Championship Matchday 14 Review

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Burton Albion VS Birmingham City

Burton 2 (Dyer 32, Ward 62) – Birmingham 0

Friday night saw newly promoted Burton Albion take on championship regulars Birmingham City, and this wasn’t the first time that Burton have caused an upset at the Pirelli, with victories over Sheffield Wednesday and Derby earlier this season.

Burton took the lead in the first half with a goal from former Birmingham loanee Lloyd Dyer, and with a second half volley strike from Jamie Ward the victory was secured for the “Brewers”.

Burton manager Nigel Clough enforced the importance of the win, mentioning the “psychological advantage of staying out of the bottom 3” and praising Ward’s individual performance, with a goal and assist to his name.

Friday evening’s game see’s Burton sitting in 12th whilst Birmingham fall to 7th.


Aston Villa VS Fulham

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Aston Villa 1 (Kodjia 80) – Fulham 0

A late strike from Villa’s summer signing Jonathan Kodjia, who recently signed from Bristol City for £11 Million, saw Villa claiming all 3 points and Steve Bruce claiming his 1st home win.

Despite only having 34% possession, Villa were able to capitalize late into the 2nd half, with Kodjia being on the end of Adomah’s cross to put Villa in the lead. New manager Steve Bruce has enjoyed a good run at his new club, claiming 7 from a possible 9 points in his first 3 matches., Bruce praised the players “I am delighted for the players, a week ago they were quiet, there have been huge changes throughout the club”

Could this new form and energy from Villa be the start of their new push for promotion, after a disappointing start to the season under Roberto Di Matteo?


Bristol City VS Blackburn Rovers

Bristol City 1 (Wilbraham 88) – Blackburn 0

More late action on Saturday afternoon saw Bristol claiming all 3 points in a game that was looking to be heading for a goalless draw. 37-year-old veteran striker Aaron Wilbraham capitalized a late clearance and calmly shot past Blackburn keeper Jason Steele.

Wilbraham’s late strike secured City’s fifth home win of the season and see’s them victorious in 4 of their last 6 games. City managed to overtake Birmingham into a play off spot sitting in 6th place, whilst Rovers drop down into the relegation zone after their 5th away defeat of the season


Huddersfield Town VS Derby County

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Huddersfield 1 (Kachunga 90+3) – Derby 0

It was another late goal at the John Smith Stadium that denied Derby of picking up points. An injury time winner by Huddersfield’s Kachunga gave Huddersfield the victory and ended Derby’s 4 game unbeaten run.

Much of the play seemed to be dominated by Huddersfield, in particularly the second half saw Huddersfield dominating by allowing Derby only 2 shots in the final 45.

Despite being the better team throughout the game it took Huddersifled until injury time to capitalize on Derby’s poor performance, with Kachunga heading in an injury time cross from substitute Harry Bunn.

New, and returning Derby manager Steve McClaren stated his frustration with the game, and the team; “It’s a cruel way to end the game, there’s a lot of issues – more than I thought there was going to be”.  The defeat for Derby see’s them sitting in 21st, just 1 spot above relegation, whilst Huddersfield remain in the top end of the table in 3rd, only behind Brighton and Newcastle.

With Huddersfield fantastic start to the season, can we see this run of form continuing for them, as they remain to be promotion candidates? And will Derby turn around their poor start of the season? Will McClaren be able to replicate his 2013/14 season with the club?


Newcastle United VS Ipswich Town

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Newcastle 3 (Perez 1, 73. Ritchie 78) – Ipswich 0)

Early action at St James’s saw Newcastle take the lead after only a minute thanks to a goal from Ayoze Perez who volleyed a flick from Gayle making him the fastest scorer in the Championship so far this season.

Much of the play throughout both halves was dominated by Newcastle, notably in the midfield with Shelvey and Colback once again showing to be a strong partnership in the middle. Newcastle scored 2 goals in the final 20 minutes from Perez again and Matt Ritchie to seal the win.

Newcastle Manager Rafa Benitez seemed humble post-match ; “Its another good win, its not easy to win in this competition”. The final score line of 3-0 to Newcastle saw them retaining their top spot whilst Ipswich fall to 17th.


Brentford VS Barnsley

Brentford 0 – Barnsley  2(Armstrong 29, Winnall 67)

Visitors Barnsley were victorious at Brentford, winning their first game in eight matches. Adam Armstrong took Barnsley in front in the first half with a headed attempt from a Conor Hourihane free kick, the win was later sealed in the second half with Sam Winnall capitalizing off a rebound off the Brentford post from a Ryan Kent shot.

