EFL: Paul Scholes suffers Salford defeat, Wycombe miss out on first point

Cauley Woodrow scores a late penalty for Barnsley against Bristol City
Bristol City remain top of the Championship, despite conceding a late penalty and drawing 2-2 at Barnsley

The return of the Championship after the international break provided plenty of late drama, with the final 100% record in the division ended by a 102nd-minute goal.

Elsewhere in the English Football League, former England international Paul Scholes was left frustrated after beginning his second dabble in management at Salford City.

A broken goal net and a long-awaited strike are among the other things you may have missed from Saturday’s action.

Scholes suffers debut Salford defeat

Salford City hit the headlines in midweek when they sacked manager Graham Alexander – the man who led them to promotion to the EFL in 2019 – despite having made an unbeaten start in League Two.

The Ammies took the decision because Alexander’s style of football was reportedly not meeting expectations, with Paul Scholes placed in interim charge.

But the ex-Manchester United midfielder, who is a part-owner of the club alongside former team-mates David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and Gary and Phil Neville, had a start to forget on Saturday.

That was despite the fact that there was a neat little piece of career symmetry – as Salford were at Port Vale, where Scholes scored twice on his Manchester United debut back in 1994.

Salford City interim manager Paul Scholes
Paul Scholes has won just one of his eight games as a manager in spells with Oldham Athletic and Salford

Salford’s Ian Henderson had a penalty saved and missed the follow-up before City conceded an 86th-minute goal at Vale Park, with the 1-0 defeat seeing them slip from fourth to ninth in the fledgling table.

“I was pleased with the application and we passed the ball well at times, but we got done by a sucker punch,” Scholes told BBC Radio Manchester.

“We need to find an experienced manager in this league and there are plenty out there. The sooner we do that, the better.

“I’ll keep on doing it as best I can until we find somebody suitable for the job.”

Wycombe find – and break – the net

Adebayo Akinfenwa looks dejected
Adebayo Akinfenwa put a couple half-chances wide as Wycombe chased a leveller

After four games without scoring, some rival fans had been taunting Wycombe Wanderers for their failure to find the back of the net in their first-ever Championship season.

The Chairboys put that particular hoodoo to bed against Millwall, with Scott Kashket tackling hapless keeper Bartosz Bialkowski to put them ahead at Adams Park.

But there was to be some more, unusual, net-related activity when Wycombe goalie Ryan Allsop quite literally broke it while trying to keep out Jake Cooper’s audacious free-kick effort from the halfway line, which struck the bar.

A delay of several minutes followed while repairs were carried out and on resumption the hosts – at this point trailing Millwall 2-1 – brought on 38-year-old Adebayo Akinfenwa for his Championship debut.

But even the self-proclaimed ‘Beast’ could not trouble the Lions net again, leaving Gareth Ainsworth’s side as the only second-tier team yet to register a point.

Jerome rolls back the years to end Dons’ barren run

MK Dons had endured a tricky time at the start of this latest League One campaign before Saturday.

But the addition of former Cardiff City, Birmingham City and Norwich City striker Cameron Jerome may well provide them with some much-needed bite up front.

Jerome, 34, arrived in Buckinghamshire earlier this month following a two-season stint playing for Turkish top-flight club Goztepe. His first start for the Dons set them on their way to a first win of 2020-21 against Gillingham.

Cameron Jerome in action for MK Dons
Cameron Jerome (left) first netted a league goal for Cardiff in November 2004

He netted the opener in a 2-0 victory, his first goal in English football since he scored for Derby County in their Championship play-off semi-final first-leg victory against Fulham in May 2018.

The Canaries connection continued for the hosts after that as Norwich loanee Carlton Morris scored the second and decisive goal midway through the second half.

MK Dons boss Russell Martin, Jerome’s former Carrow Road team-mate, would have been a much-relieved man come full-time as the three points – their first league win in nine attempts – lifted them out of the bottom four.

Cambridge United produce another five-star away performance

In League Two, Cambridge United are leading the way after picking up a fourth win in their first six matches and – for the second time already this season – in emphatic style away from home.

Mark Bonner’s side have already recorded two 5-0 wins on the road, both coming in the past month.

After dispatching Morecambe by the same scoreline on 19 September, it was Scunthorpe United on the receiving end this time.

Two first-half penalties from Paul Mullin were backed up by two goals for striker Joe Ironside and an unfortunate own goal from Iron centre-back Tyler Cordner in between.

“We want to have a really ruthless edge to ourselves even when we’re ahead in matches,” U’s boss Bonner told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

“There’s a competitive bunch of players in this squad and I just have to try to keep them sharp and hungry.”

They certainly don’t seem to be struggling to find an appetite for goals so far.

You can’t win ’em all

Reading and Bristol City had both boasted perfect records heading into the fifth round of Championship fixtures.

But the Royals were kept in check by Neil Warnock’s Middlesbrough, with Ovie Ejaria’s late off-target effort their only clear-cut opportunity in a stale goalless draw.

Leading 2-1 in injury time at Barnsley, the Robins looked all set to continue their winning run.

But, after City midfielder Callum O’Dowda fouled Michael Sollbauer just inside the area, the managerless Tykes were awarded a penalty.

Cauley Woodrow, who had to wait eight minutes as Sollbauer left the field on a stretcher, calmly converted the 102nd-minute spot-kick, ending the last remaining 100% record in the EFL.

At the other end of the second tier, Nottingham Forest grabbed their first points of the season with a 1-0 win over Blackburn in manager Chris Hughton’s opening game in charge.

Joe Lolley’s injury-time strike was enough to give the former Newcastle and Brighton boss a well-deserved victory at Ewood Park.

Nottingham Forest players Joe Lolley and Harry Arter celebrate a goal against Blackburn
Joe Lolley and Harry Arter could celebrate after Nottingham Forest secured their first win of the campaign

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