Best of the Best EFL

With the Championship not on this week due to the international break, it was a chance for the teams in the League One and League Two to shine in the absence of the EFL’s second-tier.

From crucial bottom-of-the-table six-pointers to ridiculously late winners and pitch invasions, here are the top five games of the EFL weekend.

Port Vale 2-6 Lincoln City

Danny Cowley’s Imps continued their remarkable start to the campaign with an emphatic away win over a Port Vale side that have flattered to deceive so far this season.

It took just three minutes for Lincoln to assert their control on proceedings when Harry Tofollo’s cross was struck fiercely into the net by the impressive Harry Anderson.

They added two more goals before the break; the first of which coming from Bradford City loanee Shay McCartan. He skilfully and gracefully jinked his way through Vale’s open defence before striking the ball into the far corner with great conviction.

The second was an own-goal from Leon Legge in first-half stoppage-time; the worst way to end a dismal first-half for Neil Aspin’s men.

It didn’t get much better in after the break, either. Michael Bostwick made in 4-0 within minutes of the restart and, although Tom Conlon did pull one back for the home side, Scott Wharton and James Wilson rubbed salt into the wound with two more goals.

Not even a late Ben Whitfield penalty could heal the pain for Vale who are now 16th in League Two and seven points adrift of the play-offs.

Barnsley 3-2 Luton Town

Both teams were fancied for a promotion push at the start of the season, but it was Barnsley who kept the pressure on the top-two with a thrilling win over Luton Town at Oakwell.

Brad Potts has been the name of everybody’s lips so far this season in League One. He was the man who got the Tykes off to a flyer. Potts delivered a typically brilliant strike from 20-yards out within five minutes of kick-off.

Cameron McGeehan doubled Barnsley’s advantage in the 26th-minute, before ex-Crawley striker James Collins pulled one back in first-half stoppage-time.

Mamadou Thiam restored Daniel Stendel’s side’s two-goal cushion with an exquisite curling shot 11 minutes from time.

Collins scored again to make the final exchanges a bit more interesting but Barnsley held onto the win. That moves the Tykes to within two points of the automatic promotion spots. Luton, however, drop down to 10th in League One.

Rochdale 2-3 Doncaster Rovers

Grant McCann has enjoyed his start to life as Doncaster Rovers manager. The Yorkshire-based high-flyers are now sitting fourth in League One following victory at Rochdale in a five-goal thriller.

Goals from Ali Crawford and Andy Butler put Doncaster into what seemed likely to be an unassailable lead in the first-half.

However, Rochdale clawed their way back. Kgosi Ntlhe was brought down in the box, and talismanic forward Ian Henderson swept a spot-kick into the back of the net to put the Dale back in it.

Jermaine Anderson prodded a deep James Coppinger cross past Josh Lillis to restore Rovers’ two-goal cushion in the 68th-minute.

It wasn’t quite over yet, though. Some sloppy Rovers defending from a set-piece allowed Ntlhe to sneak into the six-yard box and stab the ball into an unguarded net. Keith Hill’s side set up a grandstand finish with just under 10 minutes left, but couldn’t equalise.

That equaliser wouldn’t come, though, which means that Rochdale slip down to 16th in League One.

Oxford United 2-0 Plymouth Argyle

It was a bottom-of-the-table clash at the Kassam Stadium as the second-from-bottom club visited the basement boys in League One. Both sides met desperate to boost their survival chances with a much-needed win.

It was Karl Robinson’s Oxford United who managed to claim victory; both goals coming from former Plymouth Argyle players to make the afternoon even more miserable for the men in green.

Jamie Mackie settled any nerves with an early goal in front of the home crowd for the U’s. Ryan Edwards got himself in a tangle in defence, allowing the veteran striker to nip in and fire the ball past Matt Macey to send the fans into raptures in the fifth minute.

Plymouth had a good chance to level just before the break when the ball spilled to Stuart O’Keefe just inside the box. It appeared as if he had to score. Instead, he ballooned his attempt over the bar and into the car park. The frustration of the travelling Plymouth support was clear.

Former Argyle captain Curtis Nelson sealed the three points for Oxford in the 74th-minute with a calm finish after some great work by Mackie down the left-hand side.

The former QPR forward had been United’s main man all afternoon. He drew a foul from Yann Songo’o, which saw the Argyle man pick up his second booking.

Things are looking bleak at the bottom for Plymouth. They are now rooted to the foot of the table and four points adrift of safety.

Northampton Town 2-1 Forest Green Rovers

Forest Green’s unbeaten start to the season came to an end in dramatic fashion, as Keith Curle picked up his first league win as Northampton boss in the 98th-minute.

It looked as if Forest Green’s impressive start to the season was going to continue. Reuben Reid struck in the first half after a long ball over the top caused havoc amongst the Cobblers’ backline.

However, Northampton levelled just past the hour-mark. Jordan Turnbull nodded veteran full-back David Buchanan’s corner into the path of the incoming Aaron Pierre, who managed to find the net with a bullet header.

The home side piled on the pressure late on. With time running out, it looked as if the match was destined for a stalemate.

They weren’t to be denied in the end, though; Kevin van Veen was rewarded for not giving up on what looked like a lost cause in the 98th-minute. He charged down Liam Shepherd before nicking the ball off him, sliding it across to Andy Williams, who fired the ball home; sparking a joyous pitch invasion at Sixfields.

Northampton have climbed to 19th with that win. Forest Green have slipped to 8th and outside of the play-off places.