A look at Wednesday night’s EFL talking points including Rovers sealing a sixth consecutive victory thanks to a 2-1 win over Barnsley as their superb form continues

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Championship fixtures: Day one, boxing day and final day

The football usually comes thick and fast this time of year.

However, Covid outbreaks at clubs have meant that many games were sadly postponed.

No fewer than 19 matches bit the dust this evening across the EFL’s three divisions. It meant just nine games got the green light, similar to Boxing Day when only a portion of matches went ahead.

Some teams are in the situation where they have not played for the best part of three weeks whilst others have played twice in the space of just a few days.

Let’s hope that the bizarre, lop-sided scheduling clears itself up – and quickly.

Nevertheless, here, we look at some of the talking points to emerge from Wednesday night’s games.







Kieran McKenna gets off to a good start at Ipswich
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Image:

MatchDay Images Limited)

McKenna off the mark

Ipswich boss Kieran McKenna sealed a 1-0 win over Wycombe to get off to a victorious start to life in management.

The Northern Irish coach swapped Old Trafford for League One earlier this month but tonight was his first taste of the dugout.

The Tractor Boys have under-performed all season and this win over one of the division’s high-flyers will make people sit up and take notice.

With more than 26,000 inside Portman Road, McKenna will hope Town’s revival can now properly begin as they look to make an assault on the play-off places in the second half of the campaign.

Blackburn the real deal






Ben Brereton Diaz was once again the match-winner for Blackburn Rovers

Blackburn Rovers’ outstanding renaissance shows no signs of letting up.

They entered tonight’s visit of Barnsley having won their last five – with five clean sheets to boot.

The struggling visitors cancelled out Joe Rothwell’s opener on the stroke of half-time, with Carlton Morris netting for the Reds.

But Rovers bounced back from conceding their first goal in 551 minutes. And it was the man-of-the-moment Ben Brereton Diaz who scored what proved to be the winner.






Blackburn have won six Championship games on the bounce

The Chile international struck home midway through the second half to bring up his 20th league goal of the season. His outstanding exploits in front of goal have got plenty of Premier League sides sniffing.

But Tony Mowbray’s men will be hoping to hold on to him as they chase an unlikely promotion.

This win takes them to 45 points and up to third – level with second-placed Fulham and just a point behind leaders Bournemouth.

These truly are halcyon days for Rovers fans.

Teen’s night to remember







Zak Lovelace, aged 15, was handed his Millwall debut as a late cameo against Coventry
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z_lovelace9/Instagram)

Millwall pulled off a superb 1-0 win at Coventry in the face of plenty of adversity.

The Lions were unsuccessful in their attempt to get the fixture postponed. As well as Covid-19 cases, Millwall have a string of injuries to contend with.

But they ploughed on and their depleted resources were evident, with boss Gary Rowett having to name 15-year-old Zak Lovelace on the bench.

They made a mockery of their predicament with Tom Bradshaw scoring a late winner to move the Lions within three points of the play-offs.

Rowett rounded off a memorable, if testing, night when he handed Lovelace an unexpected debut as a substitute in stoppage time.

The other Championship game saw plenty of drama with Middlesbrough strengthening their grip on a play-off spot with a dramatic 2-1 win at Blackpool, with both sides scoring in stoppage time.

League Two bore draws

Only two games survived in League Two.

And it’s fair to say that Barrow against Oldham and Swindon versus Stevenage will not live long in the memory for those in attendance.

Both games finished 0-0 and did little to aid the four sides’ respective promotion and relegation aims.

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