Football League Winners and Losers [04/09]



Shrewsbury Town

In one of the more surprising stories in League One, Shrewsbury are enjoying a flying start that saw them earn a fourth victory of the campaign with a 2-1 win at Gillingham on Saturday. It has been some turnaround for a club that survived relegation by just two points last season.

The result puts the undefeated Shrews in second place on 13 points as they trail Peterborough on goal difference alone. That it took them until November 12th to reach the same total in 2016/17 underlines the impressive job Paul Hurst has achieved in shaping a competitive outfit.

Shrewsbury currently look capable of a promotion challenge and, with League One favourites Wigan and Blackburn visiting New Meadow in the next few weeks, we’ll soon know more about their credentials.

Rotherham United

The Millers achieved a first away win in 28 attempts (since a 4-0 thrashing of MK Dons on April 9th, 2016) – and they couldn’t have travelled much farther to get it.

Paul Warne will hope the 1-0 victory at Portsmouth serves as a catalyst for his team to climb the table in what has been a strange season so far. Rotherham thrashed Southend 5-0 in their second match, but lost their other three fixtures before Sunday, scoring only one goal in the process.

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Josh Morris

The 25-year-old has started the season in the same coruscating form as he finished the previous campaign, when he scored 19 goals in League One and assisted a further 17 strikes.

Given his record in 2016/17, it’s perhaps a surprise that Morris wasn’t snapped up by a Championship club over the summer, with Scunthorpe set to benefit as they mount another promotion push. The playmaker scored a brilliant late free-kick to claim a 1-0 win at Bury over the weekend, taking his tally to three goals and two assists this season.

Charlie Wyke

The striker claimed a first hat-trick for Bradford to secure a straightforward 3-1 win over Bristol Rovers. After losing at home for the first time in 18 months against Blackburn two weeks ago, Stuart McCall’s side will be looking to turn Valley Parade into a fortress once more.

Charlton Athletic

An end-to-end 4-3 win at Oldham in which Charlton threw away a two-nil lead before the hosts were reduced to ten men.

Ricky Holmes’ long-range effort was the highlight, but Karl Robinson will be particularly pleased with a debut strike for Rangers loanee Joe Dodoo and a telling contribution from fellow new signing Tarique Fosu-Henry, who grabbed a goal and an assist. Josh Magennis, who scored twice on international duty for Northern Ireland, suddenly faces a fight for his place.

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Daniel Agyei

After four goals in 16 games at this level for Coventry last season, the Burnley loanee is aiming to make a big impression at Walsall. A debut strike in a 2-1 win over Plymouth is a solid start.



A brilliant 4-1 win for the Bees at Swindon, marred only by Andre Blackman’s red card for violent conduct. With non-league scoring sensation Dave Tarpey joining from Maidenhead in midweek, Shaquile Coulthirst laid down a marker to his new strike-partner with a first professional hat-trick.

Accrington Stanley

Up to third in League Two thanks to a 2-1 Lancashire derby victory away to Morecambe. In their last three games, Stanley have picked up five points in the 90th minute or later, scoring late on in wins against Morecambe and Mansfield, and grabbing a 95th-minute equaliser in a 2-2 draw at Notts County.

Harry Kewell

With back-to-back victories and clean sheets for Crawley in League Two, a difficult start to Kewell’s professional management career has been quickly banished.

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Lee Clark

“We are learning the hard way,” said Clark after Bury’s third defeat of the campaign at home to Scunthorpe. “We didn’t deserve to lose and there were bright sparks, but we all have to take responsibility.”

With 23 players arriving over the summer, either on loan or permanent deals, Bury have rolled the dice on promotion this season. Sitting in 19th after five matches doesn’t bode well for their odds.


One of four teams still waiting for their first win, Gillingham already look unlikely to repeat their survival by a single point in 2016/17.

Oldham Athletic

One of two teams still waiting for their first point. John Sheridan will note that the other, Northampton, sacked manager Justin Edinburgh last week.

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Port Vale

After failing to hit the target with ten attempts on Saturday, Port Vale slipped into the relegation spots with a 1-0 loss at home to Notts County. That’s now three matches in a row, all of which ended in defeat, that Michael Brown’s side have failed to score. Tom Pope will need to start finding the net soon, otherwise Port Vale could be forced to contemplate successive relegations.

Forest Green Rovers

When you have a poorer goal difference after five games than Yeovil, who lost 8-2 on the opening day, then you know where the problems lie. That’s now 13 strikes Rovers have shipped in the last four matches, with a hopeless first-half performance handing Wycombe three points on Saturday.

Swindon Town

A 3-0 home defeat to Crawley was worrying, but following that result with a 4-1 loss to Barnet at the County Ground suggests there’s something seriously wrong at Swindon. David Flitcroft is unlikely to be afforded long to turn it around – if only Tim Sherwood was still there to help.

Football League Winners and Losers [04/09]
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