EFL: Bury's lack of Christmas spirit among five things you may have missed

Father Christmas
Father Christmas saw an entertaining draw between Fulham and Derby at Craven Cottage on Saturday

They say that Christmas is the time for charity but there are going to be a few football managers across the country wishing their players had not been quite so generous this year.

BBC Sport takes a look at five things you might have missed in the EFL on the last full match day before the festive season.

'Tis the season...

George Evans
George Evans joined Reading from Manchester City in the summer

There were six late winning goals in the Championship on Saturday, all with ramifications in the race for promotion and the bid to avoid relegation.

Brighton's Glenn Murray headed home in the fifth minute of stoppage time against Birmingham City to ensure the Seagulls will spend Christmas eight points clear of third-placed Reading.

Jaap Stam's men had looked like having to settle for a point at Blackburn before George Evans hit an injury-time winner to move them back up to third.

Yorkshire rivals Leeds and Sheffield Wednesday ensured they would spend Christmas in the top six thanks to winners in the 89th minute and stoppage time against Brentford and Rotherham respectively.

Meanwhile, 23rd-placed Wigan were set to take a point from their home game against Ipswich before David McGoldrick popped up with an 88th-minute winner for Mick McCarthy's men.

Match of the day in the second tier must go to Barnsley's 4-3 win at Cardiff. The Bluebirds led in the third minute before trailing 3-1 at half-time.

Peter Whittingham and Antony Pilkington's 89th-minute strike seemed to have given Neil Warnock's side an unlikely point but Ryan Williams scored in the fifth minute of injury time to make it a happy journey back to South Yorkshire for the Tykes.

Christmas miracles

Wes Brown
Wes Brown was making his first league start since 23 January

Well, maybe not quite miracles but it's probably fair to say neither Wes Brown nor Isaiah Osbourne would have been fancied by many to get on the scoresheet today.

Former Manchester United and Sunderland man Brown, 37, scored on his Blackburn Rovers debut to level the match against the Royals.

It counted for nothing in the end thanks to Reading's late winner but it was Brown's first goal since netting for Sunderland in December 2011.

Walsall midfielder Osbourne only had to wait a shade over three years to end his scoring drought.

The ex-Aston Villa player opened his account for the Saddlers to give them a point against Bradford City.

He'll probably be pleased this goal meant a little more than his last one which opened the scoring for Blackpool against Derby in December 2013. The Rams went on to win 5-1.

660 miles is very far

Yeovil fan
Yeovil fan Ryan enjoyed a pie and a pint thanks to the good nature of Yeovil's players and backroom staff

Yeovil boss Darren Way, assistant Terry Skiverton and the 18-strong match-day squad put £300 behind the bar at Carlisle as a 'thank you' to fans for making the long trek north.

"Special mention must go to the supporters because how far they've travelled to watch this game is unbelievable commitment," Way told BBC Somerset.

"This is beyond the end of the Earth. I just hope they feel that the players gave everything and they can be proud of their team."

Travelling Glovers fans certainly seemed appreciative as they tweeted the club with pictures of pies and pints.

Sadly for the 96 Yeovil fans who made the 660-mile round trip to Brunton Park, the hosts were not in such a generous mood, with the Cumbrians claiming a 2-1 win.

The 12 defeats of Christmas

Roll the clock back to 27 September and Bury are celebrating their sixth league win of the season and sit second in League One.

The following 16 games have brought a sum total of zero victories and the Shakers have slumped into the relegation zone.

David Flitcroft was sacked after presiding over seven consecutive league defeats but replacement Chris Brass, given the job until the end of the season on Thursday, has fared little better, losing his first five matches.

Bury twice took the lead at home to Oxford on Saturday but were pegged back on each occasion by a Chris Maguire free-kick before a Greg Leigh own goal gave the U's victory.

"We've got to dig in and fight a little bit harder than we are right now to keep the ball out of the net," Brass told BBC Radio Manchester.

Oxford United
Oxford United players celebrate their team's third goal at Bury

Exeter no longer home alone

It's been a tough start to the season for Exeter City and their match-going regulars.

Going into today's game against Mansfield, the Grecians had claimed a healthy seven wins away from home but were the only team in the EFL yet to taste success on their own turf.

Paul Tisdale's side ended their wait for a win at St James Park, which dated back to April, with a 2-0 win over the Stags thanks to a double from Ollie Watkins.

"I'm delighted," Tisdale told BBC Radio Devon. "It had to come at some point and we did it today. It was hard work and the boys have deserved it against a really strong team.

"They put us under pressure in the second half and in many respects outplayed us but we stuck to it and 2-0 is a great feeling."

Take part in our new Premier League Predictor game, which allows you to create leagues with friends.

Top Stories