets, the Swans have one of the best defensive records in the Championship, but they came from behind to take all three points in Wales. Following a Tom Cleverley first-half goal for the visitors, the home side took control, equalising via a delightful curling effort from Jamal Lowe. And it was Lowe who got the winner, heading in from Kory Smith’s deep cross at the far post. Victory moved the Swans up into the automatic promotion places, now just four points behind leaders Norwich City.
Reading keep the pressure on
Reading came from behind to record an impressive victory at the John Smith’s Stadium to keep the pressure on the Championship top four. Top scorer Lucas Joao netted a second-half double on his return form injury as they halted Huddersfield’s home-winning streak. Despite missing the last five games through injury, the Reading forward returned to action in style and has now scored seven goals in as many games, with nine goals coming in his last nine away games.
Oxford United remain unbeaten
Karl Robinson’s side carried their impressive form into 2021, extending December’s unbeaten run into the new year. An impressive 5-1 victory over Burton Albion made it four league wins in a row and saw them rise up to 12th in the league table, putting them within four points of the Play-Offs. Olamide Shodipo put in a performance to remember, getting on the scoresheet twice as newly-appointed Burton manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was given a glimpse of the task at hand.
Luke Jephcott one to watch
Despite a good start to the 2020/21 campaign, Plymouth Argyle weren’t going into the weekend on the best run of form, having lost seven of their last nine league matches. The Pilgrims overcame Gillingham however to move up to 15th in the League One table, and it was Luke Jephcott who made the headlines, getting on the scoresheet for the fifth time in as many games, taking his tally to 14 in 20 appearances this season. After the game manager Ryan Lowe described the young forward as the “hottest property in the country” who has thrived under Lowe since returning to the club from a loan spell in January 2020.
Carlisle go top
Carlisle United capitalised on call-offs for Newport County and Forest Green Rovers with three points away at Walsall. The victory dealt the hosts a third-straight defeat, but saw the Cumbrians head to the top of the Sky Bet League Two table. Goals from Omari Patrick and Josh Kayode were enough to see off the West Midlands side following an impressive performance.