In the twelve Championship games yesterday there were thirty goals and eleven clean sheets. The bottom three are all now level on points and just nine points separate the bottom seven teams. Find out who made the team of the week here.
In goal this week is Doncaster keeper Sam Johnstone. After shipping five goals at Bournemouth a fortnight ago the young Man United loanee has responded exceptionally. He helped Doncaster to a great point away at Nottingham Forest to back up their 2-0 win over Huddersfield last week and 2-1 win at the Keepmoat over Watford in midweek making it seven points from nine. Johnstone made a number of fine saves with the pick of the bunch coming late on when he denied Majewski’s powerful volley from long range.
A back three this week featuring Doncaster’s Paul Quinn, Leicester’s Wes Morgan and Bournemouth’s Ian Harte. Quinn was a rock at the back for Doncaster as they battled hard to hold Notts Forest to a 0-0 draw at the City Ground. The Scotsman marshalled his man all game and provided composure at the back as Doncaster stretched their unbeaten run to 3 games. Morgan has been an outstanding performer all season for the Foxes as they creep ever nearer to promotion and the Championship title. They went 1-0 down against the run of play, but Morgan and his team-mates remained calm fighting back to run out 3-1 winners with Morgan netting the decisive second. Harte has stepped into the Bournemouth team in recent weeks with first choice left back Charlie Daniels out injured and made the position his own. His experience and determination has helped the Cherries in their recent unbeaten run. Another assured performance made it four clean sheets in a row and his deadly delivery nearly led to a winner on several occasions.
A midfield diamond with plenty of creativity this week. At the base of the diamond we have Q.P.R’s loan man Ravel Morrison, on the flanks we have Wigan’s James McClean and Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez, whilst Burnley’s Scott Arfield is at the point of the diamond. Morrison has hit the ground running at Loftus Road making it four goals in a week with another brace against Yeovil. He has given the Rangers squad renewed energy going into the final couple of months and his creativity is just what they need if they are going to stand any chance of hunting down Burnley. His opener came after several feints bought him space on the edge of the area before unleashing a shot that cannoned in off the post. His second came late on slotting home a simple finish after a smart ball by Kranjcar. McClean is finding his best form just at the right time for Wigan as they secured their place in the top six at Ipswich. The Irish winger scored the two key goals in the game bringing the Latics back on level terms in the first half and then snatching the lead with just over ten minutes to go. Wigan have now won their last eight league games as well as reaching the FA Cup semi finals. Mahrez has had little game time since joining in January, but played a key role in Leicester’s 3-1 win over Blackpool. The French winger got the equaliser in the second half with a stunning effort from 20 yards, before setting the ball up on a plate for Wes Morgan to head home to complete the turnaround. Arfield has been a great provider for Burnley this season, but he became the scorer in their 2-1 win over Leeds. With the game level at the interval Burnley came out in the second half and took control which eventually led to Arfield firing home a sweet strike from a Ben Mee cross, after Jason Pearce had put through his own net in the first half.
The front three this week managed an impressive seven goals between them. The forward line is made up of Sheffield Wednesday’s Caolan Lavery, Blackburn’s Jordan Rhodes and Brighton’s Will Buckley. Lavery is an exciting young talent for Wednesday and made the most of being given a starting berth against Birmingham. He converted a Kieran Lee Cross midway through the first half to give Wednesday the lead. Lavery then rounded off a fine performance with his second and Wednesday’s forth finishing off a intelligent ball by Chris Maguire. Rhodes returned to the goals in some style in the six goal thriller at Huddersfield. The former Terrier opened the scoring within four minutes racing onto a flick on and then finishing in style. His second came after half time with a great header and he put the game to bed late on racing onto a loose ball, once again finishing with ease. A great hat-trick for the talented Scot who now has twenty league goals this season. Buckley has been a welcome addition coming back from injury in recent weeks and his brace away at Bolton gave Brighton back-to-back away wins for only the second time this season. His first came when a great cross from Leonardo Ulloa picked him out, allowing him to fire a shot from close ranger which was saved, but he converted the rebound. The second came when he latched onto a mistake by Medo Kamara allowing him to curl the ball past the onrushing Bogdan in the Bolton goal.
The star man in this week’s side is Caolan Lavery. The young forward showed the qualities of a man much older than his years. He provided Wednesday with energy up front and was a constant threat to the Birmingham defence. His two goals were the least he deserved from a great performance.