Brentford suffered their 5th loss of the season and are now without a win in their last four games, whilst the victory for Barnsley puts them up to 6 wins this season and ending their run of three consecutive defeats and moving them up to 12th place


Rotherham United VS Reading

Rotherham 0 – Reading 1 (McShane 86)

A late winner by Paul McShane gave Reading the away win at Rotherham, marking the home teams seventh consecutive defeat, which along with the record of conceding the most goals in the football league this season doesn’t bode well for the club.

The result now see’s Rotherham dead bottom of the Championship Table, 5 points separates them from second bottom team Wigan, making them strong relegation candidates.

Despite the loss Rotherham manager Kenny Jackett explained how he was happy with the teams work rate, and that there was a lot they did well as a group.

Reading’s 6th win of the season sees them sitting in 8th place, only a point away from a play off spot.


Sheffield Wednesday VS QPR

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Sheffield Wednesday 1 (Hooper 40) – QPR

It was a Gary Hooper first half goal that would go on to give Wednesday their 7th victory of the season, helping them maintain their high table position of 5th, which will be crucial this season for the club after narrowly missing out on promotion last season in the play off final against Hull city.

Wednesday maintain their strong home record of 5/7 wins and were able to end QPR’s 5 match unbeaten run, which now see’s them sitting mid table in 13th.

Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal ecstatically praised his team; “My players have been unbelievable this week, I’m very happy about what they did, it was special today”


Wigan Athletic VS Brighton & Hove Albion

Wigan 0 – Brighton 1 (Stephens 68)

It was a second half strike from Dale Stephens that secured Brighton an away win at Wigan this weekend. Wigan, who were arguably the better team in the first half were unable to capitalize on their chances as Brighton keeper David Stockdale remained in good form.

Wigan remain relegation candidates, sitting in 23rd, whilst the victory for Brighton see’s them rise to 2nd place, overtaking Norwich and 3 points behind leaders Newcastle, as Brighton again remain one of the favorites for promotion, which the club will definitely be aiming for after a disappointing result in last years play off semi final losing to Sheffield Wednesday 3-1 across both home and away legs.


Wolverhampton Wanderers VS Leeds United

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Wolves 0 – Leeds 1 (Roofe  70)

Kemar Roofe’s first goal for Leeds was all it took for them to claim all 3 points at the Molineux this weekend.  Wolves went into the match in not the best form, with losses in 4 of their last 5 games and it would appear that this bad form of theirs is remaining.

Despite having an abundance of chances, it took Gary Monk’s Leeds until the second half to capitalize on Wolve’s poor form and play, with a 70th minute strike from new signing Kemar Roofe, who had previously gone 12 championship games without a goal.

The victory for Leeds is their 5th of the season and puts them in 10th place, whilst Wolves fall to 18th


Norwich City VS Preston North End

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Norwich 0 – Preston 1 (Baptiste 75)

A late second half header from Alex Baptiste was all it took for Preston to claim 3 points on their tough travels to face promotion favorites Norwich.  Norwich were unlucky not to equalize shortly after the away goal as Cameron Jerome struck the post just moments after Preston’s goal, later on Preston keeper Baley Wright would go on to clear an Alex Pritchard header off the line to secure the victory for Preston.

Norwich boss Alex Neil described his team’s performance as “sloppy and frustrating”, faulting his players for not playing their best. Despite the loss Norwich retain a play off spot in 4th whilst Preston rise to 9th.


Nottingham Forest VS Cardiff City

Forest 1 ( Lam Red Card 56, Lansbury 90+1 Pen) – Cardiff 2 (Gunnarsson 28, Ralls 39)

A late penalty for Forest, converted by Lansbury was unfortunately not enough as Cardiff comfortably claimed the win in this Saturday evening match thanks to 2 first half goals from Gunnarsson and Ralls. Aron Gunnarsson pounced onto the ball from a Peter Whittingham corner after only 28 minutes, Cardiff’s lead doubled only moments later as Joe Rall converted from close to put Cardiff 2 goals to 0 heading into half time.

Forest’s hope for a comeback was put on hold as Thomas Lam was shown red for pulling back Cardiff midfielder Anthony Pilkington. The only good action for Forest in the second half was an injury time penalty, which Henri Lansbury would go on to convert. The penalty was too late and consequently wasn’t enough for Forest as the whistle blew to end the game with an away win for Cardiff.

The result now see’s Cardiff escape the relegation zone rising to 20th, whilst Forest fall to 19th place, just 2 places above local rivals Derby County who currently sit in 21st.


Ben Terry, Championship correspondent on 24/10/2016 at 17:30

Follow Ben on Twitter @benterry_

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