Like father like son
With just four fixtures still to play for most Championship clubs, any review must surely centre on the promotion and relegation issues, but there is a rather unique and remarkable story to tell about Ipswich Town and their young debutant Andre Dozzell.
Ipswich drew their Championship game 1-1 at Sheffield Wednesday. They were a goal down to a Fernando Forestieri goal scored just before half time. Mick McCarthy’s reaction was to introduce 16-year-old Andre Dozzell, pictured below on England under-16 duty two months ago, for his debut. The youngster, sixteen days short of his 17th birthday, headed home the equaliser.
I’m sure he won’t the last 16-year-old to score on his debut but this story is unique simply because his dad did exactly the same thing 32 years ago when he too was given an Ipswich debut as a substitute against Coventry and scored. Dad can still claim the ‘Dozzell Crown’, he was only 57 days past his 16th birthday and on scoring became the youngest player ever to score a top flight goal.
Dad went on to play 340 league games for the Suffolk club before a move to Spurs. Andre still has a bit of catching up to do.
As for the real stuff, what a week it was for us as those midweek stoppage time goals went in to give Brighton and Middlesbrough wins against Nottingham Forest and Reading. Someone had pointed it out to me last Sunday that we could be third by the time we got to Birmingham with both of our rivals playing twice but I thought one of them might slip up somewhere. No so unfortunately.
They were both fortunate to win but then Brighton did push us down into third place when they hammered Fulham on Friday. I don’t suppose it was any surprise to see Fulham conceding goals aplenty, but they do usually trouble the scorer at the other end.
So, third, but was their good news on the horizon when Bolton went in front against Middlesbrough just as we were arriving at St. Andrew’s. No such luck, Jordan Rhodes scored twice to get the win and once again there was a stoppage time winner.
No wonder I was worried when the board went up for extra minutes at Birmingham, but we got through that tough test and the table is back to as you were on Friday morning before the midweek fixtures.
The experts can’t call it but simply two of the three of us will go up automatically. I’d love to call it; I’d love to say us and one of the other two and not caring which one.
It’s surely all over at the bottom now. Bolton went last week but surely the next two, Charlton and MK, needed to start to get wins desperately. Neither could, Charlton lost although MK did manage a draw at Preston when striker Alex Revell went in goal and saved a penalty.
If either are to stay up they would need a minimum of three wins and a draw and that’s if the next group just lose the lot. Charlton have been down there all season and haven’t been outside of the bottom three since November. MK however, despite being low in the table, hadn’t been in the bottom three between mid-December and a month ago, but as Bristol City, Rotherham, Fulham and the like started picking up points, they didn’t. Four successive defeats look to have condemned them to an immediate return to League One. Meanwhile, Wimbledon still have a chance of making the League Two play-offs.
That’s about it really. Hull and Derby wins cemented their play-off places. I certainly can’t see either of them missing out and I expect them to face each other in the semi-finals with Sheffield Wednesday, looking likely for that sixth place, to play the team that misses out on automatic.
Andre Gray, as we reported last night, is the Sky Bet Championship Player of the Year while he and Joey Barton have made the selected team from all three divisions of the league.
Next week we have the PFA Awards and I was looking this morning at the Championship team selected two years ago.
It read: Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester), Kieran Trippier (Burnley), Aaron Cresswell (Ipswich), Wes Morgan (Leicester), Jason Shackell (Burnley), Danny Drinkwater (Leicester), Andy Reid (Nottingham Forest), Craig Bryson (Derby), Will Hughes (Derby), Danny Ings (Burnley), Ross McCormack (Leeds).
I’m sure we will see at least one Burnley player in the team but we might just equal that one and get three in there. We’ll know this time next week.
Gray must be a candidate. He’s the leading goalscorer in the league, adding one more on Saturday. All the leading scorers can be found along with each club’s yellow and red card count, the highest and lowest attendances and each club’s average attendance in Goalscorers – Discipline – Attendances which can be found in 2015/16 Stats on the top menu.
We’ve got a midweek fixture list too this week, including our big game against Middlesbrough.
THE MIDWEEK FIXTURES
Tuesday 19th April
Birmingham v Preston
Bolton v Charlton (8 p.m. kick off)
Brentford v Cardiff
Brighton v QPR
Bristol City v Derby
Burnley v Middlesbrough
Ipswich v Fulham
Leeds v Wolves
Nottingham Forest v Blackburn
Reading v Hull (8 p.m. kick off)
Rotherham v Huddersfield
Sheffield Wednesday v MK