League One Review: Matchday 1

by Thomas Lane

The first weekend of League One action has ended, with plenty of shock results opening the new campaign, with Accrington Stanley shocking promotion hopefuls Peterborough at the WHAM Stadium, with promoted Plymouth taking the three points against Blackpool.

Accrington Stanley 2-0 Peterborough United: Saturday 12th September – 15:00pm

John Coleman’s men opened their league campaign in convincing fashion, dispatching promotion hopefuls Peterborough United through Dion Charles and Tariq Uwakwe.

Charles first-half rocket sent Stanley into the half time break with the lead, with Uwakwe adding to his hat-trick from midweek with a stunning strike into the top corner.

Speaking with the club after the game, Accrington Stanley boss John Coleman said: “I’m delighted. I’m delighted for the players to be honest. It’s great when they work hard, and they get the reward for it. I said to the players that that’s what makes it so satisfying.” 

Speaking to the club website, Peterborough boss Darren Ferguson said: “It was a disappointing day. We lost on the opening day last season and it has happened again. In the first half, we didn’t play with any tempo, we created nothing in front of goal and Accrington had that better quality in the final third.”

Crewe Alexandra 0-2 Charlton Athletic: Saturday 12th September – 15:00pm

Charlton’s tumultuous summer has been lifted slightly with an opening day victory, something they achieved last season before their slide down the table.

Alfie Doughty slotted home after breaking down the right-hand side, with debutant Conor Washington doubling his side’s lead just before half-time, scuffing his volley past Jaaskelainen.

Speaking with the team’s website, Crewe manager David Artell said: “We were disappointed with the goals we conceded. One was from a counter attack when we were in the ascendency and the second goal was when we lost two headers close to our box. It was a poor goal for us to concede.”

In Lee Bowyer’s post-match interview, he was content with his side performance: “We won 2-0 and we played okay. I do expect us to be a lot better than that. But in the first game the most important thing is getting the three points and a clean sheet so it’s good.”

Doncaster Rovers 1-1 MK Dons: Saturday 12th September – 15:00pm

Two sides destined for a season of ups and downs, Doncaster and MK Dons played out an entertaining 1-1 draw at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Madgar Gomes scored his second of the season from Rayhaan Tulloch’s cut back, but Baily Cargill secured his side a point in the dying moments with a well worked goal.

Darren Moore believed a point was a fair reflection of the game, when speaking after the match: “We had some half spells were we might have got a second goal, but it was a matter of staying disciplined, but they will probably feel that the goal they scored was a well-worked goal, and I think looking at the balance of the game, I think a point was fair for both teams.”

Speaking to the club website, MK Dons boss Russell Martin said: “After we conceded, we got a bit ragged, which was disappointing. We recovered mentally and physically and looked strong at the end. It’s positive to come from behind, and it’s a good point against a side who will be very good at this level.”

Fleetwood Town 2-1 Burton Albion: Saturday 12th September – 15:00pm

Jake Buxton’s first league game in charge of Burton Albion saw them fall to a 2-1 defeat to promotion hopefuls Fleetwood Town.

Callum Camps gave Fleetwood the ideal start to the new season, smashing home from Josh Morris’ corner early in the first half. John Brayford put Burton back on level terms, flicking home a free kick despite concerns over the official’s decision. Fleetwood took the three points late on when Paddy Madden poked home to send the home bench into celebration, with John-Joe O’Toole receiving a late red card for the visitors.

In his press conference after the match, Fleetwood boss Joey Barton said: “Our boys showed great quality and character to get that second goal and from then on I thought we were relatively comfortable, so really, really pleased – there was three points on offer and we took the maximum.”

Burton manager Jake Buxton bemoaned his sides poor defending in the game: “In the second half I thought we got hold of the game, created opportunities and looked dangerous. I thought we really got into the rhythm. But if you don’t defend your box, it’s going to cost you.”

