EFL: Crisps stop play at Charlton as Leeds shrug off pink surroundings

Crisps stop play at Charlton v Fleetwood
Charlton Athletic fans have staged a series of protests aimed at owner Roland Duchatelet

Charlton Athletic fans have come up with some inventive ways to protest at their owner Roland Duchatelet, but took things to a new level on Saturday.

Crisp packets were the chosen object of chaos, bringing their League One clash against Fleetwood to a standstill.

Leeds continuing their fine form despite different surroundings and an outfield player forced in goal are also among five things you may have missed from the English Football League.

Crisps stop play at Charlton

Protests at Charlton have become fairly commonplace during Duchatelet's four and a half years at the helm, but the latest one served up by supporters offered some bite.

With a proposed takeover of the south-east London club stalling after a price was agreed in February, cutbacks aimed at saving money by the Belgian businessman at The Valley and the non-payment of bonuses to staff have caused campaign group Campaign Against Roland Duchatelet (CARD) to act.

After a pre-match rally outside the ground, supporters stopped proceedings in the first minute against Fleetwood by throwing packets of crisps onto the pitch.

They chose the snack in support of club staff who have reportedly been banned from eating lunch at their desks in a bid to keep offices tidy after the working hours of cleaners were reduced.

Crisps stop play at Charlton Athletic
The match at The Valley was delayed as ground staff were forced to clear the playing surface

CARD has held a series of protests aimed at Duchatelet, including throwing thousands of plastic pigs onto the pitch in 2016.

The EFL has said it will meet with the club and its supporters' trust after Duchatelet told staff some bonuses would not be paid after a "very bad financial year".

When it came to the crunch, Addicks caretaker manager Lee Bowyer said the protest had not affected his side as they laboured to a 0-0 draw with the Cod Army in League One.

"When they first threw the crisps on we were nearly going to score and I thought 'please stop'," the 41-year-old told BBC Radio London.

"I don't know if it put the fans on a bit of a downer because they weren't their normal selves. There was no atmosphere."

Pink surrounds do not stop swaggering Leeds

Leeds United have already generated plenty of attention this season, starting brightly under former Argentina and Chile manager Marcelo Bielsa.

The Whites lead the way in the Championship, with fans hoping that their 15-year exile from the Premier League will be ended next May.

Marginal gains are a big part of football nowadays, and Saturday's opponents Norwich City have taken it to an extreme by painting the away dressing room at Carrow Road a shade of pink.

Leeds United Tweet
Leeds gave Norwich's dressing room the seal of approval on social media

The colour is said to lower testosterone levels and have a calming effect on people.

But it did not provoke that response from Leeds, who tweeted they were "loving" the makeover and ran out 3-0 winners in Norfolk.

The Canaries have lost two of their three home league games this season, so perhaps their away dressing room could do with a new lick of paint.

Black Cats beginning long climb back?

Sunderland fans have endured a torrid couple of seasons, suffering successive relegations as they dropped from the Premier League to League One.

But, under new boss Jack Ross, the Black Cats have made an unbeaten start and are up to second in what is just their second campaign in the third tier in their 139-year history.

Victory from their first-ever meeting with AFC Wimbledon achieved two landmarks which may make supporters think the good times are coming back to the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland midfielder Lee Cattermole celebrates his goal against AFC Wimbledon
Sunderland midfielder Lee Cattermole silenced the AFC Wimbledon fans with both goals in their 2-1 win

Sunderland have now won four league games in a single calendar month for the first time since April 2007 - when Roy Keane led them to the Championship title - and, after taking three points at Gillingham in midweek, the Wearsiders have ended a four-year wait for consecutive away victories,

Uruguayan Gus Poyet was in charge of the club the last time that happened in May 2014, when Sunderland won at Chelsea and Manchester United.

After trips to Priestfield Stadium and Kingsmeadow, further visits to Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford must feel like a long way away, but only Peterborough - the last club with a 100% record in the EFL - are above Ross' side in League One.

Lightning strikes twice at Doncaster v Portsmouth

Top of many people's lists of lesser-spotted football thrills must be an outfield player going in goal.

But fans of Doncaster and Portsmouth could start to believe it is a common occurrence when the two sides meet.

In their third-tier clash at the Keepmoat Stadium on Saturday, Rovers keeper Marko Marosi was sent off for handling outside the area with seven minuets remaining.

Having already made three substitutions, midfielder Ben Whiteman donned the gloves and managed to keep a clean sheet and help the hosts to a point.

Ben Whiteman (left) prepares to go in goal for Doncaster
Ben Whiteman (left) dons Doncaster's keeper Marko Marosi's shirt at the Keepmoat Stadium

Incredibly Portsmouth had suffered the same fate when the two sides faced each other at Fratton Park in February, with a draw also the outcome then.

"I don't think I'll ever do that again, touch wood," Whiteman, 22, told BBC Radio Sheffield.

"Sometimes you just need to take one for the team. I just felt comfortable going in net and wanted to help the boys out.

"Marko made some crucial saves today and we can't forget that."

Tisdale gets one over old employers

Paul Tisdale can be forgiven for possibly feeling split loyalties on Saturday, as the MK Dons manager welcomed his former club Exeter City.

The 45-year-old spent 12 years in charge of the Grecians before leaving St James Park this summer for a new challenge.

Tisdale, who managed the Devon side in 460 games in the EFL, told BBC Three Counties Radio that facing his former employers was "really odd".

Dons striker Kieran Agard saw one penalty saved but netted with a second attempt from 12 yards and that strike was enough for the side from Milton Keynes to inflict a first league defeat on Exeter, who had Dean Moxey sent off in the second half.

"I asked the players for some help," Tisdale added.

"I said 'I help you most of the time but today is the day you have got to help me'.

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