Yorkshire’s ‘Team of the Weekend’

Doncaster Rovers' goalkeeper Thorsten Stuckmann. Picture: Tony Johnson
Doncaster Rovers' goalkeeper Thorsten Stuckmann. Picture: Tony Johnson
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WELL it started off poorly for sure before some bright intervals finally appeared - more especially if you are a Sheffield Wednesday, Hull City or Middlesbrough supporter. Or Doncaster Rovers for that matter.

The winners from the last weekend were most definitely the Owls, the Tigers and Boro, who maintained their upwardly mobile Championship campaigns with victories over Notitngham Forest, MK Dons and Charlton Athletic respectively. It’s been an enriching autumn so far for the trio - in league and cup no less.

Hull City's Michael Dawson.

Hull City's Michael Dawson.

But for the Championship’s West Yorkshire contingent of Leeds United and Huddersfield Town, there were no Roses spoils with the East Lancashire duo of Blackburn Rovers and Burnley prevailing, with the Whites’ televised defeat to Rovers on Thursday being akin to an X-rated movie in the first half.

For Town, encouragement at least by a plucky response late on at Turf Moor.

Meanwhile, the relief was palpable at Doncaster Rovers, who secured a much-needed home victory over Colchester United, although times are grim at South Yorkshire rivals Barnsley, who have now lost six on the spin - a record run of defeats at this level for the Reds.

Sheffield United’s inconsistency continued, with the Blades suffering a chastening 1-0 loss at rock-bottom Crewe, which led Nigel Adkins to call on players to look themselves in the mirror, while Bradford chiselled out a very handy point at in-form Millwall.

Sheffield Wednesday's Barry Bannan in action against Nottingham Forest. Picture: Steve Ellis.

Sheffield Wednesday's Barry Bannan in action against Nottingham Forest. Picture: Steve Ellis.

For York, another defeat, at Crawley, means they are far too close to the League Two drop zone for comfort - with much work to do for whoever takes over long term from Russ Wilcox.

Here is The Yorkshire Post’s Team of the Weekend.

1: Thorsten Stuckmann (Doncaster Rovers).

The big German was back at his best as he helped secured a first clean sheet in the league for two months. Denied George Moncur and Callum Harriott before making a brilliant save to deny veteran Darren Ambrose. A mention in dispatches too for Bradford’s Ben Williams, who claimed an excellent clean sheet at Millwall.

Bradford City's Stephen Darby. Picture: Tony Johnson

Bradford City's Stephen Darby. Picture: Tony Johnson

2: Stephen Darby (Bradford City).

Produced a typically unflustered, diligent and committed performance at the New Den, with a number of other team-mates not far behind.

3: Daniel Pudil (Sheffield Wednesday).

Squared up to Nottingham Forest rival Nelson Oliviera towards the end in a rare moment when he lost his cool. But produced another strong performance down the left. Another who has slipped in seamlessly into the Owls defence and looks an astute buy.

4: Michael Dawson (Hull City).

In stand-out form along with Alex Bruce, with their performance leaving Hull boss Steve Bruce, who knows a thing or two about centre-halves, purring. Cast-iron Tigers have now recorded seven clean sheets already this term and have conceded just eight times in 14 league games - the sort of figures that enable managers to sleep soundly at night. Sheffield Wednesday centre-backs Tom Lees and Glenn Loovens were worthy of a heads-up also.

5: Reece Burke (Bradford City).

No surprises again that the West Ham loanee is named in this weekly XI. Looks a class act and stood tall again against the Hammers arch rivals Millwall with Rory McArdle not far behind. Already they look one of the safest centre-back duos in the division.

6: Bruno Zuculini (Middlesbrough).

Who, you may ask? But the Manchester City loanee, in the side ahead of Grant Leadbitter, had an excellent full debut at the Riverside in the engine room alongside Adam Clayton with it easy to see why the imposing Argentine is well thought off in the corridors of power at the Etihad.

7: Harry Middleton (Doncaster Rovers).

Chosen ahead of Richie Wellens in the midfield pivot role, Middleton was excellent, with fellow midfielder Conor Grant not far behind after marking his debut with a fine goal. Middleton is highly-rated by all and sundry at the Keepmoat and on Saturday’s evidence, it was easy to see why.

8: Barry Bannan (Sheffield Wednesday).

Much of what the diminutive midfielder is touching is turning to gold this season. A clever and talented schemer, who looks an outstanding signing for the Owls, with the Scot getting back to the form which marked him out as a name to watch in his formative years at Villa. One of the Championship’s form operators in the middle of the park.

9: Nakhi Wells (Huddersfield Town).

Granted, he didn’t score, but looked lively when thrown into the fray in the final half hour at Turf Moor, along with fellow substitute Kyle Dempsey, with the pair giving Chris Powell food for thought ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Reading. At his best, a big weapon for Town and a match-winner.

10: Nathan Tyson (Doncaster Rovers).

Andy Williams took the goalscoring plaudits, but Tyson was a menace all game and proved a real pest for the U’s backline with his energy, work-rate and nous - which helped Rovers claim a win bonus and move out of the drop zone.

11: Mo Diame (Hull City).

Fired a timely reminder of his qualities by coming off the bench to score a sweet curler to seal victory for the Tigers at MK Dons, roared on by 2,500 visiting supporters.

Manager: Steve Bruce.

Close call between the Geordie and his Championship counterparts Carlos Carvalhal and Aitor Karanka, who have had dream weeks. But Bruce gets the nod - has done an outstanding job to pick up Hull by their boot strings following the disappointment of relegation.