There were some real coupon busters in yesterday’s results. The stand out performers have to be Doncaster and Yeovil. Rovers managed to score twice past Harry Redknapp’s water tight QPR to win 2-1, whilst Yeovil battled hard to a historic 3-0 away win at Watford. But who made the72 Championship team of the week? Find out here.
Shay Given – Middlesbrough – It was Given’s first competitive game since playing against Millwall in the FA cup for Aston Villa in January but it would have been difficult to notice. Given slotted straight into his new side, signing in the loan window, and helping new manager Aitor Karanka to his first victory as Boro boss and his Riverside debut. His experience showed and he made routine work of all of Bolton’s efforts at goal earning him a well earned clean sheet in the process, especially tidying up after a short back pass from Leadbitter.
Paul Caddis – Birmingham City – If you had asked Blues manager Lee Clark who he would expect to score for his side Paul Caddis would not have been one of the names to roll of the tongue. Well, right back Caddis did even better than that netting a brace for his side as they showed class on the road to sweep aside Barnsley. Barnsley did mount a fightback, but Caddis and his fellow defenders were comfortable. Barnsley boss David Flitcroft was subesquently relieved of his duties several hours after the final whistle.
Byron Webster – Yeovil Town – The majority of the footballing community, myself included, would have seen Watford v Yeovil as a home banker. However, the Yeovil players thought otherwise and Webster was a prime example, throwing himself into tackles and determined not to give an inch to his opponents. After a forty minute bombardment on their box, Webster seized the opportunity of a rare corner to rise and head Yeovil into the lead just before the break. More pressure in the second half, but Webster and co dealt with everything that was thrown at them and countered twice more to earn a rare away win.
Tommy Spurr – Blackburn Rovers – The meeting between Blackburn and Leeds at Ewood park was one of the toughest games to call of the weekend with a single goal always looking likely to make the difference and that was the case. A scrappy first half came to the boil just before the break and in injury time Spurr slotted the ball home from a corner to give Rovers the lead. His first goal for Blackburn was the winner as he helped his side to fend off a late surge from Leeds from a succession of corners in the closing moments.
Tommy Smith – Ipswich Town – A quick start from Ipswich set the game up to be an end to end affair after Smith headed home in the 5th minute but it wasn’t the case. Charlton have struggled to score goals all season and they were limited in the game by the efficient and robust Ipswich defence.
Matt Ritchie – Bournemouth – In his first start of the season fans would have been happy for Ritchie to be in and out of the game and show glimpses of his talent as he returns to full fitness. What they got was something rather different. From the opening minutes it was clear Ritchie was going to pick up where he left off at the end of last season. His slide rule passing and lethal delivery caused Brighton problems all day. His performance culminated in the 29th minute when he smashed home from twenty-five yards leaving the keeper rooted to the ground.
Adam Clayton – Huddersfield Town – The battle of the midfield was going to be vital in the match between the Yorkshire and Lancashire sides at the Galpharm. Adam Clayton rose to the occasion and seized the initiative for Huddersfield from the first whistle to the last. The talented Mancunian used his full range of passes pulling his opponents this way and that tormenting the Burnley defence. Throughout the game Clayton controlled the tempo making Burnley look far from promotion contenders on the day.
Grant Leadbitter – Middlesbrough – Much like Clayton, Leadbitter was at the heartbeat of all that was good for his side in Aitor Karanka’s first home game in charge. Throughout a game of few chances Boro had the better of them, but the game really came to the boil in the final ten minutes. The responsibility fell to Leadbitter to try and slot home a penalty which had been awarded after Tim Ream fouled Marvin Emnes. Leadbitter confidently scored from the spot and despite Bolton also having an attempt to equalise from the spot Beckford blazed over to give Karanka a first win.
David Dunn – Blackburn Rovers – Dunn may have notched up over 150 appearances for Rovers since joining in 2007 but he is still playing some great creative play at the ripe old age of 33. Blackburn were lacking in attacking creative in their edgy match with Leeds, however Dunn continued to pick up the ball and drive with purpose at his man causing all sorts of problems. Dunn is well known for his crossing ability on the run and from set piece situations and his corner set up Spurr to steer home what turned out to be the winner for Blackburn.
Jamie Vardy – Leicester City – If Nugent don’t got you Vardy will. Well at least that is how opposing managers must feel when looking over the VT of playing Leicester. It was the latter’s turn to torture his opponents at the King Power. The strikers brace came in the space of two minutes early on in the second half putting the game to bed. Up to that point the home side were in control in terms of possession if not the scoreline. The two goals take his tally to six in the league and saw his side rise to summit of the table opening up a three point gap over rivals Burnley and QPR who both dropped points.
Theo Robinson – Doncaster Rovers – Paul Dickov has made it clear that if Doncaster are going to stay up this year they have got to make the Keepmoat a fortress and score more goals. Theo Robinson helped tick both of those boxes against promotion favourites QPR. Donny trailed through a Charlie Austin strike but following an inspired half time team talk Robinson curled what seemed to be a cross passed Rob Green in the Rangers goal. Following that, QPR were on the back foot and Robinson provided his side with a real threat at goal and they got there reward when Paul Quinn headed a late late winner.