EFL: A 12-hour away day round trip and other things you may have missed

Aiden McGeady (centre) scored twice as Sunderland beat Plymouth Argyle to move second in League One
Aiden McGeady (centre) scored twice as Sunderland beat Plymouth Argyle to move second in League One

A whopping 12-hour round trip of an away day, an afternoon to forget for one goalkeeper and an inspired comeback contributed to another entertaining day across the English Football League.

With Aston Villa beating Bolton Wanderers on Friday night to get the weekend's games under way, there was plenty to enjoy as another Saturday rolled around.

Here are some of the things you may have missed on a day which saw Norwich top the Championship and just eight points separate the top half of the second tier.

An afternoon to forget

Chris Maxwell receives his second yellow card of the afternoon and is sent off by referee Andy Woolmer
Preston goalkeeper Chris Maxwell had never been sent off...until Saturday's draw with Ipswich

Paul Lambert's first game in charge of Ipswich Town was eventful to say the least, but it wasn't the former Norwich City boss causing the drama.

In their 1-1 draw against fellow Championship strugglers Preston, visiting goalkeeper Chris Maxwell had an afternoon to forget.

First, he brought down Jordan Roberts just before half-time to give away a penalty that Freddie Sears easily dispatched.

Then, with all three substitutes made, North End striker Paul Gallagher was forced to take Maxwell's place in goal just minutes after scoring an equaliser when the keeper picked up a second yellow card and was sent off.

Fortunately for Gallagher, bottom side Ipswich could not find a way past him in the final 15 minutes and additional time, with both sides sharing the points.

"I used to play as a keeper when I was a kid and did goalkeeper training at Blackburn's academy, so I was confident and wanted to have a go," Gallagher told BBC Radio Lancashire.

"It was nice to score and then to go in net and make a save - I was loving it to be honest, I really enjoyed myself. I said to the goalkeeper coach at the end, 'see you on Monday' and asked what time we are starting?"

Nothing like a bit of confidence.

An incredibly long away day

Just the 12-hour round trip for Sunderland's travelling supporters on Saturday..
Just the 12-hour round trip for Sunderland's travelling supporters on Saturday..

As far as away days go, this one will take some beating.

A six-hour, 406-mile trip from Sunderland to Plymouth is not for the faint of heart, but 1,305 Mackems fans braved the trip south.

Fortunately for the travelling support, it was all worth it as Aiden McGeady twice found the net as Sunderland beat lowly Plymouth Argyle.

The Black Cats made it six consecutive wins in all competitions and moved up to second in the League One table.

"The last few seasons have been tough for the club and fans, but hopefully we can help them fall in love again," defender Jack Baldwin said after the match.

"Selling out this away day is remarkable. As long as we can keep doing our job on the pitch for the fans we can make it worthwhile for them."

Now that is a happy, if very, very long, trip home.

Milestones a long time coming

Both Michael Dawson and Tom Huddlestone took a while to bring up their centuries
Both Michael Dawson and Tom Huddlestone took a while to bring up their centuries

Former England captain Alastair Cook is well known for centuries but his don't normally take 16 years to register.

However, in the East Midlands there were two overdue milestones recorded at the crease on Saturday.

Michael Dawson captained Nottingham Forest on his 100th appearance for the club more than 16 years after his debut for the Reds in 2002.

Meanwhile, Tom Huddlestone made his 150th appearance for Derby County 15 years after turning out for the Rams for the first time.

And there was cause for celebration for Dawson and Huddlestone. Dawson's Forest won 1-0 against in-form Sheffield United while Huddlestone's Derby came from behind to beat Birmingham City.

A battle at the bottom

Shrewsbury Town celebrate after Luke Waterfall scoerd an 89th-minute winner against AFC Wimbledon
Shrewsbury celebrate their late winner against AFC Wimbledon - how important will that be come the end of the season?

Before AFC Wimbledon's game against Shrewsbury Town in League One on Saturday, both sides publicly said how much a good result might mean to them.

Shrewsbury have struggled under John Askey since his arrival in the summer while Wimbledon's miserable form has seen them join their opponents at the wrong end of the table.

"If we [go] to Wimbledon and [don't] get a result then I know what to expect," Shrewsbury boss John Askey told BBC Shropshire.

Meanwhile, Dons manager Neal Ardley said he would not quit despite six consecutive defeats heading into Saturday's match.

In the end, Shrewsbury took all three points back to Shropshire in dramatic circumstances as Luke Waterfall's brace - including an 89th-minute winner - continued the Dons' run of losses.

The win sent the visitors three points clear of the relegation zone in 18th, while Wimbledon are second from bottom and six points adrift.

A six-goal Glanford Park thriller

Scunthorpe United's comeback against Oxford United included an absolute peach of a free-kick from George Thomas
Scunthorpe United's comeback against Oxford United included an absolute peach of a free-kick from George Thomas

You cannot say there wasn't enough entertainment at Glanford Park on Saturday as Scunthorpe United and Oxford United played out an entertaining draw.

The visitors coasted to a 3-0 lead and crossed the landmark of 3,000 goals scored in the English Football League, so it's fair to say it was going quite well for Karl Robinson's side.

But Scunny fought back in stunning fashion, scoring three goals in seven second-half minutes to restore parity.

First, Jordan Clarke scored from close range, then George Thomas made it 3-2 with a free-kick and Charlie Goode added a third to rescue a point.

"With the run we're on, it stops the rot and now we've got a couple of week's break," Scunthorpe boss Stuart McCall told BBC Radio Humberside.

"The pressure will be off a little bit in the FA Cup next week at Burton, but we'll still want to go and win it. And on Monday, it's back to the drawing board with our defending."

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