CHAMPIONSHIP: WEEKEND ROUND UP
Club News6th October
Only two points separate the top eight in the tightly contested Championship table as the last round of fixtures were played before the upcoming international break.
AT THE SUMMIT
Bar opening-day defeat and a recent blip against Charlton, Neil Adams’ Norwich City have shown enough this year to rightfully be regarded as promotion candidates at this early stage. A 1-1 draw with visiting Rotherham did their campaign no harm, the Canaries staying top albeit on goal difference after a dominant display. Adam’s side fell behind when they gave away a penalty, John Ruddy bringing down Matt Derbyshire, Paul Green converting the spot kick for the Millers before Cameron Jerome came to the rescue to salvage a point after missing a host of earlier chances.
Nottingham Forest found their selves staring down the barrel of their first defeat of the season at home to Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich Town. Nevertheless, Michail Antonio’s 94th minute headed equaliser saved the day for the home side, the contest ending 2-2. Ipswich’s impressive form sees them in sixth though they might have been higher had they held on, taking the lead twice through Daryl Murphy before being pegged back. Ipswich are now unbeaten in seven and are enjoying their title as the league’s surprise package so far.
Watford missed an opportunity to go top when they conceded in the last few minutes versus Brighton at Vicarage Road, the final score 1-1. Watford sit in third place on goal difference whilst Brighton hover three places from the drop zone, Daniel Tozser’s free kick initially put the home side ahead just after the restart before Lewis Dunk’s header made things equal.
The iPro Stadium witnessed a goalless draw as visitors Millwall earned a point with a hard-working display. Millwall are now winless in six having only drew two whilst Derby sit a point off top, their last defeat coming on August 19th.
Middlesbrough defeated Fulham 2-0 in a routine victory that stopped Kit Symons’ two-game win streak as caretaker manager going any further. Adam Reach and Albert Adomah punishing the visitors to make ‘Boro the only side in the top nine that didn’t draw this weekend. Aitor Karanka’s Northern side are now undefeated in six.
THE CHASING PACK
Referee James Adcock handed out five yellows in six minutes as the home side searched for an equaliser when Leeds United drew 1-1 at Elland Road. Visiting Sheffield Wednesday had found the net through Chris Maguire in the Yorkshire derby but defender Bellusci’s composed finish rescued the point in the 79th minute. The two sides are less than 30 miles, two points and five places in the table apart, Owls goalkeeper Keiren Westwood was the busiest of the pair picking up the man-of-the-match accolade for his efforts.
Charlton drew with Birmingham 1-1, the Addicks sitting comfortably in seventh after eleven games. The result means that whilst Bob Peeters’ side uphold their undefeated record in the league this year they slide out of the play-off places on goal difference having drawn four of their last five and six of their last eight. Igor Vetokele put the Addicks ahead after eleven minutes but Blues’ David Davis leveled just after half time.
Each team took the lead when Wigan came to visit Wolverhampton at Molineux – Dave Edwards opening the scoring for the home team, before James Perch and Marc-Antoine Fortune turned the game on its head. Bakary Sako rescued the situation for Wolves, who sit just outside the play-offs whilst Wigan hover above the relegation zone, three points clear of Fulham.
Bolton are without a manager after they parting company with Dougie Freedman on Friday, though as of yet there has been no transformation of fortunes losing 2-1 at home to Bournemouth. The visitors had Yann Kermorgant sent off with a straight red in the first half but still managed to take three points thanks to Callum Wilson’s brace, Spearing scored to give Bolton fans a small silver lining but they now sit bottom of the Sky Bet Championship.
THE BEST OF THE REST
High-flying Brentford defeated Reading by three goals to one. The newly promoted outfit have started the season in style, currently sitting tenth place in the Championship table. The Royals’ form has been indifferent so far this year, a three game win streak followed by four games without one as they search for consistency.
After eleven games, Forest’s Britt Assombalonga is still top of the goal scoring charts with eight whilst Cameron Jerome and Lewis Grabban both have six for the Canaries. Jerome has found the net most consistently out of the trio with the least amount of time between his finishes, having played the least games (7 to his rivals’ 11) - a goal every 0.86 games to Assombalonga’s 0.73 and Grabban’s 0.55.