Team of the Week
Alex McCarthy - Reading
In a weekend where 18 teams kept clean sheets, McCarthy's was arguably the finest as he held Huddersfield Town despite a barrage of shots from the home side. After making a couple of relatively comfortable saves early on, McCarthy pulled out a top draw stop to deny Danny Ward just minutes after Reading had taken the lead. Another string of good saves followed in the second half, with the pick of the bunch being from Ward again when the Englishman denied the forward after he was through on goal.
Kieron Freeman - Notts County
While a 4-0 drubbing isn't usually the most demanding of games for a defender on the winning team, Freeman didn't let that affect his performance against Colchester. The young right-back remained professional throughout the win, doing the job at both ends of the field. On top of keeping a clean sheet and looking solid all match, Freeman also chipped in at the other end of the field, playing a good ball to free Jamal Campbell-Ryce who crossed to Jack Grealish for the opening goal. The Magpies' win was the biggest of the weekend in the Football League.
Mark Roberts - Fleetwood Town
Despite not keeping a clean sheet, Roberts earns a spot in Team of the Week for his reliable defence at the back, and also for popping up with the winner against Rochdale just six minutes from time. After Fleetwood took the lead thanks to an Antoni Sarcevic penalty, Rochdale hit back from a corner. The home side nearly took the lead in the second half, but Roberts forced Matt Done to put his shot wider than the midfielder would have liked. Just as it looked like both sides might have to settle for a point, Roberts made an intelligent run to follow up Nathan's Pond header and nod home for the winner.
Marius Zaliukas - Leeds United
In a result that somewhat flattered the away side, Leeds United came away from Doncaster with a 3-0 win. Two goals in the last 15 minutes made the result look more comfortable than it was, and it could have easily been a loss if not for Leeds' outstanding defence, especially from Zaliuskas. The former Hearts player was a rock in the three-man Leeds back-line, dealing excellently with the Doncaster onslaught that was the story for much of the second half.
Joe Martin - Gillingham
Martin scored one of the goals of the week as Gillingham held Peterborough to a 2-2 draw, stopping their losing run in the process. After Britt Assombalonga put the visitors ahead from a mistake by 'keeper Stuart Nelson, Martin restored parity with a wonderful curling free kick from 20 yards away. Cody McDonald put the home side in front with 20 minutes left, before a vital clearance by Martin ensured the Gills kept the lead. It was not to be for the home side though, as Assombalonga equalised with a cheeky backheel in the seventh minute of added time.
Callum McManaman - Wigan Athletic
Fresh from crashing out of the Europa League and firing manager Owen Coyle, Wigan were desperate to get things back on track at home to Bolton under new boss Uwe Rosler. They were quick out of the blocks, with McManaman at the heart of most of the Lactics' attacks, and a good run from the winger nearly led to the opening goal but Grant Holt's shot was blocked. However, Wigan had soon raced into a 2-0 lead thanks to Ben Watson's penalty and Nick Powell's bicycle kick, the latter from McManaman's cross. Bolton hit back with two second half goals, but McManaman found the winner with 20 minutes left when he swept home Emmerson Boyce's cross.
Jonathan Douglas - Brentford
In a match that was more of a midfield battle than end-to-end stuff, Douglas stood out for the home side as they sneaked past Oldham Athletic 1-0. The two teams mustered just four shots on target in the entire match, but this was all about the midfielders as they battled for 90 minutes. A winner would come in the third minute of added time, when Douglas powered a header home, but he should also be credited for his domination in the centre of the park for long periods.
Michael Flynn - Newport County
Newport County continued their impressive season with a 2-0 win at Portsmouth, thanks to a brace from midfielder Michael Flynn. In a first half that was mostly all Pompey, Newport took control early in the second half and should have gone ahead when Flynn beat two men and crossed to Christian Jolley, but he shot wide when he should have scored. The next time he got the ball in a forward position, Flynn made sure he did the job himself by sweeping Ryan Jackson's cross into the roof of the net. He doubled his tally three minutes later when he skilfully volleyed home a long throw that hadn't been dealt with properly.
Tom Lawrence - Carlisle United
Lawrence scored two memorable goals for Carlisle in their 4-1 thrashing of Tranmere Rovers to move up to 13th in the table. The first came inside the first minute, with the on-loan Manchester United winger thrashing home a 25-yard volley to give his side an early lead. After David Amoo had made it 2-0 in the second half, Lawrence then arguably outdid his first by taking it past four players before drilling home from a tight angle. The goals were the 19-year-old's first for the club, and he will remain at Carlisle until 4th January.
Ross McCormack - Leeds United
McCormack scored one and made another as Leeds defeated Yorkshire rivals Doncaster 3-0 to keep their play-off push going. The Scotland international was in the thick of it from the off, as ever, but it was his strike partner Matt Smith who opened the scoring with a low header from Alex Mowatt's cross. McCormack went close a couple of times before the break, but both efforts went just off target, before his cross to Smith was headed over. Rovers isolated McCormack for much of the second half, but he found a way through on 76 minutes when he slipped past two defenders and slotted home for 2-0. He then turned provider just before the final whistle when his long cross was finished well by Rodolph Austin at the back post.
Britt Assombalonga - Peterborough
One of only three men in the Football League to score more than one goal, Assombalonga did it in style. The forward put Peterborough ahead early against Gillingham, pouncing on a loose ball after Stuart Nelson parried a shot back into the danger zone. However his side fell behind thanks to a wonderful Joe Martin goal and a Cody McDonald header, and it seemed to be the end of Posh's three-match unbeaten run. However, Assombalonga had other ideas, and scored the most outrageous of goals when he backheeled in a corner in the seventh minute of added time to earn a draw for his team.