New owners and a debut to forget

Darren Wassall

Can Darren Wassall guide Derby County back into the automatic promotion places?

The Football League’s least in-form team throwing away a two-goal lead, a new set of foreign owners seeing their club play for the first time and the worst possible way to make your debut.

BBC Sport brings you the five things you may have missed from another the thrill-a-minute Saturday in the Football League.

U cannot be serious

Some say 2-0 is the most dangerous scoreline in football – a lead big enough to prompt relaxation, but far from insurmountable – and Colchester fans will probably agree.

Going into their trip to Bury, the U’s had not won a league game since 20 October, a run of 17 games.


Colchester United’s rather understated assessment of the game on Twitter

So when they went 2-0 up inside the first 20 minutes, thanks to goals from Chris Porter and Gavin Massey, it looked as though they might be starting to claw their way back from the foot of League One.

But Tom Eastman was sent off for two bookings, and the floodgates did not just open, they were blown off their hinges.

Ryan Lowe pulled one back immediately after the red card before the Shakers hit four goals in 11 second-half minutes, including a hat-trick for Andrew Tutte, as the gap between Colchester and League One safety increased to 10 points.

“I’m sure they [the young players] will be better for the experience, even though it’s a tough one to learn from,” Colchester boss Kevin Keen, whose only win as boss came against Charlton in the FA Cup, told BBC Essex.

“I can’t feel sorry for myself, I’ll just keep working hard. It’s about the club and the players.”

Northampton cobble together a new club record


Danny Rose and his Cobblers team-mates seem to have one foot in League One already

It might be all going wrong at Colchester, but the team directly below them in the Football League standings cannot do anything wrong.

After being endorsed by basketball legend Shaquille O’Neill this week, Northampton Town now boast a 10-point lead at the top of League Two following a club record ninth-successive league win.

Danny Rose netted his first goal for the Cobblers since a deadline-day move from Oxford United to seal victory against notoriously hard-to-beat Wycombe.

Surely promotion is a slam dunk now for Northampton?

Doyley has a debut to forget


Lloyd Doyley’s foul garnered this reaction from Rotherham boss Neil Warnock

Lloyd Doyley. He’s not really a household name outside Hertfordshire, but after spending 14 years at Watford, he left the Hornets in the summer.

It took the 33-year-old until this week to find a new club, when Neil Warnock brought him and fellow free agent Paddy Kenny to Rotherham United.

Kenny was on the bench for the 2-0 loss at Burnley, and Doyley might have wished he was sat next to him as the Jamaica international gave away a penalty 27 minutes into his debut.

The Millers went on to lose 2-0, meaning Warnock is still looking for his first win since replacing Neil Redfearn as manager earlier this month.

Who needs Paul Clement?

A new boss who was smiling was Derby County’s Darren Wassall.


Derby scored more than once in the league for the first time this year

After Paul Clement was surprisingly sacked earlier this month, 47-year-old Wassall was thrust into the limelight from the relative obscurity of the Rams’ academy.

He lost his first game in charge during the week when Championship promotion hopefuls Derby went down 1-0 at home to relegation-threatened MK Dons.

It looked like he might lose his second as well, but his men scored three times in the final 10 minutes to win 3-1 at Brentford and chalk up Derby’s first victory since Boxing Day to lift them to fifth.

Play-off places for Rovers’ new owners

Until this week the closest Bristol Rovers had been associated with Jordan was when Katie Price drove out of town on the M32.

But this week the men from the Mem were watched by the man from Amman for the first time, as new club’s new Jordanian President Wael Al-Qadi cast his eye over his new acquisition.


Bristol Rovers’ new owner Wael Al-Qadi (front) says a new stadium “is a requirement” for the club

His family have taken a 92% stake in the Pirates, with hopes of building a new ground and finally leaving the Memorial Stadium.

And he will no doubt have been pleased with what he saw, as Rovers came from a goal down to beat Morecambe 2-1 and move into the League Two play-off places.

Rovers had won just one of their previous five league games, so perhaps their new owner is a lucky omen.

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