Who was Football League’s star baker?

18 Mar

Neil Warnock

Neil Warnock’s Rotherham came from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 with Derby

While Burnley were busy going seven points clear at the top of the Championship, miraculous comebacks and sublime goals were taking centre stage in the Football League.

Here are five things you may have missed from Saturday’s action…

A late finish for Exeter and Carlisle

Fans are evacuated from a stand at Exeter's St James Park<!–

Fans were evacuated from one of the stands at Exeter’s St James Park because of safety concerns, leading to a 70-minute delay

Only nine minutes had been played between Exeter and Carlisle before the League Two match was halted and one of the stands at St James Park evacuated.

There were reports of smoke being seen at the back of the Stagecoach Stand, which houses home and away supporters as well as changing rooms and press facilities, and fans were asked to make their way onto the field while investigations took place.

It appears a smoke grenade was the cause and an arrest was made in connection with the incident.

The match resumed after a 70-minute delay and ended 2-2, with Hallam Hope’s late equaliser giving the Carlisle fans a happy 347-mile journey home at the end of a very eventful trip to Devon.

On your marks, get set, bake!

The Great British Bake Off<!–

The Great British Bake Off

Coach Jon Whitney was placed in charge of Walsall’s first team after the Saddlers sacked Sean O’Driscoll on Sunday and, with the help of his colleagues, hopes to create a “successful pie” at Bescot.

“I add my little piece, my ingredients,” Whitney told BBC WM on Thursday.

“[Goalkeeping coach] Neil Cutler adds a little bit, [professional development coach] John Ward, some of the players, the skipper, some of the younger lads add theirs.

“If overall that becomes quite a nice-tasting pie, then that pie could be quite successful.”

Well, Whitney ended his first week at the helm as “star baker” as the Saddlers came from behind to win 4-1 at Chesterfield to move within three points of second-placed Wigan in League One.

That’s a result that even Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood would have approved of.

The Warnock effect

Rotherham tweet<!–

Love him or hate him, you cannot deny that Neil Warnock is getting results at Rotherham.

The Millers have taken 11 points from seven games since the 67-year-old took charge and they are only one point from getting themselves out of the Championship’s relegation zone following a miraculous comeback at home to Derby.

Trailing 3-0 with 20 minutes to play, Warnock sent on striker Leon Best from the bench. After Danny Ward’s 83rd-minute goal, Best netted with two headers to earn an unlikely point.

Darren Wassall<!–

Darren Wassall (left) saw his Derby side surrender a 3-0 lead at Rotherham on Saturday

“I can’t think of another comeback as good as that, but I forget,” said Warnock afterwards.

“This is the result of the season, never mind the day. I don’t think there will be another one like this.”

Europe’s elite slip up

Paul Pogba, Ricky Holmes, Alfie Mawson, Lionel Messi<!–

In terms of results, Ricky Holmes’ Northampton and Alfie Mawson’s Barnsley have been close to matching Europe’s best in recent weeks

A form table published earlier this week put Juventus and Barcelona as the two most in-form teams in Europe – closely followed by Barnsley and Northampton Town.

Northampton had 38 points from their 15 games before a 1-1 draw against Cambridge, while Barnsley had collected 37 points from their 15 fixtures before losing 2-0 to Southend in League One.

Despite Saturday’s slip-ups, those runs are something to be proud of.

So Lionel Messi, Neymar, Luis Suarez, Paul Pogba – all great players – but can they do it on a cold Tuesday night at Oakwell or Sixfields?

Goal of the day?

Ross McCormack<!–

Ross McCormack put Fulham ahead against Bristol City after just three minutes with a superb chip…
Ross McCormack<!–

…an attempt that City goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell could only watch sail over his head into the net…
Ross McCormack<!–

…the Scottish striker celebrated his 21st goal of the season in some style…
Ross McCormack<!–

…but it was not enough as City scored two second-half goals, including a 90th-minute winner, to win 2-1 at Craven Cottage.

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