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Championship Chat: Vaughan & Leeds shine

Thursday 29th August 2013 11:33

James Marshment has praise for Chris Burke, James Vaughan and Leeds United in Championship Chat but is less impressed with Millwall's kit man.

The Sky Bet Championship is often overlooked for the glamour and glitz of the Premier League, but there's much to be celebrated in the second tier as we find out in this new weekly Thursday column.

The race for promotion, and the bid to stay in the second tier, is likely to be as competitive as ever, as we examine all the key talking points from the weekend, and also take a look at what's to come in the matches ahead.

Feel free to let me know your thoughts in the story comment box, below, or Tweet me here.

Goal of the weekend: Chris Burke, Birmingham v Leicester

It may have counted for nothing more than consolation, but there's no doubting the quality of Burke's strike in the East vs West (Midlands) derby at the King Power Stadium.

Picking up the ball on the right touchline, Burke evaded a challenge before riding two more on the edge of the Foxes box, before beautifully curling a left-footed effort past the diving Kasper Schmeichel.

Worthy of mentions: David McGoldrick, Ipswich v Leeds; Adam Clayton, Huddersfield v Bournemouth; Tom Cairney, Blackburn v Barnsley.

Team of the weekend: (4-3-1-2) Rob Green; Todd Kane, Richard Keogh, Jack Robinson, Clint Hill; Lewis McGugan, Rudi Austin, Adam Hammill; James Vaughan; Ross McCormack, Jordan Rhodes.

Special praise goes Blackburn's Todd Kane, who not only scored his first goal for Rovers, but also weighed in with two assists in their 5-2 win over Barnsley - not bad for a full-back!

Quote of the weekend: Mick McCarthy

You can usually rely on the straight-talking Ipswich boss to say exactly what's on his mind, so when he was questioned about his side's defending in their 2-1 home defeat to Leeds, the former Republic of Ireland manager did not disappoint.

Asked how he felt, when Leeds' winner hit the net, McCarthy replied: "S****y. Let's be honest - that ball should not have ended up in the back of our net."

Player of the weekend: James Vaughan, Huddersfield

The former Norwich man was Huddersfield's big signing of the summer having arrived for an undisclosed seven-figure fee, and five goals in the first four games of the season suggest he's been every penny.

After hitting the winner at Millwall last weekend, Vaughan picked up where he left off by smashing in a 21-minute hat-trick in the 5-1 romp against Bournemouth.

Vaughan has always had the talent, but a string of niggling injuries have prevented him ever reaching his full potential. However, after scoring 14 in 33 appearances whilst on loan at Town last year, together with his start in this, suggest it won't be long before Premier League clubs come sniffing back round for the former Everton frontman.

Gaffe of the weekend: Mr Kit Man, Millwall

I've always thought the role of kitman was one of the cushier numbers in professional football, with little more to do than wash and iron the kit, and ensure the players' matchday needs are catered for.

So when Millwall's kitman forgot to bring their strip for their away encounter at Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, there were more than a few red faces in the Lions' camp when they sheepishly had to ask to borrow Wednesday's away strip from last season.

Their third strip eventually turned up for the second half of the game at Hillsborough, and, whilst it's probably not the first time that has happened, it summed up was has been a disjointed and disappointing season for the club so far.

Game of the weekend: Leicester 3 Birmingham 2

You had to feel for Lee Clark's men here, who led for the best part of 66 minutes at the King Power Stadium, before eventually succumbing by the odd goal in five.

Matt Green had given Birmingham the lead in the 12th minute before fellow former non-league hitman Jamie Vardy netted the equaliser on 78. That opened the floodgates for a late flurry with the Foxes scoring twice more through Andy King and David Nugent, before Burke's aforementioned beauty proving nothing more than consolation.

Watch highlights of the game in the video above.

Result of the weekend: Ipswich 1 Leeds 2

Portman Road has not been kind for the Whites over recent seasons, having had a man sent off there in each of their last four previous visits.

And when the Tractor Boys took a deserved early lead through David McGoldrick's excellent strike, it seemed as though Leeds would have to wait longer to end their 12-year wait for victory at Portman Road.

However, the in-form Ross McCormack helped Leeds come from behind by first seeing his deflected shot fall nicely into the path of Luke Varney to smash home, before another deflected effort flew in to help the Whites to their first three-point haul at Portman Road since 2001.

Disappointment of the weekend: Yeovil Town

Having reached the second tier for the first time in their history, the Glovers are going to have to be at their best at Huish Park if they're to defy the odds and avoid an immediate return to the second tier.

So to go down 3-0 to Derby in only their second home game will either prove to be an ominuos sign for Gary Johnson's men, or give them the timely wake-up call they need.

To be fair to Derby, they were excellent, but there's no denying the Somerset men will need to improve rapidly if they're to make a fist of staying in the Championship.

Celebration of the weekend: Reda Johnson, Sheffield Wednesday

A bog-standard weekend of celebrations, but everyone loves to see a player kissing the badge (as long as they don't submit a transfer request a few days later, that is) and the powerful Wednesday defender did not disappoint against Millwall by first pointing to the club crest and then giving it a loving peck.

(Incidentally, can anyone show me a defender with a better goalscoring record than Johnson, who now has 17 goals in 58 games for Wednesday!

Hot topic of the weekend: Valley of Doom

You have to have huge sympathy for Doncaster, who having gone 3-1 up at Charlton saw the match at The Valley abandoned due to a waterlogged pitch under a delluge of heavy rain.

The referee, having deemed the pitch playable to begin with, surely has a responsibility to see the match to its completion, and you can only feel sorry for all associated with Rovers, that a probable three points will be scrapped from the record books and have to be played for all over again.

It gets even worse for Donny's Paul Keegan, who having scored a goal before then seeing red after collecting a farcical second booking, will now have to serve a suspension as well as seeing his goal chalked off.

Surely if the goal and result doesn't stand, then why should the red card? It must be all or nothing in this situation and there must be some allowances written into the laws of the game.

The abandonment also spelt bad news for followers of this column, who will now never know if my 3/1 selection of Doncaster as the Bet of the Weekend will have come good.

What's to come...

Live on Sky: Leeds v QPR (Sky Sports 1, Saturday 12.15pm kick-off)

Match of the weekend: Blackpool v Watford

Second plays fifth at Bloomfield Road, in a match that should get the pulses racing. Blackpool have played above themselves so far by collecting three wins and a draw from their four games, and that unbeaten record will be really put to the test by Gianfranco Zola's side.

Betting tip of the weekend: Huddersfield (15/8) to win at Barnsley

Mark Robins' takes Town back to his former club looking for a third straight win against a Barnsley side, who sit bottom of the table and already have a goal difference of minus eight.

A £10 bet with Sky Bet returns £28.75 at the time of writing.

By James Marshment, follow me on Twitter here.

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