Gillingham 0-2 Hull City: Saturday 12th September – 15:00pm

The ‘Tom Eaves’ derby as dubbed by Hull City fans saw the away side secure their third win of 2020, taking the points from a resolute Gillingham side.

Academy starlet Keane Lewis-Potter netted his second goal in two games, steering home Jack Bonham’s loose ball to take the lead. Hull doubled their lead late in the game when Josh Magennis headed home George Honeyman’s cross.

After their 2-0 defeat at home to Hull City, Gillingham boss Steve Evans recognised Hull’s clinical nature: “They scored early, within 90 seconds we miss a chance to equalize and, until they scored again, there wasn’t much in the game. We don’t mark who we should mark at the end and they get a second. They were more clinical than us, and we paid a price.” 

Speaking after the match, Hull City gaffer Grant McCann said: “Today I thought we handled everything they threw at us all game. Apart from one chance they had in the first half from Akinde, I can’t remember too many others. I thought we were in control of everything we did and possibly should have come away with more goals.”

Lincoln City 2-0 Oxford United: Saturday 12th September – 15:00pm

Michael Appleton’s first game in charge of Lincoln was a 6-0 defeat at home to Oxford United, and almost exactly one year later, his side looked head and shoulders above the rest with a 2-0 win.

Anthony Scully headed home the opener after only seven minutes, Harry Anderson’s pinpoint cross the provider. They took the game beyond the visitors when Jamie Jones’ free kick landed on the head of Adam Jackson, who flicked it into the back of the net.

After their very impressive 2-0 win over Oxford, Lincoln City boss Michael Appleton was very pleased with his side’s performance: “Don’t underestimate how difficult that start was, we’ve come up against a side who I expect to finish in the top two or three and my opinion hasn’t changed. We knew it was going to be difficult but I thought we managed the game really well, we did our work we knew what was expected.”

As published by the Oxford Mail, Oxford United boss Karl Robinson was bitterly disappointed with his sides performance: “I think as a whole, we outplayed them, we dominated the ball, we asked more questions in the second half than we did in the first half. We switched off for the first goal, it wasn’t a free-kick but then we switched off defending a set piece. We got beat 2-0 and there’s the crux of what happened in the game.”

Northampton Town 2-2 AFC Wimbledon: Saturday 12th September – 15:00pm

Goals aplenty at Sixfields as Wimbledon and Northampton shared four goals, with the away side twice giving up a lead.

Summer signing Ethan Chislett gave the away side a very early lead, just 22 seconds into the game, before Matt Warburton levelled the game up with a wonderful free kick. Wimbledon found themselves back in front through Nesta Guinness-Walker four minutes later, but once again Northampton came from behind to equalise, Ricky Korboa scoring his first League One goal.

Speaking with the club website, Northampton boss Keith Curle said: “It was a good test of character for us on the first game of the season and I’m very pleased for Matt and Ricky to get their goals. Ricky is a technician and he is a player who will definitely learn and improve.”

AFC Wimbledon’s Glyn Hodges was happy with the attacking intent his side showed in the game: “We knew what was expected and we did that, and to get the goal early on I thought what. a great start and it gives you a bit of confidence to then take it forward.”

Plymouth Argyle 1-0 Blackpool: Saturday 12th September – 15:00pm

In one of the more surprising results of the day, promoted Plymouth Argyle defeated Blackpool 1-0 at Home Park, with the away side expected to be a dark horse this season.

Luke Jephcott scored the only goal of the game, turning in a deep cross from Will Aimson to give the home side a very early lead, and all they needed for the victory.

Plymouth manager Ryan Lowe was delighted with his sides desire and commitment: “It’s a big three points for us, because we thought it was going to be quite a high scoring game. The resilience and the attitude of the boys, the commitment they’ve shown late on in the game to keep the back door shut was different class.”

Speaking to the club’s social media, Blackpool boss Neil Critchley said: “For an away team, I thought we were quite dominant for large periods, their goalkeeper has played obviously very well, I thought he was exactly. Given the way we played, I don’t think we deserved to lose the game.”

