Best of the Best EFL

With another international break on the horizon, this weekend was the chance for teams in the Championship to create a strong platform for themselves to hold onto. Whilst for Leagues One and Two it was business as usual, as sides battled for those all important three points.

From surprise results to seven-goal thrillers, here are the top 5 games of the EFL weekend.

West Bromwich Albion 4-1 Reading

After an indifferent start to the season that saw them pick up just seven points from their opening five games, West Brom had an upturn in form that saw them go unbeaten in six prior to the visit of struggling Reading.

And that form continued with what turned out to be an easy win. Although the Baggies did initially make hard work of it, falling behind to a goal from Leandro Bacuna on six minutes.

The Royals managed to hold onto that slender lead until early in the second half, until in-form Dwight Gayle levelled from close range. The on-loan Newcastle striker then turned the game on its head just past the hour mark with his second.

Young midfielder Harvey Barnes, who had earlier hit the woodwork, put the game beyond doubt before Kyle Bartley completed the scoring to ensure Albion’s fifth successive win on home soil.

Darren Moore’s side climbed to second with victory, whilst Reading now sit above the drop zone on goal difference alone.

Swansea City 2-3 Ipswich Town

Paul Hurst’s Ipswich side were one of only three teams in the EFL without a win going into the weekend games, and a trip to Swansea, who had conceded just once in their last five games, did not promise any respite.

Dreams of an unexpected away win were dashed early on after defender Janoi Donacien diverted the ball into his own net. However, even the most optimistic of Town fans will not have foreseen how the game unfolded from there.

Within the space of four first-half minutes, the game was turned around, with Gwion Edwards grabbing the equaliser before Mike van der Hoorn became the second player to put the ball in his own net.

The Tractor Boys looked like they may have to settle for a point following a team move which was finished off by Bersant Celina. But it was it was to be their day, as Trevor Chalobah’s late goal meant the three points went the way of Ipswich for the first time since April.

The win moved them to within goal difference of safety, whilst the faltering Swans dropped down to 11th.

Doncaster Rovers 0-4 Fleetwood Town

High-flying Doncaster‘s recent good form came to an end in midweek with a loss to Accrington. So a home match against a Fleetwood side who hadn’t won in five seemed like the perfect opportunity to get back to winning ways.

However, Joey Barton’s team only succeeded in making things worse for Doncaster, as the away side romped to an emphatic win at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Ched Evans’ early penalty sent the Cod Army on their way, before goals from James Wallace and Ashley Eastham ensured they went into the break with a commanding lead.

Ashley Hunter then pounced on a defensive mistake early in the second half to add gloss to the win, moving them up to tenth in the table. Meanwhile, Rovers dropped to sixth, hanging onto their play-off spot.

Peterborough United 0-4 Barnsley

These two promotion chasers met at the ABAX stadium for what many would have predicted to be a close fought affair, however, what unfolded was quite the opposite, as the Tykes kept up their promotion push with a convincing win.

Steve Evans’ team will have been believing that they were on their way to victory when they were awarded an early penalty. But it was not to be as Ivan Toney’s effort was saved before George Moncur gave the away side the lead soon after.

Barnsley then took control, as Brad Potts scored in either half to confirm the result, before substitute Jacob Brown rounding off the scoring to send the points back to Oakwell.

The win lifted Barnsley up to fourth in the table, whilst the Posh missed the chance to go top and instead remain second.

Morecambe 3-4 Tranmere Rovers

Both these sides came into this game in reasonably good form, both picking up seven points from their last four games, and it was the away side that continued that form in what turned out to be a goal-fest.

The Shrimpers’ hopes of climbing further away from the relegation zone were boosted after a goal of individual brilliance from Rhys Oates. However, Rovers came back at them and goals from Ollie Banks and on-loan Harvey Gilmour saw the away side lead at the break.

Jonny Smith looked to have put the game beyond doubt with Rovers’ third, but the home team didn’t give up, and two goals in seven minutes from Vadaine Oliver and AJ Leitch-Smith brought them level with ten minutes to go.

However it was to be Tranmere’s day as Gilmour bagged his second with one minute left on the clock, to lift Micky Mellon’s side into the play-off places, whilst the home side dropped to 20th.