EFL: Michael Dawson ends Forest goal wait & James Coppinger strikes again

Eoin Doyle
Eoin Doyle was on the front cover of Bradford City's programme on Saturday - but he was nowhere to be seen

When Bradford City's media team were putting together their matchday programme for Saturday's home game against Oldham Athletic, Eoin Doyle probably seemed the obvious choice as their cover star.

Doyle, who scored 11 times for the Bantams last season, made 34 appearances across two successful loan spells with the Latics during the 2017-18 campaign.

But if Oldham fans were hoping to see their former striker in action at Valley Parade they were set for a disappointing afternoon - because Doyle was actually lacing up his boots 211 miles away.

The 31-year-old joined Swindon Town on a season-long loan deal on Friday and was lining up for the Robins against Exeter City 24 hours later, even popping up with an 88th-minute equaliser for his new club.

The Bantams may well have missed their print deadline to reflect Doyle's move in the 'The Parader', but here are five things nobody can afford to miss from Saturday's English Football League action.

Breaking a 15-year goalscoring duck

Michael Dawson
Michael Dawson's goal against Birmingham City was the 27th of his career

Michael Dawson doesn't score many goals, so the celebrations were always going to be on the frenzied side when he powered in a header for Nottingham Forest in Saturday's 3-0 win over Birmingham City.

It was a goal that rolled back the years, quite literally. His last Forest strike? The opener in a 1-1 draw with Leicester City back in December 2004.

The centre-half was at Tottenham Hotspur for almost nine of those years after leaving the City Ground in 2005, before spending another four with Hull City.

He returned to Forest last summer but had not got on the scoresheet for his hometown club... until today.

Cue bedlam in the Trent End, as Dawson leapt into the air in delight and went on a Johnny Metgod-style lap of honour. A genuine moment of joy for a Forest favourite.

Continuing a 15-year goalscoring run

From dramatic last-gasp title-winning goals to playing in front of Michael Jackson, veteran midfielder James Coppinger has enjoyed a colourful career.

The 38-year-old is currently embarking on his 21st season as a professional and his 16th with Doncaster Rovers, for whom he has played more than 600 times.

Having first arrived as a playmaker well known for chipping in with goals in 2004, Coppinger had to wait until his 66th Doncaster appearance to grab his first for the club - and he hasn't really stopped scoring since.

His strike in Saturday's 3-2 victory over Fleetwood Town, a trademark curler from the edge of the box, means he has now netted in each of the past 15 campaigns for Doncaster.

"James was at the heart of everything," manager Darren Moore told BBC Radio Sheffield. "He's calm and composed and when he gets on the ball he makes things happen."

Familiarity breeds contempt?

Jack Ross
Has Kenny Jackett ever shaken another man's hand more often than Jack Ross' during the past nine months?

Sunderland and Portsmouth have quite a bit in common.

They are both one-club cities. Both have a fierce rival currently lording it over them in the Premier League. Both have tasted the champagne high-life - and felt the tough tumble down.

Those shared circumstances have forged a little bit of a rivalry in the absence of their usual derby foes, aided by a freakish frequency of fixtures.

Saturday's 2-1 win for the Wearsiders was the sixth time the clubs have met since their first meeting in December of last season.

Three competitions, six games, two wins for Sunderland, three draws and a trophy - the old Checkatrade Trophy - for Portsmouth.

It's fewer than six weeks per game. Rangers and Celtic up in Scotland are probably the only big rivals who square up as often.

But fans of each club are far from getting bored of the rivalry - the 29,140 crowd at The Stadium of Light was the biggest in the EFL on Saturday.

Luton's home run ended by super sub Diangana

Regular visitors to Kenilworth Road have certainly had their money's worth over the past 18 months or so.

Since their last defeat on home soil - a 2-1 loss to Accrington Stanley on 10 March 2018 - Luton Town had gone 28 home games unbeaten, winning two successive promotions to return to the second tier for the first time in 12 years.

That run looked set to continue against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, with Harry Cornick firing them ahead before half-time. But Grady Diangana had other ideas.

The 21-year-old, on loan from West Ham United, was introduced from the bench at the break and within six minutes had scored twice to turn the game on its head.

Not bad for your league debut for a new club.

"He did exactly what we wanted him to do," Baggies boss Slaven Bilic told BBC Radio WM 95.6 "He helped the team but the team also helped him."

The last 100% teams standing

Danny Cowley
Can Danny Cowley lead Lincoln City to a third successive promotion?

Finally, a much-deserved shout out to the only 100% teams left in the EFL - Blackpool and Lincoln City.

Blackpool have been used to headlines centred around boycotts and ownership issues rather than on-field success in recent years, but it looks like the tide is turning under a new regime led by Simon Sadler.

Not even the mid-summer departure of boss Terry McPhillips has stalled the optimism, as Tangerines favourite Simon Grayson has returned as manager and led them to three straight league wins in front of home crowds of 12,000 and 9,000 apiece - the latter a 2-1 win over Oxford.

Meanwhile, the Cowley brothers - Danny and assistant Nicky - continue to sprinkle their fairy dust on Lincoln, whose rapid ascent up the football pyramid remains unchecked after their own three-game League One winning streak.

A crowd of 9,000-plus turned up at Sincil Bank to see lowly Southend United thrashed 4-0.

It's a long way from a 3-1 away defeat by Cheltenham in the National League - the last time Lincoln took to the field without a Cowley in the dugout.

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