Peterborough go goal crazy, Southampton and Derby win again, Kevin Phillips can’t stop scoring and Leeds deny West Ham. All these and more are featured in TheHardTackle’s Top 6 highlights from Round 4 of the Championship.
1. Posh hit Magnificent Seven
Performance of the weekend must go to Peterborough United, who destroyed visitors Ipswich Town 7-1. After scoring over 100 goals last season as they gained promotion to The Championship via the Play-Offs, many thought Posh would struggle. Saturday’s result will go a long way to probing the doubters wrong.
Keith Andrews terrific 23rd minute goal gave Ipswich the lead, but that was as good as it got for the Tractor Boys. Seven minutes later, Posh were level when Paul Taylor, on his League debut, scored from 20 yards.
A devastating period before half-time saw 2 goals from striker Lee Tomlin and another Taylor strike put Peterborough 4-1 up. Ipswich’s misery was made worse when Lee Martin was given his marching orders for a reckless challenge.
After the break, Tommy Smith became the second Ipswich player to be sent-off after bringing down Tomlin. With gaps appearing all other the pitch, Peterborough took advantage by going on to score another three through a Grant McCann brace and Tomlin’s hat-trick goal.
2. Saints and Derby go marching on
Southampton and Derby County both continued their great starts.
When Southampton scored early through Guly Do Prado at home to Millwall, it looked like the free-scoring Saints would hit top form again. However, Millwall themselves have made a decent start this season and put up a brave fight, although the Saints did hold on for victory.
Derby found it a whole lot easier at home to Doncaster Rovers. Nigel Clough’s men took the lead after only six minutes through veteran campaigner Kevin Kilbane. Steve Davies bagged his third of the season shortly after half-time, with namesake Ben Davies wrapping it up with half an hour to go.
3. Super Kev halts new boys
Brighton were the other team to go into the weekend with a 100% record.
Entertaining Blackpool at the Amex Stadium, the Seagulls took the lead through Craig Mackail-Smith after 29 minutes. When Ashley Barnes made it two 5 minutes into the second-half, a fourth successive win looked on the cards.
Then stepped forward Kevin Phillips. The veteran striker reduced the deficit on the hour, nodding home Neal Eardley’s perfect cross. Then, in the last minute, a Blackpool corner fell invitingly for Phillips to volley home the equaliser. It was his fourth goal in four games for the Seasiders, proving that even at aged 38, Phillips is still one of the most potent strikers in the division.
As well as the draw at Brighton, the Championship weekend saw another 5 draws, as half the games resulted in points shared.
Bristol City and Portsmouth played out a goalless draw, whilst the battle of two of the bottom sides Coventry City and Watford also produced no goals.
Burnley took the lead at home to Cardiff City through Charlie Austin, before Robert Earnshaw grabbed a point for the Bluebirds.
The battle of the ex-England managers saw Sven-Goran Eriksson’s Leicester City take a 2-0 lead against Midlands rivals Nottingham Forest. However, Steve McClaren’s men never gave up. Lewis McGugan scored a penalty, then Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel received his marching orders. The pressure mounted and finally paid off, with George Boateng equalising deep into stoppage time.
On Sunday, West Ham hosted Leeds United. Carlton Cole gave the Hammers the perfect start after only 2 minutes. Leeds should have equalised when Max Gradel missed a spot-kick.
The Whites did level though through Ross McCormack in the 59th minute, only for Patrick Kisnorbo to score an own goal 2 minutes later to put West Ham 2-1 up. Leeds keeper Andy Lonergan produced some outstanding saves as the home side looked for a third. It never came and they were made to pay, as the last minute saw Leeds midfielder Adam Clayton smash home an equaliser.
5. Reading in a spot of bother
Reading remarkably missed two penalties as they suffered a 2-1 home defeat to Barnsley. Luke Steele was the Tykes hero as he first saved from normally reliable Ian Harte, then did the same when Reading striker Noel Hunt stepped up. Goals from Stephen Foster and Matt Done put the visitors two-up before Hal Robson-Kanu converted a third Reading spot-kick. The win is Barnsley’s first under new manager Keith Hill.
6. Palace on a roll
After an opening day defeat to Peterborough United, Saturday’s 1-0 win at Hull gave Crystal Palace their third win on the bounce.
An own goal from Hull defender James Chester was enough for Dougie Freedman’s men to move into 4th place in the league, a position which seemed unlikely following last year’s struggles.
As for the home side, Hull mounted plenty of pressure but lacked a cutting edge. Amongst the favourites for promotion, the Tigers have now lost 3 out of their first 4 games.
Round 4 results:
Brighton and Hove Albion 2-2 Blackpool
Bristol City 0-0 Portsmouth
Burnley 1-1 Cardiff City
Coventry City 0-0 Watford
Derby County 3-0 Doncaster Rovers
Hull 0-1 Crystal Palace
Middlesbrough 3-1 Birmingham City
Nottingham Forest 2-2 Leicester City
Peterborough United 7-1 Ipswich Town
Reading 1-2 Barnsley
Southampton 1-0 Millwall
West Ham United 2-2 Leeds United