Matt Gilks – Blackpool
Not only was he one of just 13 goalkeepers to keep a clean sheet at the weekend, Matt Gilks made some cracking saves to lead Blackpool to a 1-0 victory over Reading. His saves ensured that by the time substitute Tom Barkhuizen scored in the 75th minute, it proved to be the winner. The pick of the saves by the Scottish international was perhaps a close-range stop from Adam Le Fondre after a mazy run by Royston Drenthe.
Todd Kane – Blackburn Rovers
Signed on a season-long loan from Chelsea, Todd Kane has quickly settled back into the Blackburn Rovers team. The right-back had established himself at the Lancashire club last season when he was on loan there, and this campaign is no different. 19-year-old Kane has continually put in performances well above his years, and managed to grab his first senior goal on Saturday in Rovers’ 5-2 drubbing of Barnsley. After a marauding run down the right, Kane unleashed a 25-yard pile-driver that goalkeeper Luke Steele could only deflect into the goal.
William Edjenguele – Bury
Despite Bury conceding twice in the last seven minutes as they had to settle for a 2-2 draw at Burton Albion, William Edjenguele should feel happy with his performance. The French defender had a solid game at the back, dealing with most things that came his way, and could definitely not be blamed for either goal. He topped it all off with a goal in the 41st minute, a back-post header evading everyone to roll in.
Johnny Mullins – Oxford United
Another dramatic 2-2 draw, this time between Oxford and Wycombe, had another centre back on the scoresheet. With his side trailing 2-1 in the seventh minute of added time, Oxford’s Johnny Mullins took a knockdown from James Constable and drilled it home from 15 yards to earn his side a point. His defensive ability should also not be overlooked, with the 27-year-old stepping up when required to deal with long balls and holding a good line.
Clint Hill – Queens Park Rangers
Ordinarily a centre-back, manager Harry Redknapp opted to play captain Clint Hill at left-back for his side’s clash at Bolton. It was a move that paid off extraordinarily well for QPR, with Hill having the game of his life as they beat Wanderers 1-0. Having played well all game, at both ends of the field, striker Andrew Johnson, finally got on the end of one of his many crosses to score the only goal of the match. Not only did Hill provide the winning assist, he also won Man of the Match in an outstanding, all-round performance.
Adam Hammill – Huddersfield Town
Huddersfield Town romped to their second victory of the season by beating Bournemouth 5-1, mainly thanks to Adam Hammill and James Vaughan (more on him later). Hammill opened the scoring for the Terriers with an excellent individual goal, beating two defenders before stabbing past Ryan Allsop in the Bournemouth goal. He then provided the assist for Vaughan’s first goal, Huddersfield’s second, with an inch-perfect cross, using the outside of his right foot, that the former Everton man easily headed home.
Jason Taylor – Cheltenham Town
A first win of the season for Cheltenham Town, 1-0 over fellow strugglers Accrington Stanley, came thanks to a good finish from Jason Taylor, rounding off a classic performance by the big midfielder. The 26-year-old battled for 90 minutes, playing hard in the centre to ensure his side didn’t fall behind, and eventually popped up for the winner in the 75th minute. After Richards’ free kick wasn’t dealt with properly, Taylor retrieved the ball 15 yards out, turned his marker and fired home to give the Robins victory,
Grant Leadbitter – Middlesbrough
An ex-Sunderland man playing for Middlesbrough isn’t something that usually goes down particularly well. However, if Grant Leadbitter keeps putting in these kinds of performances, Boro fans won’t mind about his history. The big-tackling midfielder was instrumental in his team’s 2-2 draw at Wigan, bossing the midfield as he so often does. He then scored just his fourth goal for the club when he swept home in the 75th minute to put the FA Cup holders on the ropes.
Andy Reid – Nottingham Forest
Andy Reid opened the scoring for Nottingham Forest inside just six minutes in their 1-1 draw with Watford. Forest could not hold on for the win, eventually conceding to Lewis McGugan’s spectacular free kick, but take nothing away from Reid’s professional performance. The Irishman took his goal well, picking up the ball 40 yards out, exchanging passes with Jamie Mackie, and lashing the ball into the roof of the Watford net. He continued to play well after that, and often stopped the Hornets’ attacks before they could get going.
Nahki Wells – Bradford City
For a man who didn’t score his first Bradford City goal until January 2012, Nahki Wells hasn’t done too badly in the last 18 months. After being one of the most influential players in Bradford’s fairytale run to the Capital One Cup final last season, the Bermuda international has now scored in eight consecutive games for the West Yorkshire side, more than anyone in the club’s history. In fact, he bagged a brace against Sheffield United on Saturday to propel him into the record books. After going close three times early on, he finally got his goal when he turned his man inside out and fired home from a narrow angle. His second came minutes before the end, a scuffed half volley which wrong-footed George Long in the Blades goal.
James Vaughan – Huddersfield Town
Probably the only man to outshine Adam Hammill in Huddersfield Town’s 5-1 mauling of Bournemouth was James Vaughan. The former Everton striker scored a 21 minute hat-trick to take his tally for the season to five goals, and could have also had more if not for some good defending by the visitors. After having a half-volley tipped over Ryan Allsop, the £600,000 man made no mistake a few minutes later to head home from Hammill’s cross. He then latched on to Martin Paterson’s superb through ball for his second, and finished his hat trick off with a powerful penalty.