EFL: Amazing runs, late, late goals and the veteran striker's late birthday brace

By Brent PilnickBBC Sport
Plymouth Argyle celebrate scoring against Bradford City
Celebrations are commonplace at Plymouth Argyle right now - 11 wins from the past 15 has seen them go from bottom of League One to the play-off places

They say you should never give up, and few rounds of games in the English Football League have epitomised that more than Saturday's.

There were winning penalties after more than 100 minutes of action, a side who have gone from the bottom of the table to the play-off places and a striker celebrating his 39th birthday with two goals.

BBC Sport brings you those and other things you may have missed from the EFL this week.

Pilgrims' stunning progress

Plymouth Argyle manager Derek Adams
No manager in the top four divisions of English football has won more games than the 66 of Derek Adams since the start of the 2015-16 season

Roll back three months and Plymouth Argyle fans were a worried bunch - their side had won promotion from League Two in May, but they were bottom of League One and had just been knocked out of the FA Cup by Bradford City.

Since then, though, they have won 11 out of 15 games and lost just once - a 3-1 defeat by high-flying Wigan Athletic, who recently knocked Manchester City out of the FA Cup.

Leading sides Blackburn Rovers and Shrewsbury Town are among those to fall victim to Derek Adams' resurgent side during their current run.

After a four-day training camp in Spain earlier in the week the Pilgrims' latest win was a 1-0 victory over Bradford - that side that dumped them out of the FA Cup.

The three points, allied to Charlton's loss at home to second-placed Shrewsbury, moved them into the final play-off place.

"We've got 11 games to go and we want to see how many points we can pick up between now and then," Adams told BBC Radio Devon.

"The players have shown a great willingness to win football matches and we've had a lot of injuries and suspensions to overcome and put ourselves on a very good run."

Are the Cod Army about to march again?

John Sheridan
John Sheridan has managed 555 games in the EFL

The man Adams replaced at Argyle - John Sheridan - began a fifth managerial job since leaving Home Park as he took charge of struggling Fleetwood Town for the first time.

While few sides have a better recent record at present than Argyle, no side had a worse one than Fleetwood going into Saturday's visit of MK Dons.

There did not seem to be any new manager bounce after the Cod Army went behind after just 20 minutes.

But Ashley Hunter's equaliser ended an eight-game losing streak and kept Fleetwood a point and a place above the relegation zone.

The latest of late goals

Doncaster manager Darren Ferguson
His father may have had the term 'Fergie-time' named after him, but Doncaster boss Darren Ferguson was on the wrong end of two very late goals at Rotherham United

Despite Argyle's great run, they do not have the best form in the EFL - that honour belongs to Rotherham United.

But with 90 minutes on the clock at the New York Stadium, the Millers were a goal down to local rivals Doncaster Rovers.

However, lengthy injuries to Rovers' Tom Anderson and Alfie Beestin meant there were 13 - yes, 13 - minutes of stoppage time, and it certainly proved an unlucky number for Darren Ferguson's side.

Michael Smith headed Rotherham level in the 93rd minute and 10 minutes later he was fouled in the box and Joe Newell held his nerve to net the resulting penalty with what was the final kick of the game.

"It's testament to the lads, they keep running and chasing for every ball and that's all I ask them to do every week," Rotherham boss Paul Warne told BBC Radio Sheffield.

"To perform like that for us makes us all really proud, we don't know when we're beaten, we've won 11 in 14 and three draws."

Sunderland stay bottom after thriller

Jake Clarke-Salter fouls Adama Traore
There were few complaints over the red card given to Sunderland's Jake Clarke-Salter after he almost sent Adama Traore into orbit

"That type of mentality where we're never going to give in and we're never going to stop, that's all we can bring."

The words of Sunderland manager Chris Coleman after a thrilling 3-3 draw with nearest Championship neighbours Middlesbrough.

Sunderland have been a byword for calamity in the past few months - less than a year after finishing bottom of the top flight they are adrift at the bottom of the second tier and their owner is thinking of giving the club away.

But if every game was like Saturday's, whoever takes him up on the offer will at least be able to promise entertainment.

It was a game that had everything - an early goal followed by a sending off for each side and a second half that will live long in the memory.

Boro went 2-1 up, Sunderland equaliser. Boro went ahead again before Callum McManaman, the player once tipped for the top when he was named man of the match when Wigan beat Manchester City in the 2013 FA Cup final, scored his first goal in more than three years to snatch a point in the 96th minute.

They may still be lying in the Championship's gutter, but perhaps Sunderland are now looking at the stars rather than the floor.

Evergreen Ellison leads strugglers' revival

Kevin Ellison on Twitter

The day after most 39-year-olds celebrate their birthday is often spent either nursing a hangover or writing a bucket list of things they must do before they hit the big 4-0.

But Kevin Ellison is not an average 39-year-old - the former Altrincham, Leicester, Stockport, Lincoln, Chester, Hull, Tranmere, Rotherham and Bradford forward has been plying his trade at Morecambe since 2011.

He averages 11 goals a season for the Lancashire side and on Saturday he celebrated the start of his final year in his 30s with two goals as Morecambe, who started the day third-from-bottom, got a surprise 4-2 win at promotion-chasing Wycombe.

And the Shrimps needed the victory - all of the bottom five sides in League Two at the start of the day were victorious.

Barnet earned just their second win since Christmas at Colchester, second-from-bottom Chesterfield ended a four-game losing run at home to Swindon, while Crewe won at Lincoln and Forest Green beat Crawley.

The Bees and Spireites are still propping up the rest, but Port Vale and Grimsby slip into the bottom five after failing to win.

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