Duane Holmes
photo: IMAGO / NurPhoto

EFL Recap: Holmes’ PNE win again in midweek league clash

It’s midweek match day seven in the EFL Championship as we view our Yanks in the tiers below the Premier League in action.

Preston North End 2-1 Birmingham

Preston, featuring Duane Holmes, rallied from behind to uphold their undefeated streak in the EFL Championship, securing a victory over Birmingham at Deepdale.

Preston is celebrating their strongest season start since 1903. Just 40 seconds into the second half, Jay Stansfield scored to give the visitors the lead. However, the Blues’ advantage was short-lived, as Krystian Bielik unintentionally headed the ball into his own net from a corner just six minutes later, bringing the scores level.

Following this, Milutin Osmajic, who recently joined from Spanish club Cadiz on transfer deadline day, netted his first goal, neatly sliding the ball between the legs of goalkeeper John Ruddy to give PNE the lead.

In the final minutes, the American Holmes had an opportunity to make it 3-1 with a shot that seemed destined for the goal, but Ruddy tipped it over. Ultimately, this victory secured Preston’s sixth win in seven league games, allowing them to remain at the top of the Championship standings.

Holmes played exceptionally well for another full 90 minutes and could have left with an additional goal to his name. Despite not making any goal contributions, the 28-year-old received a commendable 7.5 rating from the statistical app FotMob.

Cardiff City 3-2 Coventry City

It hasn’t been the best of nights for Haji Wright and Coventry, as they remain winless in five matches and coincidentally, was also the last time Coventry’s record transfer signing Wright scored.

Coventry City suffered their second Championship season defeat, conceding three disappointing goals that granted Cardiff City three valuable points in South Wales.

The Sky Blues found themselves under pressure as early as the eighth minute when they were unable to defend Cardiff’s initial corner, leaving Dimitrios Goutas with enough space to head the ball home at the near post.

However, in the 35th minute, the visitors managed to equalize. The goalkeeper cleared a corner, and Liam Kelly skillfully passed the ball to Matty Godden, who swiftly turned in the box and slotted the ball inside the near post.

Just after the hour mark, Karlan Grant regained the lead for the Bluebirds, beating substitute Tatsuhiro Sakamoto to direct a diving header inside Ben Wilson’s near post. Two minutes after coming on in the 83rd minute, substitute Kion Etete secured the three points for the home side with a cleverly angled shot that eluded Wilson and found the far corner.

Despite their efforts in stoppage time, where Godden scored his second by heading home at the near post from a Jay Dasilva cross, the scoreline remained 3-2 in favor of Cardiff City.

While showing promise with his pace in attack, Wright found himself closely marked by center-back Goutas, resulting in a frustrating first half. Some argue he was at fault for the goal, as he failed to halt Goutas’s run in the box.

Huddersfield 2-2 Stoke City

It’s another 90 minutes for new Stoke signing, Lynden Gooch, as he dropped a much better performance for his new club.

Stoke City secured their first away point of the season, although they might feel they could have walked away with all three after a hard-fought battle with Huddersfield.

A mistimed tackle by Wouter Burger in the middle of the Stoke half led to Sorba Thomas’s lofted free-kick, which was met by Matty Pearson. Rising between Michael Rose and Wilmot, Pearson powered a header past Mark Travers, giving Huddersfield the lead.

However, Stoke wasted no time in leveling the score. Just a minute later, Luke McNally’s precise pass released Campbell on the inside right. Although his shot was fumbled by Nicholls, Burger inadvertently nudged the ball to the left, allowing Johnson to calmly roll it into the net.

Stoke capitalized on their pressure just after the hour mark, as Wilmot surged forward to meet Haksabanovic’s corner at the near post, heading it past Nicholls and into the far post.

Unfortunately for Stoke, their susceptibility to set-pieces was evident once again. Failing to clear Ben Jackson’s corner properly, Jackson passed it back across and Rudoni found himself inexplicably free so close to the goal, slotting a shot past Travers.

Gooch operated as the right wingback for Stoke and looked much more comfortable when given license to bomb forward, but also tended to be a bit vulnerable at the back.


Charlie Kelman came on as a 73rd-minute sub in QPR’s 1-1 draw at home to Swansea City.

Vaughn Covil was still not in action with the Hull City senior team that drew to Leeds 0-0.

Tyler Bindon did not take part in Reading’s 9-0 demolition win against Exeter in the EFL Trophy.

Daryl Dike and Josh Sargent are still recovering from their lengthy injuries and will be missing for a couple of months.

Jonathan Tomkinson and Bradford City did not have a midweek fixture this week.

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Abdul Abdullahi

University Student from Ohio. Massive soccer/football fan and love talking about the beautiful game. Covering anything Chelsea FC and Americans at home and abroad. At the start of his long journey taking one step at a time.

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