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Football League Talking Points From This Weekend

Trotters finally out of the tracks

It had been a long time coming but Saturday’s early afternoon kick off against Birmingham represented Bolton’s first win of the season – incredibly at the eleventh attempt.

Many had tipped Wanderers to be amongst the pace setters after a fine finish to last season, however Dougie Freedman’s men had been holding up the pack coming into this clash – with an atrocious return of just 7 goals.

At St Andrews though not only did they finally see a goal from one of their strikers, with summer signing Jermaine Beckford opening the scoring. From there they held off a late Birmingham fight back to take a precious 2-1 win, a result made even more surprising given that the Blues had won their last two home games scoring eight goals.

Freedman who had been under increasing pressure will hope that from here his side can kick on and maybe just be that side who arrives late to the shakeup.

QPR continue on their merry miserly way

Grand entertainers they aren’t but it has been a number of years since the Championship saw a side as water tight defensively as QPR – with the clubs latest shut out now taking their run without conceding to eight games, which represents a club record.

Richard Dunne has proven an astute capture, with the challenges of the championship proving ideal to his skills and alongside consistent performer at this level Clint Hill he has formed a rock solid partnership. Add in two full backs with plenty of Premier League experience, a goal keeper in Rob Green who is back to his best and a combative midfield of Joey Barton and Alejandro Faurlin and it is easy to see why they are so difficult to break down.

Going forward they are not quite as strong, with Harry Redknapp pointing to injuries – although a second successive 2-0 win over Barnsley on Saturday suggests they are improving going forward, given in their opening eight games they only once scored more than once.

Having been tipped to implode by many Redknapp’s men are going about their business in an efficient and under the radar fashion – a welcome tonic after the drama and turmoil of recent times.

Peterborough end Preston unbeaten run

Impressively the only side without defeat outside of table toppers Leyton Orient, Preston were finally beaten on Saturday by high flying Peterborough – a result that also brought to the end an impressive run of five successive victories.

For Posh ending unbeaten runs is becoming a habit, having done exactly the same to Rotherham last week. This result was again yet further indication that Darren Ferguson’s men are likely to be amongst the very highest regions of the League One table, it was also a fourth win on the bounce and their eighth victory in their opening ten fixtures.

Preston’s cause was not helped by a clanger from Declan Rudd, though they will not be the last side to visit London Road this season and come away with nothing. The previous run of victories have shown enough evidence that after a few years of struggling to break the shackles of mid-table Dale might just be in the playoff mix this time round.

Crewe plight goes on

Following an impressive campaign last term people were tipping Crewe manager Steve Davies for big things, yet highlighting how quickly things swing in football he now finds himself under increasing pressure – particularly following a thumping loss at Meadow Lane to fellow strugglers Notts County.

This was a seventh game without a win for the Gresty road outfit and there have been mutterings of several disruptive influences within the squad making life difficult. Of further worry is that this latest defeat comes off the back of a similarly disheartening 3-0 loss to lowly Gillingham.

Davies’ achievements in previous years should bide him plenty of time and historically Crewe are not a side to panic, that said their slide is of real alarm.

For County this represented a second win in three games, a vast improvement on an opening return of no victories in their first seven games. The hope will be that with confidence starting to return they can now begin to push to more safer regions of League One.

Result of the day for Morecambe

At three down at half time Morecambe’s unbeaten home run was coming to an end and Chesterfield were looking like bouncing back from their first defeat in style – leading their opponents 3-0.

45 minutes later and Chesterfield were left desolate and Morecambe euphoric, coming back from the dead to clinch a 4-3 victory which sees them rise to the rather lofty heights of sixth in the division. This was the Shrimpers seventh game unbeaten and showing such resolve it is going to take a heck of an effort for a side to end that.

Chesterfield who two games ago sat seven points clear of those outside the automatic promotion places, must now go back to the drawing board as they attempt to comeback from such a devasting defeat.

Is Northampton’s hangover finally over?

With just one win in in their opening nine, to say that Northampton were still reeling from their failure to show up during their playoff final defeat to Bradford would be an understatement.

So poor have the cobblers been that manager Aidy Bothroyd had been coming under increasing pressure – unsurprisingly given that his side had slipped into the bottom two. Thankfully Northampton have finally started to show their true colours, firstly holding inform Morecambe to a goalless draw and then this weekend winning for the first time in seven by winning at Wimbledon – a side previously unbeaten at home.

Unfortunately their stuttering start means they sit a long way back, nevertheless such is the way in the football league that they still have every chance to force their way back in the reckoning – provided the real Northampton are now back.