Another busy week of football across the EFL saw the return of the Championship after the international break and continued unpredictability in the bottom two divisions.
The three leaders in West Bromwich Albion, Wycombe Wanderers and Swindon Town all held onto top spot in their respective leagues, whilst the teams around them begin to stutter.
At the bottom of the divisions, Barnsley continued to struggle, Bolton Wanderers run of three straight wins came to a dramatic end, and in league two Morecombe dropped to the foot of the table.
Here’s the official Team of the Week as picked by the EFL.
GK- James Shea (Luton Town)
In his post-match interview Luton Town manager Greame Jones seemed to think the Hatters deserved a win from this match. However, their ‘keepers inclusion in the team of the week, despite conceding two, suggests otherwise.
Shea pulled out an astonishing eleven saves to deny Leeds, who needed a last-minute own goal from defender Matty Pearson to win the game. Shea’s performances seemed to keep Luton in the match and without his saves Town could have fell to a much heavier defeat.
The ex-Arsenal academy product was originally dropped at the start of the season to make way for new signing Simon Sluga, yet having recently made his way back into the starting line-up, Shea’s performance did nothing but enhance his position as Luton’s first choice goalie.
CB- Aaron Martin (Exeter City)
Exeter City edged a narrow away victory over Crawley Town at the weekend, as the visitors ran out 1-0 winners to move up to fourth in the League Two table.
Defender Aaron Martin played a huge part in his side’s ninth clean sheet of the season, the joint most in the division, making two tackles and boasting a 100% tackle success rate.
The centre back also made five interceptions, the most on the pitch, and six clearances, the most of any Exeter player.
CB- Ben White (Leeds United)
On loan Brighton and Hove Albion defender Ben White continued to enhance his reputation as one of the best young players in the Championship as Leeds United laboured to victory against a defiant Luton Town.
Whilst White’s defensive game continues to impress Leeds fans, its his prescence in possession that is also beginning to earn plaudits. White made 102 passes, seventeen more than any other player on the pitch, whilst maintaining a pass success rate of 89%. This included one key pass to assist Patrick Bamford for the games opening goal.
The defender won 100% of his aerial duels as Leeds continue to boast the best defensive record in the division.
CB- Alex Pearce (Millwall)
Since Gary Rowett took charge of Millwall the Lions have managed ten points from fifteen games, with this weekend marking an impressive victory over play-off chasing Swansea City.
Alex Pearce played a crucial role in ensuring the Swans were limited to just four shots on target all game, as Millwall claimed their second clean sheet under new manager Rowett.
Pearce won four aerial duels, made three interceptions, and five clearances as the Lions moved up to tenth in the Championship table.
RM- James McClean (Stoke City)
Michael O’Neil’s Stoke City recorded back to back wins for the second time this season as they continue their fight at the bottom of the Championship.
Saturday’s 2-1 victory over relegation rivals Wigan Athletic closed the gap on the teams above them, meaning Stoke sit inside the drop zone on goal difference only. James McClean was essential as Stoke came from behind to win the game.
McClean registered four tackles with a 100% success rate, won three aerial duels, completed the most dribbles on the pitch, made the most key passes of either side and had the most shots of any player.
The Irish international was influential in every Stoke attack and caused major problems for the Wigan defence as he attempts to win over Potters fans who dismissed him earlier in the season.
CM- Liam Sercombe (Bristol Rovers)
Bristol Rovers travelled to Shropshire as they faced Shrewsbury Town in what turned out to be a classic League One encounter. The home side came from two behind to level things at 3-3 before an 87th minute winner for Rovers saw the visitors take all three points.
Liam Sercombe was the pick of the players with two assists and one goal to his name. Sercombe delivered two dangerous corners which were met at the back post to give Rovers a 2-0 lead before the midfielder capitalised on a goalkeeper error to lob Joe Murphy making it 3-1 to the Pirates.
Bristol now sit ninth in the league, just one point off the play-off positions.
CM- Ebou Adams (Forest Green Rovers)
Forest Green Rovers also enjoyed a fruitful away day in front of goal as they put four past Leyton Orient to end the game 4-2 winners.
Centre-mid Ebou Adams, who endured consistent boos from the home side having made sixteen appearances on loan at Orient back in 2018, bagged a first half brace to give Rovers the perfect start.
Adams, a Gambian international, ran the show as Forest Green remain second in League Two and look to right the wrongs of last years failed play-off attempt.
LM- Sean McConville (Accrington Stanley)
Accrington Stanley piled on the misery at Bolton Wanderers as they capitalised on an early red card to win 7-1 after going behind in the fifth minute.
Stanley moved five points above the bottom three as their opposition remain bottom of the table with just a single point due to a fifteen-point deduction at the beginning of the season.
Sean McConville scored two from his four shots on target and made the most key passes throughout the game. The winger has made over 200 appearances for Accrington and will be hoping to help the North West club to another season of survival in League One.
RF- Jarrod Bowen (Hull City)
Jarrod Bowen reinforced his position as one of the Championship’s most potent attackers as Hull City came from 2-0 down to draw with ten men Middlesbrough.
Bowen grabbed his tenth and eleventh goals of the season making him the league’s second top scorer behind Aleksander Mitrovic and leading to even more speculation about the 22-year-old’s future.
Last season Bowen found the net twenty-two times from the wing in forty-six matches. His tally of eleven in seventeen this season would suggest he’s on target to surpass last year’s exhilarating form, with Hull fans wondering how long they can hang onto their prize asset.
LF- Ronan Curtis (Portsmouth)
Kenny Jackett has been under pressure recently as his Portsmouth side have struggled to mount a serious promotion challenge.
However, his side managed a 3-0 victory away to relegation candidates Rochdale at the weekend, moving up to eleventh in the table and into the top half of the division.
Republic of Ireland international Ronan Curtis scored either side of half time, whilst also making more tackles than any other player on the pitch. Curtis now has five for the season as Pompey extended their unbeaten run to five games.
ST- Aboubakar Kamara (Fulham)
Fulham’s Friday night victory over Queens Park Rangers saw them finish the weekend in fourth place, despite ongoing speculation about Scott Parker’s future with the club.
The hosts came out 2-1 winners over their London neighbours with somewhat forgotten man Aboubakar Kamara scoring in both halves. Last season various incidents surrounding Kamara, including on pitch altercations and rumours of his arrest at the club training ground, saw the striker loaned out to Turkey and his Fulham career seeming to end.
However, his performance on Friday, in what was just his second start this season, may suggest Kamara has a part to play in Fulham’s promotion chasing season.