The Good, The Bad & The Ugly EFL

Even though the international break has brought more joy in recent times, it means that once again we were without the EFL Championship over the weekend.

Despite that, both EFL Leagues One and Two served up an entertaining few days of football with massive wins, big boys at the bottom and managerial nightmares in this week’s Good, Bad and Ugly from the EFL weekend.

Good: Collins inspires latest chapter in Kenilworth fairytale

Generally in football, teams enjoy better form at home than they do away, as the backing of your own fans helps spur you on. And for Luton Town, that home form is something to behold as they rise up the EFL League One table.

This weekend saw them play host to a struggling Plymouth Argyle side, as once again, the Hatters delivered at Kenilworth Road in scintillating style. Taking their tally to 10 wins and 2 draws in 12 home games in all competitions this season.

The hosts began on the front foot, with striker James Collins opening the scoring on 12 minutes, before Elliott Lee then doubled Luton’s lead ten minutes later to put them in control.

The free-scoring home side then bagged themselves a third before the half-hour mark through defender James Justin. And Town’s hopes of gaining a 6th straight home win were all but confirmed when they then earned a penalty on the stroke of half-time.

Collins dispatched the spot-kick for his second and Luton’s fourth to round off an emphatic first 45 minutes of play. However, the second half proved to be a formality, as Nathan Jones’ men saw out their win.

But Collins did have time to complete his hat-trick with just over ten minutes remaining. Although it was not the last act, as Argyle managed to score a consolation through Joel Grant in the last minute.

Another comfortable home win means Luton remain in 5th, just 4 points off an automatic promotion place. Whilst Plymouth stay in 22nd, now 5 points from safety.

Bad: Robins losing altitude as Wellens begins woefully

Many experts looking at EFL League Two will have predicted that Swindon Town would be in and around the promotion pack, having just missed out on the play-offs last season. However, in reality, the Robins had sacked manager Phil Brown last week with the club sat in 17th place.

They then appointed former Oldham Athletic manager Richie Wellens to help drive them back up the table, starting with the visit of play-off chasing Carlisle United.

However, things would only get worse for Town, as Wellens’ first game in charge ended in disaster, with his side being humiliated on home soil.

The hosts began the game well and looked to be heading for half-time on level terms. But those hopes were ruined when Ashley Nadesan gave the Cumbrians the lead just four minutes before the interval.

The men in red then produced a stunning collapse in the space of 20 minutes to give themselves no chance of a comeback. It began within a minute of the restart, when Regan Slater converted a powerful effort to double Carlisle’s lead.

Then less than ten minutes later it was game over, as Jamie Devitt curled in a free-kick, and Slater bagged his second just past the hour mark to complete the scoring. Condemning Wellens to a disastrous first game in charge.

The result means Swindon have now won just 1 out of their last 9 league games, seeing them drop to 18th in the EFL League Two table.

Ugly: Magpies need more than luck to save their season

Much like struggling Swindon, big-spenders Notts County were expected to be right at the top end of the EFL League Two table this season, after only falling short in the play-offs last term.

However, the season that has unfolded has been somewhat of a horror show for the Magpies. Prior to kick-off, they found themselves in 22nd place, having just parted company with Harry Kewell, their second manager of the season.

And Caretaker boss Steve Chettle would have been hoping to turn their fortunes around as they welcomed fellow strugglers Cheltenham Town to Meadow Lane. However, the away side only helped in making things much worse for County.

A dull opening period was broken on 35 minutes, when Luke Varney was left unmarked and headed in to give Cheltenham a half-time lead. And Notts will have wanted to regroup and come out fighting in the second half, but it was not to be.

As veteran forward Varney bagged his and his side’s second midway through the half, before Tyrone Barnett wrapped up the result late on. Handing County their 10th defeat of the season.

The result means that Notts County are leapfrogged by their opponents, seeing them drop into the EFL League Two relegation zone.

As the hierarchy at Meadow Lane will be looking for their third manager of the season, Chettle will not have done his hopes any good at all.


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