In the fifth round of Championship games there were emphatic victories, upturns in fortune and a worrying continuation of poor form.
Here are four talking points from Saturday’s games:
The tide turns (and other water-related puns):
After Charlton Athletic’s match against Doncaster was called off last weekend due to a water-logged pitch, their next outing at the Valley was a far happier affair.
The Addicks recorded their first league victory of the season with an impressive 2-1 win over Leicester City. And it was a case of Foxes’ old boys returning to haunt them, as their previous players Michael Morrison and Yann Kermorgant got on the score sheet and another former Leicester man, Chris Powell, oversaw the win.
There was time for water to have an impact for the second week running – Leicester’s Danny Drinkwater, that is. But his 62nd-minute strike wasn’t enough to prevent Charlton from securing a much-needed three points.
All Rhodes point to success:
Okay, so maybe I am overdoing the word-play today, but Blackburn Rovers’ Jordan Rhodes put in another fine performance in his side’s 4-1 win over Bolton Wanderers. The striker’s two goals certainly weren’t the pick of the four, but he was a constant threat and is vital to any success Rovers hope to achieve.
An outstanding solo effort from David Dunn, and a cracking (if deflected) volley from Corry Evans were the highlights in a game that was not as one-sided as the score-line suggests.
Bolton had plenty of opportunities and could have scored far more than the one effort from Alex Baptiste – who showed his strikers how to do it with a fine take and shot into the far corner.
That said, as Blackburn begin to look very much like a side ready to challenge for promotion, Bolton have to turn the corner…and soon.
A nervous 24 hours for Blackpool:
This has nothing to do with their performance on Saturday and everything to do with the future of their star player Tom Ince.
The 21-year-old made the difference in a match Blackpool had no right to win given their injury crisis and Watford’s pressure. And yet their togetherness is proving to be something of a superpower in the early weeks of the season, as they rode the Hornets’ storm and ultimately triumphed following a fantastic run and finish from substitute Ince.
Now top of the Championship, Blackpool are proving that football is far more about collective effort than inflated salaries. Hopefully Ince feels the same.
The Latics prove pre-season promise:
The previously undefeated Nottingham Forest slipped from first to fourth yesterday, following their 2-1 defeat at Wigan Athletic.
The away team took the lead through an Andy Reid free-kick, before succumbing to strikes from Shaun Maloney and Jordi Gomez.
The first was a penalty that owed much to the tricky feet of Marc-Antoine Fortune, while the second followed an outstanding effort from the same player that hit the post and rebounded to the Spaniard.
Many people’s tip for the title this year, Wigan are starting to look exactly that.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald