League football returned following the FA Cup third round last weekend, and there were crucial results across all three tiers.
Here are the standout players, as chosen by the EFL, from this weekend’s action.
GK- Jack Bonham (Gillingham)
Gillingham travelled to Peterborough United this weekend searching for a seventh game unbeaten in the league. The Gills avoided loss but not without a struggle.
‘Keeper Jack Bonham was forced to make seven saves as the away side kept a clean sheet against League Two’s now second most potent attacking team in the division. The game finished 0-0, doing neither side any favours in the search for play-offs or survival.
RB- Luke Matheson (Rochdale)
Rochdale hosted their North West neighbours Bolton Wanderers on Saturday as the home side took the bragging rights in a 2-0 victory. The performances of youngster Luke Matheson have attracted suitors across the country this campaign, with the teenager finding the net against Manchester United earlier this season in the Carabao Cup.
Matheson was on the scoresheet again this weekend, with the seventeen-year-old putting on a matured performance offensive and defensively down the right- hand side.
CB- Richard Wood (Rotherham United)
Rotherham United made if four straight wins in League One as they climbed to the summit of the table. Veteran defender Richard Wood was effective at either end of the pitch, finding the net immediately before the interval.
Wood played a significant role in a solid defence that despite allowing Oxford United 64% possession, ended 3-1 winners away from home as the Millers look for an immediate return to Championship football.
CB- Farrend Rawson (Forest Green Rovers)
Mansfield Town and Forest Green Rovers played out a stunning seven goal classic at the weekend, with the travelling side ending up on the right side of a 4-3 victory. Forest Green went 2-0 down before goals either side of half time from centre-back Farrend Rawson levelled the scores.
The visitors then took the lead for the first time in the match before being pegged back in the 91st minute, only to win the game in 95th and take all three points. Rawson’s brace was a collector’s item for a defender and moves Rovers up to seventh in the League Two table.
LB- Rob Hunt (Swindon Town)
Swindon Town were hit with a severe blow to their promotion bid in mid-week, as Bradford City recalled star striker Eoin Doyle from his loan spell. The forward managed twenty-three goals with the Robins yet they showed no signs of self-pity this weekend.
The league leaders ran out 3-1 winners over Crewe Alexandra, with right-back Rob Hunt finding a goal and an assist over the ninety minutes. Hunt opened the scoring in the 32nd minute whilst also recording a 100% pass success rate.
CM- Max Sheaf (Cheltenham Town)
Cheltenham Town moved up to third in the League Two table after recording a 3-1 win at home to Walsall. Centre-mid Max Sheaf gave the Robins the lead inside twenty minutes and went on to put on a solid display in the middle of the park. Sheaf won two aerial duels and one tackle helping to limit the away side to just two shots on target.
The game was only the second time nineteen-year-old Sheaf has completed ninety minutes as the youngster looks to forge his professional career.
CM- Jacob Brown (Barnsley)
Barnsley edged a 2-1 win over Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town to pick up a vital three points in the Championship relegation battle. Jacob Brown, a Barnsley academy product put the ball on a plate for Alex Mowatt in the 14th minute to give the Tykes the lead, before providing a low cross for Conor Chaplin in the 65th as Barnsley went 2-0 up.
Brown now has eight assists for the campaign as Gerhard Struber’s side look to fight bravely against the threat of relegation.
CM- Chris Maguire (Sunderland)
Manager Phil Parkinson has come under pressure recently as Sunderland boss, yet he watched his side thrash previous table toppers Wycombe Wanders 4-0 at the Stadium of Light.
Forward Chris Maguire found himself on the scoresheet twice at the weekend, taking his tally to nine for the season. Sunderland now sit sixth in the table as the Black Cats look to find form that will lift them into the promotion battle.
RF- Famara Diedhiou (Bristol City)
Transfer rumours suggest Bristol City are in the market for a new striker, yet after viewing Famara Diedhiou’s performance this weekend, Lee Johnson may have more confidence in his current crop.
The forward assisted Jamie Paterson in the 77th minute before scoring himself in the 79th to give the Robins a 2-0 victory over relegation threatened Wigan Athletic. Diedhiou also won eight aerial duels and two tackles from his position up top as Bristol City continue their search for a top six finish.
CF- Luke Jephcott (Plymouth Argyle)
Striker Luke Jephcott was recalled this month from his loan spell at seventh tier side Truro City and was named in the Plymouth Argyle starting line-up this weekend away to Carlisle United. Jephcott repaid his mangers faith by opening the scoring after half an hour before adding a second in the 49th minute.
The Pilgrims are up to fifth in the table now after the match finished 0-3 to the visitors. Manager Ryan Lowe is looking for his second successive promotion from the division after guiding Bury to League One last season.
LF- Atdhe Nuhiu (Sheffield Wednesday)
Leeds United were knocked off the top of the Championship table this weekend, as Yorkshire neighbours Sheffield Wednesday stole all three points at Elland Road.
The game remained level until the 87th minute when substitute striker Atdhe Nuhiu played the ball through to Jacob Murphy who beat Kiko Casilla at his near post. Any hope of a late equaliser was quickly quashed by Wednesday as Nuhiu added a second for the Owls in the 93rd minute, sending his side into the Championship play-off places.