Thursday, August 16, 2018

Championship Review – Matchday 1

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Championship 7 Aug 2018

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Aston Villa went some way to put a turbulent summer behind them after coming from behind to thump Hull City 3-1 at the KCOM Stadium on Monday evening – the final match of the opening round of games in the Championship.

Evandro put the hosts in front after just seven minutes though Tommy Elphick equalised soon after before second half goals from former tiger Ahmed Elmohamady and Alan Hutton secured the points for Steve Bruce’s side.

Only Brentford are ahead of Villa in the table after writing the headlines on Saturday with a 5-1 destruction of Rotherham United while Leeds United impressed with a 3-1 win over Stoke City on Sunday.

Like the Potters, West Bromwich Albion did not have the immediate response to relegation that they would have wanted – losing 2-1 to Bolton Wanderers though Swansea City did get three points, coming from behind to beat Sheffield United in Saturday’s late kick-off.

It was a dream start for new Swans boss Graham Potter, who will be hoping his side can carry on nicely underneath the radar as they find their feet back in the second tier.

The build up leading to Oli McBurnie’s equaliser was reminiscent of the flowing football that became the South Wales’ side’s trademark during most of their stint in the top flight and you can currently back them at a price of 4/1 to be promoted.

Derby County are available at a similar price after getting this season’s Championship underway with a come-from-behind victory of their own at the Madejski Stadium.

After a goalless first half Jon Bodvarsson put Reading in front seven minutes into the restart though soon after debutant Mason Mount drew the Rams level with a strike manager Frank Lampard would have been proud of himself.

Tom Lawrence then bagged a stoppage time winner – queue scenes of ecstasy from Lampard ended the day with his side top of the league – albeit through a technicality.

Arguably the game of the weekend took place at the DW Stadium where Wigan Athletic held on to beat Sheffield Wednesday by three goals to two – the visitors ending the match with ten men as Atdhe Nuhiu was shown a second yellow card in stoppage time.

There was also a win for Preston North End and they are the only side in the division yet to concede after beating Queens Park Rangers by a goal to nil.

Middlesbrough left it late but came from two goals down to salvage a point from their trip to Millwall while it was also two-a-piece between Ipswich Town and Blackburn Rovers at Portman Road and between Birmingham City and Norwich City at St Andrews.

Finally, amidst a host of new signings it was veteran Republic of Ireland international Daryl Murphy who gave his Nottingham Forest side a share of the spoils at Bristol City.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Deke Hardman


Freelance football writer with a love of the game that goes back to the mid nineties when both his beloved Nottingham Forest and England had genuine hope of acheiving some level of success. A regular contributor to both SoccerNews.com and FreeBetting.com, Deke also dabbles in music journalism with his heart and head still stuck in the latter years of the twentieth century.

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