EFL: A father and son sent off and drone drama among five things you may have missed

By Andrew AloiaBBC Sport
Referee Brett Huxtable orders Yeovil and Crawley players off the pitch as a drone flies over head at Huish Park
Referee Brett Huxtable orders Yeovil and Crawley players off the pitch as a drone flies over head at Huish Park

A father sent to the stands for sticking up for his son and a drone helping a team to victory are among the more peculiar incidents that marked the start of 2018 in the English Football League.

On a day that one experienced manager saw a gamble pay off and a Championship struggler kept a 30,252-day record intact, BBC Sport takes you through five things you have missed...

Seeing red in League Two

There were a few hot heads in League Two, with seven sending-offs to start the the year.

Tempers were frayed at the New Lawn as Forest Green Rovers manager Mark Cooper was sent to the stands after protesting against the sending off of his midfielder son Charlie.

Wycombe, who went on to win the match 2-1, were also quick to share the father and son moment on social media with a montage of the fury and frustration.

There were even more goals, and a couple of red cards, at Kenilworth Road.

Luton Town put four past Lincoln City to become the highest scoring side in England's top four divisions to date this season.

But before the ball had nestled in the back of either net, Alan Sheehan was sent off inside four minutes for the hosts after a scuffle with Matt Rhead.

Michael Bostwick put Lincoln ahead two minutes later, and so, the tone for a dramatic opening 45 minutes was set early on.

Luton went on to level through James Collins in the 32nd minute, only for the Imps to go 2-1 up through Matt Green two minutes later.

Lincoln's Harry Anderson was sent off for a second yellow in the 36th minute, and James Justin on target just before the break to level things up 2-2.

By comparison the second half was sedate, as goals by Danny Hylton and Harry Cornick sealed victory for the League Two leaders in the 10 v 10 contest.

"That's the best way to star the New Year. The game had everything, what a great spectacle for League Two football," was Luton Boss Nathan Jones' verdict.

Droning on at Yeovil

Thomas Verheydt scores Crawley's later winners against Yeovil
Thomas Verheydt headed a late winner for Crawley at Yeovil

Things were not only kicking off at Huish Park, but they were taking off as well.

Crawley manager Harry Kewell used an 11-minute postponement caused by a drone flying over the ground in the 81st minute to refocus his players against nine-man Yeovil Town.

Both sets of players were removed from the field by referee Brett Huxtable for safety reasons as stewards and security staff investigated.

"It probably worked in our favour when the drone came," the Australian told BBC Surrey.

"I've never seen that before in my life. It gave me a chance to get my boys and say 'hey what are you doing?' It wasn't a change of tactics, it was just going back to what I said at half-time."

Whatever was said worked a treat as Thomas Verheydt made it 2-1 in the eighth minute of injury time at the end of the match as Crawley triumphed for the fourth time in six games.

On a serious note, Yeovil released a statement saying that they will continue to work with Avon & Somerset Police to investigate the incident.

From flying start...

Cheltenham's Mohamed Eisa scores inside 90 second against Stevenage
Eisa was on target early for Cheltenham

From a flying drone to a flying start for Cheltenham Town.

Mohamed Eisa had the honour of netting the first EFL goal of 2018, finding the net for the 12th time this term after just 85 seconds at Stevenage.

A pretty perfect start, one would say.

Well, no. It turned out to be a miserable day at the Lamex Stadium as they slumped to a 4-1 defeat, with Tom Pett scoring twice as Stevenage claimed just their second win in 12 league games.

A debut well worth the wait

QPR's Paul Smyth celebrate his goal against Cardiff in acrobatic style
QPR's Paul Smyth celebrate his goal against Cardiff in acrobatic style

One win in 10 games, and just 26 goals in 25 Championship matches all season, prompted QPR boss Ian Holloway to take drastic action at Loftus Road.

His solution was to call up untried 20-year-old Paul Smyth for his debut against Cardiff City - five months after joining the west London side.

And the Northern Ireland Under-21 forward didn't disappoint, smashing in the winner against the Bluebirds.

"It could have gone horribly wrong, but it didn't," said the ever-quoteable Bristolian. "He was a breath of fresh air.

"It was probably one of the biggest risks I've ever taken. But if you keep doing what you're doing and people are missing then someone else deserves a chance.

"He has done us the world of good."

Trotting up the wins

Bolton's Gary Madine scores a free-kick against Hull City
Gary Madine has scored in five of Bolton's six Championship wins to date this season

Nine points from a possible 12 in the space of 10 days has lifted Bolton Wanderers out of the Championship relegation zone and up to 20th in the table.

Gary Madine's winner against fellow strugglers Hull City at the Macron Stadium meant the Trotters have managed to win as many games in the past 10 days than they managed in the first four months and 10 days of the campaign.

And the result saw Phil Parkinson's side edge above Hull, who slipped to 21st, precariously placed just above the drop zone on goal difference.

For Hull, the trip to Bolton has long been a miserable one. They have won only once on their 27 visits and that solitary success was in March 1935, just 30,252 days ago...