If you were pressed on who the most-worked goalkeeper in the Championship was over the weekend, you would probably scan the results and plump for one on the receiving end of a bit of a hiding.
Seems logical enough, with that train of thought putting Nottingham Forest’s Karl Darlow and Rotherham United’s Adam Collin in the mix after both suffering 3-0 defeats.
You would, though, be wrong.
Maybe Wigan Athletic’s Scott Carson or Fulham’s Marcus Bettinelli top the charts following a 3-3 draw at the DW Stadium? Surely Bournemouth’s Artur Boruc and Brighton & Hove Albion’s Ali Al Habsi figure after a five-goal thriller on the south coast?
Bettinelli does make it into the top three, but he was well beaten by this week’s number one.
Intriguingly enough, given that his side swept aside Forest at the John Smith’s Stadium, the busiest second tier shot-stopper in the latest round of fixtures was Huddersfield Town’s Alex Smithies.
|Alex Smithies||GK||Huddersfield||Huddersfield vs Forest||8||90|
|Darren Randolph||GK||Birmingham||Wolves vs Birmingham||6||90|
|Marcus Bettinelli||GK||Fulham||Wigan vs Fulham||5||90|
|Bartosz Bialkowski||GK||Ipswich||Blackpool vs Ipswich||4||90|
|David Forde||GK||Millwall||Watford vs Millwall||4||90|
|Andy Lonergan||GK||Bolton||Norwich vs Bolton||4||90|
|Stephen Henderson||GK||Charlton||Charlton vs Sheff Wed||3||90|
|Carl Ikeme||GK||Wolves||Wolves vs Birmingham||3||90|
|David Marshall||GK||Cardiff||Cardiff vs Leeds||3||90|
|Keiren Westwood||GK||Sheff Wed||Charlton vs Sheff Wed||3||90|
Smithies repelled all eight of Forest’s shots on target on Saturday, with another 16 flying past the frame of his goal as the misfiring Reds drew another blank in West Yorkshire.
Birmingham City’s Darren Randolph impressed as Gary Rowett’s reign at St Andrew’s got off to a promising start with a goalless draw with derby rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers, with Carl Ikeme also impressing at the opposite end of the field.
Millwall’s David Forde and Bolton Wanderers’ Andy Longeran saw their efforts count for little as they suffered setbacks at Watford and Norwich City respectively, while Bartosz Bialkowski is another of those to have been called into action more than you would have expected as he kept a clean sheet in a 2-0 win for Ipswich Town at rock-bottom Blackpool.