The festive schedule shows no sign of relenting, well for us at least as we are one of the few teams that so far haven’t been involved in a fixture with one of the teams that has become infected with Covid 19, well that was until the Rochdale team succumbed yesterday meaning our game on January 2nd is now postponed.
One thing I can tell you this week in case you missed a small paragraph in one of the national newspapers is one of the teams in the EFL is being investigated closely regarding the circumstances that Covid got into their training camp. There are a number of protocols that clubs have had to follow in order to comply with EFL directives, and in the last week or so they have been beefed up even more since the introduction of the Tier 4 rules.
It appears that a number of these directives have been breached by this club, more than one player to a room on an overnight stay, allowing a third party to travel on the matchday coach, and not using two coaches on matchday to transport players. Whilst these investigations are unlikely to recommend that the club in question forfeits the games postponed, they are likely to get a severe reprimand reminding them of their responsibilities in sticking to the rules.
For this round of fixtures, we have 7 games lost because of Covid 19, with the following not going ahead.
Peterborough v Charlton, Accrington Stanley v Sunderland, Bristol Rovers v Portsmouth, Fleetwood v Doncaster, Hull City v Lincoln City, Rochdale v Crewe, and AFCW v Ipswich Town.
BURTON 3 WIGAN 4
Bottom two clubs Albion and Athletic shared in a seven-goal thriller, but it took a monster effort for Wigan as on three occasions they found themselves behind. Albion went in front after a neat corner routine that saw ex Cobbler John-Joe O’Toole power his header home. Six minutes later Joseph scored for Wigan from their own set piece move, the first of what was to prove a memorable night for the Wigan frontman. John Brayford then scored for the home side but once again Joseph was on hand to restore parity. Kane Hemmings gave Burton the lead for the third time seizing on a loose ball in the box, but just a minute later Joseph completed his hat trick as he superbly redirected a cross past the Burton keeper. With less than ten minutes to go Wigan took the lead via a Will Keane header and in turn the three points in this breathless encounter.
NORTHAMPTON 3 GILLINGHAM 1
A much-needed win for the Cobblers after back-to-back 4-0 defeats that eases their relegation concerns and stops that losing run that was dragging them down. Sam Hoskins converted a spot kick on the half hour after Ogilvie totally mistimed his challenge on Rose. The Cobblers then extended their lead to two when Rose reacted first to a parried Ashley Seal effort. With halftime beckoning the Gills had a free kick some 25 yards out, up stepped the Gillingham skipper Kyle Dempsey who bent the ball into the back of the net to give them some second half hope, but that was quickly squashed just two minutes after the restart when Sheehan put in what seemed like a harmless cross and it evaded everyone and into the back of the net.
PLYMOUTH 2 OXFORD 3
Oxford were another team to take advantage of all the cancellations and ease themselves clear of the relegation spots, that’s the O’s unbeaten in 5 games now and three wins on the bounce. Oxford though had to do it the hard way falling behind to a Panutche Camara goal hammered home into the roof of the net from just inside the box. On the half hour mark it was all square following a James Henry teasing cross that Josh Ruffels got to first forcing the ball home under the Pilgrims keeper. The turnaround was complete when the Argyle defence was undone by some great wing play from sub Sean Clare and his near post cross, was diverted home by Sam Long. The game looked to be dead and buried when Oxford made it 3-1 when Shodipo was fouled in the box and picked himself up to convert, but Argyle roared back to make it a nervy few minutes for Robbo’s lads when Jephcott responded with a penalty of his own, but in the end Oxford held firm to take the points.
SHREWSBURY 1 BLACKPOOL 0
The Shrews eased themselves away from the bottom four making that 6 games unbeaten, the victory coming against another in form team in the shape of the Seasiders, this being their first defeat in 6 games, Daniel Udoh scoring the only goal of the game in the first half for Shrewsbury to lift them up to 16th.