Portsmouth 0-0 Shrewsbury: Saturday 12th September – 15:00pm

10-man Shrewsbury held Portsmouth at fortress Fratton Park, a ground they haven’t lost at since the 30th April 2019.

The only real action of the game came in the final few minutes, with Shrewsbury’s Aaron Pierre receiving a second yellow card for a late challenge on the edge of the box.

Speaking after the game, Portsmouth’s Kenny Jackett was disappointed with his team’s lack of quality going forward: We were just looking for that little bit more quality during that period when we did get going and looked like making a breakthrough. The positives are that we’re unbeaten now from three games in three different competitions, but of course we want to build on that.

Shrewsbury boss Sam Ricketts was happy with his side’s resolute performance: We are delighted with the point, this is a really difficult place to come. Coming away from here with anything is a good result. We ended up with a point but there is much more we can take from this game.”

Sunderland 1-1 Bristol Rovers: Saturday 12th September – 15:00pm

In the most highly anticipated tie of the weekend, Sunderland and Bristol Rovers played out a 1-1 draw at the Stadium of Light, with the away side leading for 80 minutes.

They took the lead from the penalty spot, with Luke Leahy firing home after Mitchell-Lawson was bundled down in the box. Chris Maguire spared the blushes of the home side late in the day, smashing home a 20-yard striker to share the points.

Speaking to the club website, Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson said: “I think we had more chances today, in fairness we’ve made the goalkeeper work more, and today we’ve threatened the goal more.”

Speaking to the club after the game, Bristol Rovers boss Ben Garner said: “I think defensively was the key thing, we were very resolute against a very, very good Sunderland side, who were very, very good on the day. We had to hold a lot of pressure in that second half, but I thought we showed we had the character.”

Swindon Town 3-1 Rochdale: Saturday 12th September – 15:00pm

Newly promoted Swindon Town had no problems settling into League One, with only a late Rochdale goal preventing them from a perfect result.

Loan signing Tyler Smith latched onto a loose ball after Jack Payne’s corner, giving the hone side an early lead. They doubled it just after the half-hour mark, with skipper Anthony Grant heading home their second of the game. They put the nail in the coffin just before half time, with Matthew Smith coolly slotting the ball into the corner. Rochdale found a consolation late in the day, with Jimmy Keohane tapping the ball home.

As published by ThisIsWiltshire, Swindon manager Richie Wellens was extremely happy with Swindon’s start to the season: “Everything that we worked on in training, in terms of what Rochdale would bring both offensively and defensively. We worked towards stopping them and the way that they play, and I thought the players carried it out a treat.”

Speaking on Twitter, Rochdale boss Brian Barry-Murphy said: “I think the result is obviously disappointing for us, in terms of the overall performance, we never really reached the heights that we did in the past two games. We didn’t quite play with the speed or intensity that we would have hoped to.”

Ipswich Town 2-0 Wigan Athletic: Sunday 13th September – 12:00pm

Ipswich made it seven games unbeaten on the opening day of a season with a 2-0 victory at home to recently relegated Wigan Athletic.

Teddy Bishop scored his second senior goal as an Ipswich Town player, he first for six years after numerous years out with injury problem, heading home after a mistake at the back. Gwion Edwards secured the three points from a few yards, turning home Alan Judge’s cross on the left wing.

As published by the East Anglian Daily Times, Ipswich manager Paul Lambert said: “any win you get on the opening day is good, but the way we’re playing is the most pleasing aspect. I think we played some good football. I’m really happy.”

Speaking to the club website, Wigan boss John Sheridan said: “It is disappointing to lose, of course, because nobody likes losing but I can take good things out of the game. We started the game really well on the front foot and we had two great opportunities to score. If we score that first goal then the outcome of the game is totally different.”

Images: Richard Calver / TOTT

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