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EFL Recap: Holmes, PNE win Lancashire derby, Wright and Gooch face-off in the Midlands derby

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Duane Holmes and Preston North End made it back-to-back wins after their disastrous run of poor form, with the latest victory coming in the 90th minute. Elsewhere, Haji Wright has been experimenting with a new position as a left winger, as Coventry City’s head coach looks to change his tactics.

Blackburn 1-2 Preston North End

Holmes came close to scoring twice but missed a huge chance, and the crossbar denied him another opportunity. However, it doesn’t matter, as his teammate, Liam Lindsay, scored the winner in the Lancashire derby.

Blackburn initiated the game aggressively, but Duane Holmes missed the initial big chance, and Arnur Sigurdsson’s side-foot volley from a precise Tyrhys Dolan cross hit the Preston bar.

Despite Rovers’ dominance, North End kept strong and took the lead after 35 minutes. Brad Potts, on the right flank, received the ball and swiftly delivered a cross-field pass, finding Browne’s run. The Republic of Ireland midfielder skillfully controlled the ball with the outside of his boot and unleashed a powerful shot past Blackburn keeper Leopold Wahlstedt.

Blackburn quickly equalized within four minutes after the interval, as Moran’s pass found Szmodics, who neatly slipped his shot through the legs of keeper Freddie Woodman.

As the clock ticked down, Blackburn’s vulnerability to late goals came back to haunt them. Whiteman’s cross and Lindsay’s header secured the derby win for PNE on the road.

Duane Holmes played 69 minutes of the derby and really should have scored, but ultimately, his side got the win, and it sees his PNE team up in fifth place in the Sky Bet Championship.

Coventry City 0-0 Stoke City

We’ve not got one, but two derbies in store for us this past weekend. Despite not scoring and not walking away with all three points, Haji Wright played well in his new role as the left winger against Lynden Gooch’s Stoke City in the Midlands derby.

Coventry City halted a streak of four consecutive defeats but had to settle for a goalless draw as they were held at home by a resilient Stoke side at the CBS Arena.

Ellis Simms hit the post with a header, and Matty Godden’s volley was punched clear as the Sky Blues had the better chances in the first half—a relatively pedestrian and cagey affair with neither side conceding much.

The home side continued to create decent opportunities in an improved second half, with Haji Wright heading onto the roof of the net, Simms blasting wide, and Godden somehow failing to direct a header on target from a late corner, capping a frustrating afternoon in front of goal.

With the majority of the possession going to the hands of Stoke, Coventry had to play on the back foot at times, and it worked in Wright’s favor as the expensive signing made four successful tackles, along with a block, four recoveries, and 11 duels won. Not bad for a new left-winger and would’ve topped his performance with a goal, which he nearly missed the net in the first half.

Lynden Gooch came on as a 79th-minute substitute and did his job of not conceding. Wright played the full 90 minutes, which meant the pair had some battles since they were on the same side of the pitch, with Gooch as the right back and Wright as the left attacking winger.


Reggie Cannon picked up a knock in his previous game for QPR, consequently missing his side’s 0-0 draw against Bristol City.

Charlie Kelman came on as a 90th-minute substitute in QPR’s 0-0 draw against Bristol City.

Vaughn Covil did not take part in any of Hull City’s squads this week upon returning from international duty.

Norwich City loanee, Jonathan Tomkinson, wasn’t named in Bradford City’s squad that lost 2-1 at home to Barrow AFC.

Josh Sargent and Daryl Dike are still out recovering from their injuries.

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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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