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

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

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..

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.