6 of the Best Football League Performances From Saturday's Opening Weekend Games

The Football League returned this weekend to the delight of many fans across the country, as ten months of nail-biting action and unpredictable moments got under way. 


Some teams got off to an emphatic and dramatic start on Saturday to kick start their new campaigns. Here are the best performances from Saturday's Championship, League One and League Two matches. 

6. Swindon Town 3-2 Macclesfield

The most dramatic game of the day came at the County Ground, with Swindon Town, now managed by former Hull boss Phil Brown, edging out newly promoted Macclesfield Town.


After a very forgettable first-half, the second period got off to a pacy start with the away side taking the lead through Koby Arthur in the half's opening minute. Two minutes later, however, Swindon were level through Michael Doughty's header.


Yet a defensive mix-up put Macclesfield back in front as Arthur chipped Robins keeper Lawrence Vigoroux in the 55th minute. It looked like that was enough to give the Silkmen the win until late drama unfolded.


Swindon were awarded a penalty in the sixth minute of injury time when Eliah Adebayo was controversially thought to be fouled in the area. Doughty stepped up to just put the ball past Rhys Taylor in the Macclesfield net to send the Swindon fans into raptures.


And there would be further celebrations as Town were given ANOTHER penalty in the 98th minute after Keshi Anderson was clipped. Doughty smashed the ball in to score his hat-trick and give Phil Brown's side a positive opening day result.

5. Barnsley 4-0 Oxford United

Barnsley got their League One season off to the perfect start against Oxford United, as the Tykes look to put last season's relegation from the Championship behind them.


The home side raced into a two goal advantage at Oakwell, with Mamdou Thiam scoring two identical goals from distance in just under nine first-half minutes. The Senegalese forward hit two strikes from outside the box which squirmed past Simon Eastwood at his near post on both occasions. 


Barnsley got their third goal through midfielder Brad Potts, who finished high into the net after a swift counter-attacking move. The points were sealed just before stoppage time when substitute Victor Adeboyejo tucked the ball home at the back post. 


It was a game that the home side dominated with 60% possession and 12 shots on target in Daniel Stendel's first game in charge of the South Yorkshire side.

4. Grimsby 1-4 Forest Green Rovers

Back in League Two, Forest Green Rovers came from behind to beat a Grimsby Town side who demonstrated some comical defending in the second half. 


The home side took the lead through Mitchell Rose's first-half penalty after Lloyd James handballed in the area, but Rovers restored parity early in the second period through Carl Winchester's close range striker.


The away side then took the lead in unusual circumstances as Grimsby defender Danny Collins' backpass went straight into the net with Marines goalkeeper James McKeown woefully out of position. 


Rovers extended their lead a few minutes later as Christian Doidge scored from a corner. And the points were sealed when Doidge snuffed out Reece Hall-Johnson's horrific attempt of a backpass to tap into another empty net. 

3. West Bromwich Albion 1-2 Bolton Wanderers

West Bromwich Albion are one of the favourites to achieve promotion back to the Premier League, but were given a stern reminder of the challenges of the Championship by newly-promoted Bolton Wanderers.


Despite the away side only having 28% of the possession, they took advantage of a wasteful West Brom attack to beat the Baggies 2-1. Josh Magennis gave Bolton the lead inside the first twenty minutes with a close range header, but Albion responded just before the break when Harvey Barnes curled in a superb effort in first-half stoppage time.


But Bolton won the game late in the day as on-loan winger Yanic Wildschut scored on his debut to give Wanderers a surprise opening day victory.

2. Brentford 5-1 Rotherham United

Brentford are most people's wildcard picks to gain promotion to the Premier League this season, and did their title credentials no harm with a convincing 5-1 thrashing of newly promoted Rotherham United


The Bees controlled the game from start to finish and took the lead in the fourth minute through Neal Maupay's close range rebound. And the west London side doubled their lead when winger Sergi Canos swept the ball home from a corner. 


Ollie Watkins put considerable daylight between the Bees and their opponents early in the second half with a thumping left-footed strike which went in off the bar, before Maupay got his second with another poacher's goal.


Lewis Macleod's low strike from outside the area made the scoreline deservedly embarrassing for Rotherham, before Will Vaulks gave the Millers' fans something to cheer about with a 25-yard strike.


That result puts Brentford on top of the Championship table on goal difference.

1. Crewe Alexandra 6-0 Morecambe

The award for best performance of the weekend, however, goes to Crewe Alexandra who thrashed Morecambe at Gresty Road.


Their first goal came from winger Charlie Kirk's rebounded effort after only six minutes. Kirk then turned provider for Alex Nicholls to score on his debut for the Railwaymen. The former Barnet striker then scored his second of the game in the second period, before two long-range strikes from academy graduate Jamie Jones and Chris Porter's back post header rounded off the scoring.