EFL: Adebayo Akinfenwa sees red, Eoin Doyle scores again & Stevenage go bottom

Darnell Furlong
Darnell Furlong celebrates levelling for Championship leaders West Brom against Brentford on a bad day for the EFL's leading lights

Christmas might be the time for giving generously but the teams at the top of the three divisions in the English Football League probably didn't need to be quite as charitable as they were on Saturday.

Of the seven teams that started the day in the automatic promotion places none managed a victory, with Championship table-toppers West Brom salvaging a draw at home to Brentford as second-placed Leeds slipped to a 2-1 defeat by Fulham.

Here's five things you might have missed, including a well-known striker who received a very unwanted Christmas card.

Beast Mode off

Adebayo Akinfenwa
Judging by his reaction, this was one card Adebayo Akinfenwa definitely wasn't expecting to receive this Christmas...

For many people, Christmas just wouldn't be the same without a monumental family argument over the annual game of Monopoly.

If Wycombe Wanderers striker Adebayo Akinfenwa is one of those people, Christmas just came early.

Clearly eager to get stuck into a proper, old-fashioned row, he managed to engage in a war of words with some Oxford United players on Saturday. And lost.

With his team already trailing 1-0, the 37-year-old reacted angrily to a challenge on team-mate Scott Kashket and was promptly shown a second yellow card for his protestations.

The vidiprinter on BBC's Final Score programme best described it:

Adebayo Akinfenwa

The U's, who impressed in a 3-1 Carabao Cup defeat by Manchester City in midweek, took all three points with a commanding display, although Wanderers can console themselves with the fact that they'll still be top of League One at Christmas.

"I think they've goaded Akinfenwa to get him sent off," Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth told BBC Three Counties Radio. "It's part of the game, Bayo's really gutted that he's reacted.

"I will back that man until the cows come home. He's one of my leaders, one of my generals. But we all have moments where we look back and think 'maybe I should've done something different'."

Doyle does it again

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Swindon hope to keep 'Ginger Pele'

It's very much not a secret that Swindon striker Eoin Doyle is in red-hot form right now.

The Irishman is on loan at the County Ground side from fellow League Two side Bradford and said earlier this week that he would like to make his stay in Wiltshire more of a permanent arrangement.

That feeling is very much mutual after the player, nicknamed the 'Ginger Pele' by the club's fans, took his tally to 21 goals in 19 games with a double to put them 2-0 up at Forest Green on Saturday.

His two goals also saw him become the first player to score in 10 successive games in League Two this decade.

A double by home skipper Joseph Mills, including a stoppage-time leveller, might have denied the leaders victory in dramatic fashion, but it wasn't even the best comeback in the west country this week.

That honour goes to Exeter City, who retained second spot behind Swindon after claiming a 3-3 draw against Walsall despite trailing 3-0 after just 31 minutes.

Murphy's delight as Bolton eye miracle

Luke Murphy (right) had double cause for celebration after scoring in Bolton's 3-2 win against Southend
Luke Murphy (right) had double cause for celebration after scoring in Bolton's 3-2 win against Southend

Bolton started the season on -12 points after a turbulent summer that saw one of the Football League's founding teams almost go out of existence.

However, Saturday's 3-2 victory over second-bottom Southend helped them move to within two points of the Shrimpers as they look to pull off a miraculous survival bid.

They might still be 15 points adrift of safety but their confidence will no doubt be boosted by a victory that saw them score three goals for the first time since May 2018.

And there was double cause for celebration for Wanderers' goalscorer Luke Murphy this weekend.

"My girlfriend was at home as she's giving birth tomorrow. The goal was for her and the little baby," he said.

"She's booked in for a C-section so we always knew it would be this date but I gave my phone to one of the kitmen. I want to be there and I also wanted to complete the game.

"I don't know what would happened if she was rushed in early. But I'm delighted with today and hopefully it will be a memorable weekend."

Any feelings of optimism and hope are probably much harder to find at Sol Campbell's Southend, with Saturday's defeat meaning they have now conceded 62 goals this season.

Campbell's own personal misery was compounded by receiving a booking that Bolton's Twitter account was quick to sympathise with him about...

The only way is up for Westley

Stevenage appointed Graham Westley as their manager for the fourth time last week.

The former Preston, Peterborough, Newport and Barnet boss will take over from caretaker Mark Sampson on Monday and will do so with the team at the bottom of the EFL after a crushing 5-1 home defeat by Crewe.

A double from Chuma Anene, a Scott Cuthbert own goal and strikes from Oliver Finney and Daniel Powell put the Railwaymen five goals to the good before Cuthbert put one in at the right end.

"They were far too good for us today and we have to apologise to everyone who came out to support us at a time of year when money is tight and family time is precious," Sampson told BBC Radio Three Counties.

"The gaffer is in on Monday and we will need that enthusiasm, energy, confidence and that feeling that he is going to make a big difference here. We're hurting right now."

Clough's Burton back on track

Nigel Clough's Burton Albion moved to 14th in League One following their win against Rochdale
Nigel Clough's Burton Albion moved to 14th in League One following their win against Rochdale

It's fair to say that regular visitors to Burton Albion's Pirelli Stadium probably haven't been getting full value for money this season.

Prior to Saturday, Brewers supporters had been treated to a miserly nine goals in eight league games on the ground in 2019-20. And that's counting the goals scored by their opponents, too.

Therefore, the visit of struggling Rochdale may not necessarily have set the pulses racing before kick-off. What followed, however, was something of a goalfest. Sort of.

After falling behind to Callum Camps' early strike, goals from Ryan Edwards, Lucas Akins and Liam Boyce gave Burton a 3-1 win. And in doing so, they nearly doubled their entire season's goalscoring tally at home in a single game.

"We put more quality boxes into the box, got more bodies into the box and had seven shots on target. That was a vast improvement," Brewers boss Nigel Clough told BBC Radio Derby.

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