The Football League continued to show itself at its unpredictable best as teams with good form fell to defeat while teams recently accustomed to defeats produced unlikely wins. It was also another weekend of goals – there were no goalless draws and six games featuring three or more goals.
The most significant result of the day came at the KC Stadium as Peterborough collected their first points of the season with an emphatic 3-1 win over Hull City. Emile Sinclair produced a hat-trick against a Hull side that hadn’t lost at home in six games. This was Hull’s second defeat in a row following their capitulation to Leicester City last week and Steve Bruce will have been frustrated by his side’s performance against Posh. Meanwhile for Peterborough manager Darren Ferguson, the faith he has in his team might finally start to bear fruit – a first win is certainly a step in the right direction.
Another team suffering a poor spell of form were Watford, who prior to the weekend’s win hadn’t won in the previous five fixtures – and their start at Huddersfield had suggested more of the same might be in order for the Hornets, with Huddersfield’s Oliver Norwood scoring in the 25th minute. Fernando Forestieri pulled Watford level midway through the first half and centre-back Fitz Hall then gave them the lead with just a few minutes remaining, only for Alan Lee to score an equaliser just a minute later. Gianfranco Zola may have been left exasperated had it not been for Troy Deeney’s last-minute penalty winner. The striker had only recently returned to Zola’s side following a spell in prison for affray.
Manager-less Blackburn Rovers held on for a 1-1 draw at Charlton Athletic in the club’s first game since the resignation of Steve Kean. Following months of speculation, Kean finally resigned citing the difficult working conditions as a reason. Blackburn had started the season impressively but fell to their first defeat of the season last weekend. Dickson Etuhu’s goal on 16 minutes gave Blackburn hope of a return to winning ways but a Johnnie Jackson goal just ten minutes later pulled things level. Despite having 19 shots on Blackburn’s goal, Charlton couldn’t make their chances count. For Blackburn, the search for a new manager will intensify as they aim to continue their push for promotion.
Cardiff City recovered from last weekend’s defeat to Crystal Palace by beating Blackpool 3-0 at home. Peter Whittingham’s stunning free-kick and a double from defender Matt Connolly secured the win for the Bluebirds against a Blackpool side that have won only once in the last five games. Cardiff have not lost a game at home this season, a run which has helped push them into second place in the league.
Sheffield Wednesday are in a rut of form that they can’t seem to climb out of; having failed to win in the previous five games, a visit to a resurgent Wolverhampton Wanderers probably wasn’t what was needed. Dave Jones’ spell at the club had been one associated with a fantastic unbeaten run which pushed the Owls to promotion from League 1, and the former Wolves manager will be concerned at his side’s inability to return to such winning ways. Bakary Sako scored the solitary winner for Wolves, the player’s third of the season.
The most resurgent of sides in the Championship surely has to be Crystal Palace, who collected their fourth win in five games at the Reebok Arena against Bolton Wanderers. Dougie Freedman’s charges defended valiantly for much of the second half, scoring the winner late in the game. Palace striker Wilfried Zaha won a penalty in the 78th minute which in-form striker Glenn Murray converted for his sixth goal of the season. The win ensured that Palace have had an unbeaten September.
Palace’s rivals Brighton & Hove Albion suffered their first home defeat of the season against Birmingham City, a result which also gave the Blues their first away win of the season. The only goal of the game came from a fantastic 25-yard strike midway through the first half.
September has been a good month for a number of clubs, one of which is Leicester City. Boss Nigel Pearson looked destined for the chop just a few weeks ago but, following a run of wins – including this weekend’s triumph over Middlesbrough – the Foxes are sitting 5th in the table. The result ends Middlesbrough’s unbeaten home record for this season. Lloyd Dyer was the scorer of the winner when he struck in the 89th minute. City’s Jamie Vardy had equalised halfway into the second half following a Boro goal from Nicky Bailey in the 50th minute.
Leeds United are another side pressing for promotion and Neil Warnock’s side continued their push with a 3-2 win at indifferent Bristol City. Leeds took the lead with a goal from El-Hadji Diouf in the 63rd minute, Albert Adomah equalised seven minutes later only for both sides to score a flurry of goals later in the game. Leeds took the lead once more with another goal from Diouf, recent loan signing Michael Tonge then scored their third and Bristol City then collected a consolation effort thanks to an own goal from Rodolph Austin.
Gradually pulling away from the bottom half are Burnley thanks mainly to the goals from Charlie Austin. The striker scored his eighth goal of the league season – his 11th in all competitions – in what looked like a winning performance for the club. Millwall’s Liam Trotter had scored an early opener just three minutes into the match, with Burnley’s Ben Mee levelling the tie just 15 minutes later. Austin scored what should probably have been the winning goal only for Millwall striker Darius Henderson to throw a sucker-punch three minutes into injury time to give the Lions a share of the spoils.
Another team desperately trying to pull themselves out of the relegation zone are Ipswich Town. The Tractor Boys took an early lead thanks to a goal from Richard Cresswell only for Barnsley to score in 17 minutes via Stephen Dawson. Paul Jewell’s side last saw a win on the 21st of August although Jewell drew positives from the result, citing the draw being an improvement on their previous three defeats.
Finally, Sunday’s solitary fixture saw Derby County beat rivals Nottingham Forest thanks to a goal from Craig Bryson. The game-changing incident was the sending off of Forest striker Dexter Blackstock for an elbow on Richard Keogh just seconds into the second half. Forest had dominated early proceedings and will feel the decision was a harsh one as it gave Derby a man advantage and the impetus to push on for a win. Sean O’Driscoll’s side also had a late penalty appeal turned down.
Tags: Cardiff City, Championship, Peterborough United, Watford