One result aside, fans of East Midlands clubs enjoyed a superb week in the football league with three of the four sides winning and climbing the table. Leicester City moved to the summit of The Championship following an emphatic home win against Millwall, whilst Derby continued their resurgence by picking up three points at the DW Stadium against Wigan. In League Two Burton also collected three points on the road against Plymouth. The only sour note of the weekend was Nottingham Forest losing to playoff rivals Reading at home.
This week’s roundup starts at The King Power Stadium, where Leicester City ran out comfortable 3-0 winners over lowly Millwall to move to the top of the league. Lloyd Dyer opened the scoring after only 12 minutes, finishing a lovely, flowing move from the home side, before a double from former Fleetwood man Jamie Vardy made for a comfortable last half hour for the home supporters. Nigel Pearson’s men have done a good job at making their home a fortress, losing only one whilst winning seven. With other teams dropping points it was vital The Foxes picked up maximum points to gain an advantage in the race for automatic promotion.
Meanwhile in the Championship, Derby County moved into the playoff places following a superb 3-1 victory against Wigan Athletic. Steve Mclaren’s men dominated from the outset and found themselves three up before the half hour mark. Craig Bryson opened the scoring after only three minutes, before Simon Dawkins and a Chris Martin penalty put the game beyond The Latics. Despite a Nick Powell consolation, The Rams were never in danger of dropping points and picked up their sixth away of the season to move into 5th place and right into the playoff mix.
In the Friday night kick off, Forest could not capitalise on the chance to strike an early psychological blow on playoff rivals Reading, losing 3-2 at home to The Royals. Forest found themselves behind in as early as the 8th minute when Pogrebnyak poked the away side in front. Only 5 minutes later Reading were 2 up, this time former Wolves loanee Kaspar Gorkss on target. The home fans did then have something to cheer as their side produced a stirring comeback to be level by the hour through goals from Cox and Henderson. However, with both sides looking for a winner, Jordan Obita claimed all 3 points for Reading, a result which saw them leapfrog Billy Davies’ charges. The misery for Forest fans was compounded with Derby’s win which saw them fall behind their arch rivals in the table.
Last but not least, Burton Albion won their third game on the spin to leave them only a point off Oxford in top spot. Adam McGurk’s early goal was enough to ensure Albion would end Plymouth’s 8 game unbeaten run. With The Brewers now not having conceded in over 300 minutes of football, the foundations seem there for a real crack at promotion. The table is currently so tight a few more wins could see Burton heading the division in the near future.
With all four sides at the right end of their respective leagues, it promises to be an exciting few months for all fans of East Midland’s football and May could see a few promotion parties in the area.