The Championship New Year kicks-off today…01/01/2019

The Championship entered 2019 with a full opening day programme in a very competitive competition. Unpredictable Aston Villa, with Conor Hourihane starting and Glenn Whelan and Scott Hogan on their bench, were held to a two all draw by revitalised visitors QPR who included Ryan Manning on their substitute bench. Blackburn Rovers had Darragh Lenihan in their starting eleven for the their two one victory over visitors West Bromwich Albion for whom international retiree Wes Hoolihan was a seventy eight minute substitute. Brentford introduced Alan Judge from their substitute bench on seventy five minutes of their one all draw with visitors Norwich City while Richard Keogh and Derby County were held to a one all Pride Park draw by visitors  Darren Randolph and Middlesbrough. James McClean and Callum O’Dowda were in opposition at the bet365 Stadium where Stoke City played host to Bristol City who emerged victorious by two goals to nil with O’Dowda scoring the second. The Sheffield United quartet of John Egan, Jack O’Connell, Enda Stevens and David McGoldrick all started their three nil victory at Wigan Athletic with McGoldrick opening the scoring on forty minutes. Defender Sean Raggett was restored to the Rotherham United defence following his injury absence for the two one defeat of visitors Preston North End for whom Graham Burke started while seventeen year old Adam O’Reilly was an unused substitute. Keiren Westwood having recovered from injury resumed in goal for Sheffield Wednesday who played out a one all draw with   Birmingham City and Lukas Jutkiewicz at Hillsborough. Leaders Leeds United went down to a four two defeat by Nottingham Forest at the City Ground where another international retiree Daryl Murphy, scored the third goal and was also named ‘Man of the Match’.
In League One, current leaders Portsmouth returned to winning ways with a two one victory over Fratton Park visitors AFC Wimbledon with Ronan Curtis scoring the winning goal.