The72 Football League Weekend Awards 2015/16 – Week 31
The games are running out fast in this season of the Football League and for some teams, the end has come.
We say farewell to York City, who were relegated from League Two this weekend while Colchester United and MK Dons will both be playing in a lower division next season. With that out of the way, here is this weekend’s award winners.
FANS OF THE WEEKEND: Barnsley
Local derbies always get a solid following, as do potential playoffs finishes, hence why 3,700 Barnsley fans made the short hop south to Sheffield as their side faced the Blades.
Unfortunately for that strong travelling faithful, there were no goals from either side to celebrate on this occasion. It was still a nice and fiery Yorkshire affair but the point is much more useful for the Tykes than it is for Sheffield United.
That draw actually saw Barnsley leap into the playoff places, one point ahead of Gillingham with two games to go. They’ll take all the support they can get in the final few games as they try to complete a great run that has seen them pull themselves from the relegation places all the way to the post-season, which will be a fantastic story.
GOAL OF THE WEEKEND: Barry Bannan – Sheffield Wednesday
Even though it was slightly against the run of play, what a goal this is from Barry Bannan in Sheffield Wednesday’s 1-1 draw against Derby County at Pride Park.
The little Scotsman found a little pocket of space in front of the Rams’ defence and unleashed one hell of a strike. The goalkeeper had no chance and while the Owls couldn’t hold on for the win, it was a good point against a potential playoff opponent.
Bannan has had a superb season and has really rediscovered his form after a few years of obscurity. It’s nice to be reminded of his ability and with strikes like these, he may yet help Wednesday make a return to the Premier League.
MOMENT OF THE WEEKEND: Danny Philliskirk’s offside goal
Just how costly could one small mistake be? In a derby match against Fleetwood Town that also has relegation implications, Blackpool looked to have put themselves in front.
Jim McAlister had beaten the goalkeeper with the strike and the ball was slowly heading towards the goal, only for Danny Philliskirk seeing his name up in lights and sliding it home just to make sure. Only, he was in an offside position and the potential goal was ruled out because of his interference.
We always say that seasons are not decided by one moment but as the game finished 0-0, a vital three points were missed. With the Seasiders still two points behind their rivals, this may be something fans look back on if the Tangerines are relegated to League Two.
GAME OF THE WEEKEND: Hull City 2-2 Leeds United
Another game that means precious little at this stage of the season but another that was full of excitement, drama and giving all those fans exactly what they paid to see.
Leeds went ahead through Chris Wood, who has been in prolific form recently, before goals from Abel Hernandez and Tom Huddlestone put the Tigers ahead. Steve Bruce’s men looked to have sealed a win that kept them in the automatic hunt, if only just, but Stuart Dallas snatched an equaliser in the final few minutes.
Hull can still look forward to the playoffs but they need to pick up some steam before the post-season if they want to compete. Leeds stay stable in mid-table, with recent results looking like they may just keep Steve Evans for next season but unfortunately for the fans, it looks likely that Massimo Cellino will be there too.
YOUNG PLAYER OF THE WEEKEND: Josh Windass – Accrington Stanley
It shouldn’t be a surprise that Josh Windass gets the award again, he’s had a fabulous season and was key in Accrington’s 3-0 win that saw York City relegated in the process.
The young forward was so influential again as he scored twice, once from the spot, to give his side a vital three points that sees them remain in second with two games to go. They need to keep winning, as Bristol Rovers are just two points behind them but Stanley are closer than they have ever been to League One.
It will be a shame to miss out on a player of Windass’ talent next season, especially if they do achieve promotion, but they will be thankful of the help he has given them this campaign. We all wish him the best in Scotland with Rangers but at the same time, we will miss all of his exploits that have lit up League Two this season.
PLAYER OF THE WEEKEND: Lucas Akins – Burton Albion
Just when the Brewers were wobbling, a great result against a struggling side puts them on the brink of being promoted to the Championship for the first time in their history.
That was thanks to an excellent hat-trick from wide man Lucas Akins, who notched his first just before half time. A top strike from range gave him his second before he sealed the victory with a clever third after cutting inside from the right.
He was a constant danger and punished a Colchester side that were reduced to ten men early on. It condemned the U’s to League Two but take nothing away from Akins and Burton, they are potentially another win away from the second tier of English football.
TEAM OF THE WEEKEND: Bradford City
Talk about hitting form at the right time, Bradford City have been on a great run and it’s culminated in a terrific 4-0 win over Walsall, who they may yet see in the playoffs if the current positions stay the same.
James Hanson was the real focal point of the Bantam’s attack as the big forward grabbed a hat-trick after Filipe Morais gave them the lead just after half time. It was a barnstorming performance that baboozled their visitors, who have slipped in recent weeks.
Phil Parkinson’s men have lost just twice in their last ten games, lifting them into fifth and seemingly in a comfortable spot within the playoff places. One more win should be enough to see them make the post-season and they will be a side no one will want to face in this kind of form.