Massimo told to go and Daggers end home hoodoo

5 Mar

Leeds United

Some Leeds United fans held a mock funeral for the club before Saturday’s game with Bolton

The top of the three divisions look the same this week as they did last Saturday with Burnley, Burton and Northampton leading the way.

However, while it’s ‘as you were’ at the top of the tables, the Football League still threw up it’s fair share of talking points this week.

BBC Sport looks at five things you may have missed.

Massimo Celli-go?

It’s fair to say Massimo Cellino’s time as Leeds United owner has been eventful.

The Italian has (amongst other things):

  • Dispensed with five head coaches
  • Served a Football League ban
  • Promised to sell the club to the fans before changing his mind
  • Almost barred Sky Sports from showing live coverage of one of the club’s matches
  • Been served with a second Football League ban that is currently being deferred.
  • Advised boss Steve Evans not to speak to the media after Monday’s 4-0 defeat at Brighton.
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As well as protests on the ground, protesting Leeds fans took to the skies to send Cellino a clear message

With all that in mind it’s understandable that a few of the fans have grown somewhat disgruntled with the former Cagliari owner.

Last month a section of supporters projected images on to the side of one of the stands calling for Cellino to leave and today they took to the streets outside Elland Road to stage a mock funeral for their club.

The protests may have been in questionable taste, and were met with derision by a number of Leeds fans, but the players didn’t let them bother them as they beat lowly Bolton 2-1.

“I’ve never seen anything like it”

There’s not much Accrington manager John Coleman hasn’t seen in his 46 years as a player and manager.

But this afternoon there was a first, even for Coleman.

With Stanley on the attack just before half-time at AFC Wimbledon, Billy Kee turned in the box and shot, finding the bottom corner.

As he did so, referee Trevor Kettle blew the whistle for half-time and disallowed the goal, evoking memories of Welsh referee Clive Thomas ruling out Zico’s effort for Brazil against Sweden at the 1978 World Cup because he had blown the full-time whistle.

Cue protests from the Accrington players – and cheers from the Dons fans whose side were still level.

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Accrington players appealed with Trevor Kettle after Billy Kee’s goal was ruled out

“I’ve never seen anything like it happen in all my years playing and managing,” Coleman told BBC Radio Lancashire.

“He blew as the ball was on its way into the net: he said it was before. You can’t account for that. Everyone in the ground is flabbergasted.”

Accrington later had goalkeeper Ross Etheridge sent off but held on for a goalless draw against their League Two play-off rivals.

It’s not over until it’s over

The Championship’s bottom side Bolton might have slipped to another defeat but it was a good day for the other three teams in and around the relegation zone.

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Callum Harriott’s first goal was the sixth fastest in the Championship this season

Second-bottom Charlton took just 19 seconds to open the scoring at Brentford and Callum Harriott’s second of the game sealed a 2-1 win for the Addicks.

Third-bottom Rotherham made it back-to-back wins with a surprise 1-0 success at play-off chasing Sheffield Wednesday.

However, not to be outdone, MK Dons picked up a first win in four as they beat QPR 2-0 to remain three points clear of the relegation zone.

All that is bad news for Bristol City, who lost to rivals Cardiff, and Fulham, who drew at Reading, as they are now both just five points above the dotted line.

Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic confidently told BBC Radio London “I am sure we are not going to be relegated” on Friday. But if the teams below them keep winning he might yet be left ruing his words.

Brilliant Barnsley bring back Brazil memories

Potentially swapping places with one of the sides mentioned above are one of the Football League’s form sides, Barnsley.

On 28 November the Tykes were propping up League One, with just five wins from their opening 20 games of the season.


Josh Brownhill and Alfie Mawson celebrate after the former put Barnsley 2-1 up at Walsall

Saturday’s 3-1 win at fourth-placed Walsall saw them move up to sixth in the table.

Against the backdrop of a stunning run of form that has seen them win 12 of their last 15 league games, they’ve had to contend with manager Lee Johnson leaving for Bristol City and they’ve reached the final of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

The Oakwell fans sang ‘It’s like watching Brazil’ as the South Yorkshire side earned promotion to the Premier League in 1997 and probably haven’t had it this good since then.

Caretaker boss Paul Heckingbottom, who has won five of his seven games in charge, told BBC Radio Sheffield: “It was a great victory away from home at a team who are above us in the league.

“We were miles off first half, lacked intensity and we gave the ball away too cheaply so we told them to pass the ball and play with more intensity at half-time.

“The goals were fantastic in the second half but I still thought they still had too many shots on our goal. It was nowhere near what we are after.”

Possibly the hardest man to please in football?

The first time in a long time… A very long time

If at first you don’t succeed try, try, again. Or in Dagenham’s case try another 20 times.

Marooned at the bottom of the Football League and without a home win in all competitions since April 2015, the Daggers looked doomed this morning.

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Dagenham players celebrate Josh Passley’s winning goal against York City

However, a 1-0 victory over second-bottom York has at least ended their near 11-month home hoodoo.

The bad news is 22nd placed Hartlepool won at Barnet meaning John Still’s men remain seven points adrift of safety.

“The last four or five games I noticed an improvement and it was just that we lacked a bit of belief,” Still told BBC Radio London.

“At the end of the day it’s a win, and an important win. It’s a win now that hopefully gives us a little bit of belief; we’ve got a lot of tough games to go.”

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