Football League Round-Up 02/10/08

by Mystical Mike

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

Wolves’ unbeaten record is shattered

After a full mid-week fixture list in The Championship, Wolves’ superb start to the season was ended by fellow promotion hopefuls Reading but Birmingham failed to capitalise after being held away from home.

Wolves were flying high at the top of the table following Saturday’s brushing aside of Bristol City but were brought back down to earth after a string of victories by a Reading side gaining momentum by the day on Tuesday night. The Royals hammered Swansea 4-0 at the weekend and followed it up by an equally impressive display at Molineux. Wolves were beaten for the first time this season as an own goal by keeper Wayne Hennessey was followed by a header from Andre Bikey and one from substitute Kalife Cisse.

Steve Coppell has once again been quietly moving about his work and Reading now sit in third place in the Championship. Sandwiched in between Wolves and Reading are Birmingham who won at Cardiff on Saturday but could only come away from improving Derby with a point on Tuesday evening. Steve Davis equalised late on for the Rams after former Arsenal man Quincy Owusu-Abeyie powered Birmingham in front. The draw still keeps City hot on Wolves’ heels though and their intriguing looking battle with QPR kicks off the weekend’s football on Sky.

Rangers themselves go into the game off the back of disappointing results, losing at home to Derby and then only claiming a draw from the game against Blackpool at Loftus Road on Tuesday night. The dropping of those points takes them out of the playoff places and Burnley now sit proudly in fourth place. After beating Preston in the Lancashire derby and then squeezing past Watford 3-2, Owen Coyle was named Championship Manager of the Month for September in a terrific week for the Clarets.

The two Sheffield clubs make up the top six once again after United won at Doncaster and Wednesday beat bottom club Forest on Tuesday night. Colin Calderwood’s men are sitting precariously in trouble after picking up just five points this season and they’ll be hoping to kick start their season against surprise strugglers Crystal Palace this weekend. Palace won at home to Charlton on Tuesday night but remain in trouble and need back to back wins desperately. Barnsley play Doncaster on Saturday as two teams in trouble battle it out in a Yorkshire derby that should be all blood and thunder from the off at Oakwell.

In the pick of this weekend’s action, Reading play host to Burnley as third meet fourth and Owen Coyle will be hoping that the Manager of the Month curse doesn’t fall his way!

Down in League One, Oldham still lead the way and drew with improving Huddersfield last weekend. The Latics go to Stockport on Friday night. Second placed Scunthorpe eased past Yeovil on Saturday and should win at Orient to keep the pressure on at the top. Leeds are waiting for any slip ups from the top two over the weekend and travel to Peterborough United. Leicester are in fourth after a single goal win over Hartlepool and their resolve will be tested by a rejuvenated Huddersfield side.

Millwall manager Kenny Jackett picked up the Manager of the Month award for September after leading his side into a playoff place. Jackett leads his side into a tough game with MK Dons on Saturday as he looks to keep them in the hunt at the top. Walsall are quietly going about their business and sit in sixth place. Their 2-1 win at home to Carlisle sets them up well for this Saturdays’ trip to struggling Hereford United.

At the wrong end of the table, Hereford were beaten at Leeds but a good performance at Elland Road may help their players’ confidence at least. Cheltenham’s resurgence under Martin Allen was halted as Stockport scored a late equaliser on Saturday to earn a 2-2 draw at Whaddon Road. Yeovil are still down in the bottom four after that defeat at Scunthorpe whilst Crewe meet Northampton this weekend in a game that pits 21st v 20th.

Elsewhere in League One this week, the big news is Robbie Savage joining Brighton and Hove Albion on loan for a month as Savage looks to get some sharpness back. The midfielder worked under Albion boss Micky Adams briefly at Leicester City and will certainly add some interest to Brighton’s games for the next few weeks!

In  League Two, the top four all faced each other last weekend and Shrewsbury were the big winners as Richard Walker scored late on to seal a 2-0 win over Bradford at the New Meadow. They close the gap on the top two, Bury and Wycombe, who drew 0-0 at Gigg Lane. This weekend sees both the top two make tricky trips to Aldershot and Darlington respectively.

Meanwhile, Brentford are moving back up the table into fourth place following victory at Chesterfield. Marcus Bean scored the only goal of the game at Saltergate and The Bees host Macclesfield Town next. Dagenham were held by Rotherham just a few days after the Millers knocked Championship side Southampton out of the Carling Cup whilst Exeter City hit four past Macclesfield.

Rotherham’s draw means they are still just in the minus figures but can come into the black with a win at home to managerless Grimsby Town on Saturday. Bournemouth helped their cause and moved to minus eight with a weekend beating of Darlington but Luton are on minus nineteen as Chester hit back for a draw at Kenilworth Road.

Manager of the Month for September in League Two went to Bury boss Alan Knill after his side went to the top of the table. Their front two of Andy Morrell and Andy Bishop have been firing in the goals and could be the key to their continued success.

So another good weekend of football ahead in the Football League and I’ll be back on Monday with a review of the action. Have a good one!

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  • Darren

    I always said Quincy Owusu-Abeyie would make a great championship player, he’s very very quick, will score loads of goals for Birmingham.

    So much for QPR steaming the championship. Dowie is a relegation battler, not a promotion man!!

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