It’s been a tumultuous week for English football off the pitch but, as October begins, it’s time to focus back to the game we all love.
Saturday saw a record that stretched back more than a century finally broken, a landmark goal and a spectacularly-premature Man of the Match decision.
Here are five stories you may have missed from Saturday’s EFL action.
Super keeper keeps U’s in the game
Until the past two tournaments, if you had said ‘England’ and ‘major championships’ you would probably then have said ‘penalties’ – the Three Lions do not thrive from 12 yards.
But perhaps Cambridge United have supplied whoever succeeds Sam Allardyce with the answer – step forward Will Norris.
Norris is not just a goalkeeper, but a penalty-saving machine. On Saturday the 23-year-old saved not one, but two penalties in their League Two win over Accrington.
And these weren’t just any old penalties – they came one after another in the second minute of stoppage time.
First Chris Eagles saw his spot-kick blocked by Norris and then, from the resulting corner, Brad Halliday handled in the area, prompting a red card and another penalty.
But again Norris saved, this time from Terry Gornell, for his fourth, (yes, fourth) penalty save of the season – and it’s only the start of October.
“That’s why you’re in the game, for moments like that,” said an inspired Norris to BBC Radio Cambridgeshire after the game.
“I can only do my job when called upon and thankfully I delivered for everyone at the football club.”
So if you were the sponsors, there would be only one choice for the Man of the Match award, surely?
Yes, you’ve guessed correctly, it was given to Leon Legge, who gave away the first penalty, and got sent off as a result.
In fairness to Legge, it was announced before Norris performed his stoppage-time heroics – let’s hope he shares his bottle of bubbly with his goalkeeper…
The 37,478-day wait is finally over…
On 21 February, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand was still in charge in central Europe, Winston Churchill was First Lord of the Admiralty and Babe Ruth had yet to make his Major League debut.
It was also the date that Brighton and Hove Albion first played Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough. Since then they have visited Wednesday 17 more times, but they had never come away from the Owls’ home with a win until Saturday – that’s a wait of over 102 years.
But Sam Baldock and Anthony Knockaert were on target as the Seagulls won 2-1 at Wednesday to end more than a century’s wait for a Hillsborough victory.
Pools Panel galvanised into action
No doubt those plucky chaps on the Pools Panel thought they would have an easy afternoon, sitting back watching the videprinter – it is only the start of October after all.
But the rain put paid to that as we saw two games called off. First Newport County’s clash with Stevenage went under at 13:15 – three days after the Welsh side sacked boss Warren Feeney.
But at Notts County they soldiered on despite what seemed to be a monsoon, only for their game with Morecambe to be abandoned after 10 minutes as the Meadow Lane turf resembled the set of the 1995 film Waterworld starring Kevin Costner.
If you did do the Pools and you had either match on the coupon, then the panel decreed that Newport v Stevenage would have been a scoreless draw, while Notts County’s game was also a scoreless draw as they take the result at the time the game was called off.
Peter Hartley’s one of those centre-halves who you can rely on for a few goals every season.
He grabbed a last-minute winner for Plymouth Argyle in the League Two play-off semi-finals in May and, since his summer move to Bristol Rovers, he’s hit the target three times in 10 appearances.
His goal on Saturday against Northampton was the 1,000th scored in the EFL’s three divisions so far this year.
You’ll remember that for the pub quiz, won’t you?
Sky Blue thinking
The days of Keith Houchen, Micky Quinn and Peter Ndlovu are very much in the past for Coventry City.
The Sky Blues, who were a Premier League side at the turn of the century, have gradually spiralled downwards and are now in their fifth season in League One.
They seemed to be at their lowest ebb going into Saturday’s games – they were the only side in the EFL yet to get a win and saw boss Tony Mowbray quit on Thursday.
But at the 11th attempt, and under the guidance of caretaker manager Mark Venus, Coventry got that elusive victory as they won 2-0 at Port Vale – and went off the bottom of the table to boot.
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Source: BBC Football Read Original Article: EFL 2016-17: Five things you may have missed from Saturday's EFL action