Tuesday, 8 August 2017

EFL WRAP: Week 1



The Football League season kicked off at the City Ground and Millwall were looking to spoil Forest's day on opening day. They had their chances but Forest would go 1-0 up through a goal from outside the box. Barry McKay's strike would be all that separated the two sides.

Sunderland's first game back in the Championship got off to a poor start as Bradley Johnson scored a tap-in to fire Derby County ahead after 11 minutes. An early contender for save of the season saw Lee Catermole denied by a full-stretch Scott Carson. A handball by Jacob Butterfield allowed Lewis Grabban to equalise from the spot for Sunderland. Both teams had chances, including Grabban smashing one against the post but it finished 1-1.

A rampant Bristol City rocketed to the top of the table after the opening weekend thanks to three goals in 30 minutes against Barnsley. The Robins conceded late but it'd matter little as they started their season in the perfect fashion.

Burton Albion battled hard against Cardiff City but a wonderful strike in the 87th minute from Kenneth Zohore would give the Welsh side a late 1-0 win. Norwich captain Russell Martin conceded an own goal at Craven Cottage but the away side scored late against Fulham after being denied a penalty at one stage. A 1-1 draw between the two promotion hopefuls.

Joe Garner helped Ipswich Town to a 1-0 opening day win over Birmingham City but an injury to youngster Andre Dozzell would sour an otherwise good first up win for the Tractor Boys. Sheffield Wednesday suffered a loss to Preston North End after a debatable penalty call went against centre back Tom Lees. A 1-0 win for Preston.

Former Liverpool centre back Tiago Ilori was shown a straight red card in Reading's 2-0 loss away to Queens Park Rangers. Conor Washington would convert a resulting penalty and his double lifts QPR into second on goal differential.

A Billy Sharpe header was all that separated Sheffield United and Brentford with the Blades picking up a 1-0 win. At Molineux, a shocking turnover from Middlesbrough centre back Daniel Ayala gifted Wolves' Leo Bonatini the ball and a chance to bury the goal that counted. One mistake decides the game between two promotion contenders.

A big match between Aston Villa and Hull City saw the Villains go ahead through Gabriel Agbonlahor after just seven minutes. Jarrod Bowen would score from almost the same blade of grass in the second half to draw level for the Tigers and 1-1 is how it would stay in a game where Villa were the better side.

The final game saw Kalvin Phillips give Leeds an early lead against Bolton. Chris Wood's header made it 2-0 for the visitors but Gary Madine would head home a goal to put the home side back in it. Kalvin Phillips would however score a tap-in to have Leeds 3-1 up at the break. Adam Le Fondre scored from the spot for Bolton but Leeds prevailed with a 3-2 victory.




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Plymouth Argyle's return to the third tier saw them up against Peterborough United. They got off to the worst possible start as goalkeeper Gary Sawyer made a horror error at the near-post, letting one into the net and conceding an own goal. The newcomers fought well and had chances but couldn't get a result, the Posh winning it 2-1.

Fellow newcomers Blackpool and Doncaster Rovers also failed to pick up maximum points. Blackpool put up a decent showing against Bradford City but went down 2-1 whilst Doncaster were unable to break through against a resilient Gillingham. Tomas Holy and Gillingham's defence stood firm to the test.

It was however a positive result for the other promoted side with Portsmouth picking up a 2-0 win over Rochdale. Pompey are third-favourite for promotion and their season got off to the dream start. Brett Pitman scoring both goals for the hosts.

Competition favourites Blackburn Rovers would lose their first match-up away to Southend United. A 2-1 loss was not the start Rovers were looking for.




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A quick wrap of the opening weekend in the EFL League Two sees a whopping lead atop the table on goal difference for Luton Town after the Hatters blasted eight goals past Yeovil Town in the season opener at Kenilworth Road. A bucket-load of goals but none better than Alan McCormack's volley from range to put Luton 3-1 up in the 24th minute.

Results elsewhere saw highly publicised Football League newcomers Forest Green Rovers lead Barnet 2-0 at half-time thanks to goals in the 41st and 43rd minute but the Bees were having no part of it, drawing 2-2 despite a red card during the second half. Not the start the all-Vegan side wanted.

Lincoln City marked their return to the Football League with a 2-2 away draw with Wycombe Wanderers. Relegated Coventry City began life in League Two with a convincing 3-0 win over Notts County. Jodi Jones scored three in front of a 10,000+ crowd at the Ricoh Arena, the biggest of the weekend in League Two.

Notably, their was a lot of late drama in the Chesterfield v Grimsby Town match-up with two red cards shown and two goals coming in the final eight minutes. The Mariners would come away with a 3-1 victory.

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