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5 EFL talking points as pressure piles on Mick McCarthy and Coventry march on

A look at some of the key issues to arise from a busy afternoon of action across 35 games in the Championship, League One and League Two

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It’s been another busy afternoon across the EFL.

A total of 35 matches have been taking place across the Championship, League One and League Two.

Despite much of the country being battered by rain, there was still plenty of quality on display.

In the second tier, Nottingham Forest continued their renaissance under Steve Cooper with a thoroughly convincing 3-0 win over Birmingham whilst another eye-raising result saw Portsmouth put Sunderland, who started the day as League One leaders, to the sword as they ran out 4-0 winners.

Here, Mirror Sport takes a look at some of the key talking points to emerge from today’s action.

And then there was one



Philip Billing was the match-winner for Bournemouth today




AFC Bournemouth remain the sole unbeaten side in the EFL.

Last night saw West Brom lose their tag with a defeat away at Stoke City.

And today if looked at one point as though the Cherries were about to follow them. They trailed to Morgan Gibbs-White’s strike for Sheffield United just before the hour mark.

But Scott Parker’s side have shown they can react to setbacks enough times this season. And it took them barely six minutes to restore parity.

Dominic Solanke rifled home from the penalty spot after winning the spot-kick himself.

And barely three minutes after that Philip Billing turned the game on its head when he slid in to make it 2-1. And that’s how it stayed as Parker’s men go three points clear at the summit.

Coventry’s home comforts continue



Coventry blitzed Fulham in a rampant second half




Coventry City’s outstanding home run goes on after today’s eye-raising evisceration of Fulham.

Mark Robins’ side were 1-0 down at the break but proceeded to win 4-1 and seal a sixth straight league win at the Coventry Building Society Arena this season.

They came roaring out of the blocks after the restart, just like they did in their previous home game against Peterborough.

It means they are keeping pace with the sides at the top, something not many would have expected despite their return home after being exiled in Birmingham.

They will go into the international break full of vigour.

As for Fulham, dejected Cottagers’ boss Marco Silva was apologetic to his side’s travelling fans.

He said: “I have to apologise to our fans. Our second half was really, really bad.”

McCarthy on the brink



Cardiff boss Mick McCarthy has overseen five straight losses




Cardiff slipped to a fifth successive defeat as they were edged out 1-0 at home to Reading this afternoon.

The full-time whistle was met with jeers from the thoroughly miserable home fans.

Veteran McCarthy attracted criticism in midweek for his selection of five centre-backs against high-flying West Brom. They ended up losing that game 4-0 and today saw him rejig things with star striker Kieffer Moore back in the starting XI.







But it was to no avail. That it was a former Cardiff player that scored the only goal – Junior Hoilett netting in the first half – was particularly cruel.

Those five straight losses have seen City ship 12 goals, scoring just once.

With the international break on the horizon, many might well suggest that now is the ideal time for a change in the hotseat to happen.

Plymouth powering on

They may have gone under the radar, but you cannot ignore Plymouth’s outstanding form.

Today they came agonisingly close to a stand-out win away at last season’s play-off finalists Lincoln.

They were leading 2-1 up until the final minute, when Anthony Scully’s penalty ensured spoils were shared.



Ryan Hardie celebrates scoring in Plymouth’s draw at Lincoln




But that late blow should not detract from Argyle’s outstanding progression this term.

This is only their second season back in the third tier. Last year they finished an underwhelming 18th but today’s result extends their unbeaten league run into double figures.

You have to go back to the opening day for their last defeat.

Not many would have expected Ryan Lowe’s side to be nestled in third, just below Wigan and Sunderland at this point in the campaign.

Heady days indeed for the Green Army.

Forest Green owner has last laugh

Carlisle’s dress code policy in the boardroom certainly irked Forest Green Rovers’ owner Dale Vince.

Vince posted on social media pre-match indicating he would be sitting with the away fans due to Carlisle’s policy. He wrote: “No tie no entry – so I’m with our fans for the game, nothing lost there.







“And we have a ‘mirror dress code policy’ that will bite Carlisle later in the season (when they visit us) – whatever they ban we insist on, whatever they insist on we ban – so it’s obligatory jeans and trainers for them and no shirts or ties.”

And Vince would certainly have enjoyed today’s game from his vantage point in the stands – Jamille Matt and Nicky Cadden netting in quick succession in the first half to maintain Rovers’ fine start as they remain four points clear at the top of League Two.


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