CHAMPIONSHIP: MID-WEEK ROUND-UP
Club News2nd October
It was another busy mid-week schedule for those in the second tier as the sixth of seven matches in a busy three week period played out.
Tuesday night saw Charlton Athletic beat league leaders Norwich City 1-0 at Carrow Road, leaping to sixth – above Wolves – though the Canaries still top the table. The last-gasp winner ended a run of three consecutive draws for Addicks, who are now unbeaten in ten league matches.
Watford’s new manager Billy McKinlay enjoyed a dream start as his side defeated Brentford 2-1, Vydra’s half-volley enough to take all three points.
Forest drew once more – their third consecutive draw - upholding the other unbeaten record in the Championship. This time honors ended even at DW Stadium, neither Wigan nor Forest able to break the deadlock in a tightly contested 0-0. Though Stuart Pearce’s side has endured three goalless draws on the bounce, they only sit behind Norwich in the league table on goal difference, as do McKinlay's Watford. Wigan hover just above the relegation zone with the Latics last victory coming over a month ago.
Derby meanwhile, defeated ten-man Bournemouth 2-0 to secure their second victory on the bounce. The East Midlands side are now undefeated in seven matches. The win moves the Rams up to fourth whilst Eddie Howe’s side sit a place and a point below Cardiff City.
THE CHASING PACK
On Wednesday evening Wolverhampton Wanderers had the opportunity to top the Championship but instead they were beaten in their own backyard by Huddersfield Town, who are now unbeaten in 11 in this fixture. Molineux stadium witnessed the Terriers put three past Kenny Jackett’s team. The 3-1 win was Huddersfield’s second in four days, pushing the Yorkshire outfit four points clear of the drop; the loss, Wolves’ first in eight games seeing them slide out of play-off contention.
In the second of three Wednesday fixtures, Leeds leapfrogged Brentford and Cardiff with a point against Reading. No goals were scored though, leaving Darko Milanic still searching for his first win in charge at United.
Sheffield Wednesday drew with Ipswich 1-1 at Hillsborough, the result not too damaging for either side. Town extends their unbeaten run to six and are a good candidate for surprise package of the season alongside Charlton following the pair’s consistent early form.
AT THE FOOT
Though the season is still much in its infancy, Fulham’s Wednesday night clash with Bolton at Craven Cottage seemed to carry an air of real significance. Both have struggled of late but it was the home side who capitalised, Rodallega finding the net after just nine minutes. From then the floodgates opened, Fulham hitting the target three more times to record a 4-0 win, a second successive league victory for caretaker manager Kit Symons. These two wins are co-incidently the only two the West London club have collected so far this campaign. The win puts Fulham two points above their opponent, who in turn are two points above Blackpool.
Middlesbrough’s 1-1 draw with the Seasiders saw the North Yorkshire side move to eighth – just a point from the top six – whilst Blackpool languish at the bottom having not picked up a victory in ten matches.
Blackburn were defeated 2-0 by Rotherham, The Millers putting some much-needed distance between their selves and the relegation zone having not previously won in five, whilst Rovers are comfortably sat in mid-table.
IN THE CHARTS
Kenwyne Jones moved up to five for the season with his header on Tuesday night in our away draw at Brighton & Hove’s Amex Stadium whilst Britt Assombalonga (Nottingham Forest) still tops the charts on eight – even though his last goal was scored on September 17th. Chris Martin (Derby County), Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough) and Lewis Grabban (Norwich City) have found the net six times.
Meanwhile, Derby County have the highest average attendance so far with 27,466 supporters. Norwich City are the closest to selling out week-in, week-out with 96.4% of their ground full as the league’s early pace-setters.