This Weekend’s Football League Talking Points

Rain curtails Charlton misery

Tipped by many to be potential Championship dark horses, the early stages of the season has seen Charlton look more like relegation material than promotion chasers. Having picked up just a single point from their opening three fixtures, none of which could be viewed at the tougher end of the difficulty scale – they then found themselves three goals down to newly promoted Doncaster inside 23 minutes.

They were, though, saved by a rather contentious decision to call the game off due to a waterlogged pitch. In fairness, Chris Powell’s men had pulled a goal back before this decision was made and Rovers had seen a men sent off, nevertheless there will still plenty of worried supporters around the Valley right now.

Blackpool upset the apple cart

You might have predicted Leicester and QPR to be sitting in the top three at this stage, however few would have suggested Blackpool would be the other side making up the front runners.

Paul Ince’s men have made a terrific start, with Saturday’s win over Reading maintaining their unbeaten start to the campaign. Many have tipped the Royals for an instant Premier League return, which only further enhances what a good win this was for the Tangerines.

With rivals Bolton struggling to live up to pre-season expectations, things are looking up for those at Bloomfield Road and the early indications are that they could well be a side to keep an eye on.

Bradford adjusting well

Having been promoted via the play-offs after the most mammoth of campaigns, the Bantams have adapted to life in the next tier impressively.

The wave of momentum generated by that Wembley victory has shown no sign of let up, with their latest win over big fish Sheffield United – taking them to a lofty position of sixth in League One – with just one defeat coming in their opening four games.

Further to that, in Nakhi Wells they can currently boast the division’s highest scorer – with five strikes, with his scoring run now stretching eight games. We have seen it time and time again in the football league, sides using the confidence from promotion to push themselves to yet greater heights the following season and Bradford look set to follow that pattern.

Peterborough bounce back

Having agonisingly been relegated in the final moments of the Championship season it would have been easy for Posh to spend time feeling sorry for themselves.

However, Darren Ferguson’s men have reacted in stunning and imperious fashion, claiming maximum points from their opening four outings – in the process laying down a real marker to the rest of the pack. Their latest 5-0 thumping of Tranmere also means that Peterborough are now the League’s highest scorers.

Of further encouragement will be that new signing Britt Assombalonga has made the transition from League Two seamlessly with three strikes thus far, making the loss of Dwight Gayle a little easier to handle.

Chesterfield end Southend run to go second

Southend’s 100% record was put to bed by promotion hopefuls Chesterfield, a win that also saw the Spireites leapfrog their opponents into the automatic promotion positions.

In truth, Chesterfield might have been a little bit fortunate to claim the win given that for long periods they were second best and Phil Brown’s men had looked more likely to forge a late winner – nevertheless it was Chesterfield and Armand Gnanduillet who provided the breakthrough.

Winning ugly is, of course, a key facet to any promotion campaign, so this result certainly bodes well for Chesterfield.

Dons fight back to stun Scunthorpe

Wimbledon produced one of the standout results to date as they came back from two down to see off League Two new boys Scunthorpe 3-2. With an hour gone it looked like Neal Ardley’s men were on their way to defeat yet a stirring comeback, capped by an 87th winner by Chris Arthur ensured a happy bank holiday Saturday.

That result propels Wimbledon up to eighth the table and having struggled last season they will be hopeful that they will be well clear of trouble this time round – the early indications suggesting that should be the case.