Holly Hunt reviews the lesser-known talking points you may have skipped over from this gameweek six across the Championship, League One and Two.
Coronavirus call-offs and drone delays
League Two’s Scunthorpe United might have felt slightly dismayed that their 550-mile round trip to Exeter City wasn’t postponed after the Iron were forced to order five players to self-isolate. In the absence of boss Neil Cox, who is also self-isolating, goalkeeping coach Paul Musselwhite lead the side but was without star men Alex Gilliead and Abo Eisa, along with Lewis Spence, Tyler Cordner and Jacob Bedeau. The contingent displayed symptoms of COVID-19 and supporters called for the game to be suspended on health and safety grounds. The Lincolnshire outfit suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Grecians, too, which stung all the more. Scunthorpe’s following three league fixtures have now been postponed due to a number of positive coronavirus cases at the club.
Meanwhile across the M18, the South Yorkshire derby between Rotherham United and Sheffield Wednesday was halted in the sixth minute after a drone was spotted flying overhead! It must’ve been a sign for the Millers who scored the opener moments after the restart, cruising to a 3-0 victory over their local Championship rivals.
Taming of the Shrews
Shrewsbury Town don’t often make the headlines in the English Football League but they should this week. The League One side hadn’t lost on home soil to Rochdale in over a decade, in what is probably one of the most obscure statistics to emerge from the EFL in gameweek six.
When the two sides met in March 2010, Rochdale stole a slim 1-0 victory and in the five encounters in Shropshire since the Shrews have been all-conquering. However, Dale claimed a 2-1 victory at Montgomery Waters Meadow on Saturday, with goals from Oliver Rathbone and Alex Newby.
Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock departed Cardiff City in November 2019 after three years in charge of the Bluebirds but has not triumphed at his old stomping ground with an opposing team in 14 years. Last weekend, Boro shared the spoils with Cardiff in the EFL’s top tier, meaning a 1-0 win with Sheffield United in April 2006 was the last time the veteran boss recorded a win over the Bluebirds. He’ll have another chance to rectify that in February when the two go head-to-head on Teesside.
As for Kenny Jackett, the Portsmouth head coach kept his unbeaten streak against a Phil Parkinson side intact, with a 3-1 win over Sunderland, simultaneously usurping the Black Cats in fifth place.
I know what you’re thinking: Ivan Toney’s unstoppable form is common knowledge. But, did you know that the Brentford forward’s league goal ratio is better than the likes of Lionel Messi, Mohamed Salah, Jamie Vardy, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Harry Kane and Luiz
Suarez’s? The 24-year-old, who is on a tally of eight strikes so far this campaign, averages a goal every 112 minutes. Not to mention he’s also netted more league goals per 90 minutes (1.28) than Real Madrid (1) so far this season.
Toney signed for the Bees in a deal worth up to £10 million in the summer from Peterborough United and is certainly living up to his billing. He’s flown out of the blocks once again this year, trailing the Championship’s leading marksman, Adam Armstrong, by a single strike.
Watford’s woes on the road
It has now been exactly 1,131 days since Championship Watford recorded back-to-back away league wins. The Hornets last beat Bournemouth, Southampton and Swansea City away from home in the Premier League in September 2017 but have struggled to put together a string of results on the road since.
After sneaking a 1-0 victory over Derby County two weeks ago, the Hornets looked to follow the result up with a win against league newcomers Wycombe Wanderers on Tuesday evening, and it appeared as though the recently relegated side might break their curse. Ismaila Sarr gave the visitors the lead at Adams Park but, a quarter-of-an-hour later, Anthony Stewart’s equaliser earned a 1-1 draw to leave Watford without consecutive away wins in over three years.
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