The English Football League returned for a full schedule following the FA Cup third round last weekend, with all three leagues providing plenty of action.
Each EFL fixture was marked with a minute’s applause for former England manager, Graham Taylor, who sadly died on Thursday, aged 72.
On Thursday, in the Championship, Jamie Mackie’s goal claimed all the points for Queens Park Rangers away at Reading. Leeds United went third after Chris Wood (Pictured below) downed Derby County at Elland Road on Friday.
Newcastle United climbed back to the summit of the second-tier on Saturday, courtesy of Darryl Murphy’s late header in a 2-1 triumph at Brentford.
Rafael Benitez’s Magpies leapfrogged Brighton and Hove Albion, who slipped to second following a 2-0 defeat to Preston North End.
In the early game, Bristol City succumbed to a seventh-straight loss against local rivals Cardiff City at Ashton Gate, after Anthony Pilkington’s long-range strike settled a five-goal thriller in the Severnside derby. Birmingham City and Nottingham Forest ended 0-0 at St Andrew’s, bringing an end to Philippe Montanier’s tenure as Forest manager.
Sheffield Wednesday saw off Huddersfield Town 2-0 in an all Yorkshire encounter at Hillsborough, Chris Martin inspired Fulham to victory against Barnsley, and a Joe Mason goal edged Wolverhampton Wanderers past Aston Villa at Molineux in a Midlands derby.
Debutant Callum Connolly’s brace ensured Wigan Athletic recorded a huge win in their battle against relegation, beating Burton Albion 2-0 at the Pirelli Stadium to move three points shy of safety.
Blackburn Rovers remain in trouble, going down 3-2 against Ipswich Town. Rock-bottom Rotherham United got past 10-man Norwich City on home soil.
In League One, leaders Sheffield United had a day to forget. The Blades were thumped 4-1 on their travels at Walsall.
United’s defeat meant second-place Scunthorpe United had the opportunity to close the gap, and they did, when Josh Morris’ curled effort into the top corner claimed maximum points in a 2-1 win at Northampton Town.
Bolton Wanderers remain five points adrift of the top two after Yaser Kasim’s 89th minute strike guided Swindon Town to a 2-1 victory at the Macron Stadium.
In League Two, James Coppinger’s brace helped Doncaster Rovers to come from behind and beat Barnet 3-1 away. Darren Ferguson’s team are four points clear at the top.
Plymouth Argyle, who are second, warmed up for their FA Cup third round replay against Liverpool by seeing off Stevenage in a 4-2 win at Home Park. Carlisle and Morecambe shared the points at Brunton Park.
Conor Chaplin’s brace helped fourth-place Portsmouth to three points against Leyton Orient. Luton Town won 2-1 at Crewe Alexandra.
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