Portsmouth fans will disagree as Rotherham manager labels Sheffield Wednesday keeper as best in League One

Gavin Bazunu celebrated a third consecutive clean sheet for Pompey in League One on Saturday.

By Mark McMahon
Sunday, 22nd August 2021, 2:30 pm

But Rotherham boss Paul Warne believes the title for the division’s top keeper is firmly in the hands of someone else – namely Sheffield Wednesday’s Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

The Northern Ireland international stopper recorded his fifth shutout of the season as the Owls beat the Millers 2-0 at the New York Stadium.

It included a first-half penalty save to deny Kieran Sadlier when the score remained goalless.

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And the on-loan Burnley man’s timely intervention helped Darren Moore’s side climb to the top of the League One standings – on goal difference from Wycombe and the Blues, who sit second and third respectively.

Republic of Ireland international Bazunu is already making a huge impression on the Fratton faithful after arriving on loan from Manchester City in the summer.

He sat out the Blues’ opening day win at Fleetwood because of injury, with Alex Bass claiming a clean sheet that day for the visitors to Highbury Stadium.

But the 19-year-old is already showing the class that prompted Danny Cowley’s to describe the Dubliner as one of the best young keepers in Europe.

Pompey keeper Gavin Bazunu and Sheffield Wednesday stopper Bailey Peacock-Farrell

Being among the continent’s finest doesn’t guarantee you top billing in League One, though, as far as Warne is concerned.

Speaking to the Sheffield Star after his side’s loss to Wednesday, he said: ‘The penalty miss at half-time was obviously a big moment.

‘You go in at half-time all square and it gave them a big lift.

‘I don’t think anyone can argue that he (Peacock-Farrell) is the best keeper in League One, one hundred per cent.

‘He’s made that save, a great save. Sads (Sadlier) is phenomenal on set pieces and it was a really good save.

‘There were times (on Saturday) that he came and caught things I’m not sure other keepers would do.

‘His was a really impressive performance and he deserved his clean sheet.’

While both Pompey and Sheffield Wednesday are yet to concede in the league this season, the same doesn’t apply to pre-season favourites for the title Ipswich.

Their 2-2 draw at home to MK Dons was their fourth third-tier game without a win and their fourth without a clean sheet.

They’ve now conceded eight goals in the division this term to sit 20th in the table.

And it’s prompted manager Paul Cook to seek a solution to the ‘soft goals’ his expensively assembled team are conceding.

He said: ‘I think when you’ve got two teams intent on taking the game to each other and scoring goals, you get the spectacle that everyone watched today, which in my opinion was a fantastic game of football.

‘Obviously from our point of view, having taken the lead twice, you’ll always be disappointed, especially with the manner of the goals we’re giving away. You don’t need me to go into it to say we’re giving away soft goals.

‘We really, really are at the minute and it’s hurting us. It’s affecting us getting results and it’s something that we’ve got to rectify quickly.’

Other results: Bolton Wanderers 2-1 Oxford United, Cambridge United 3-0 Burton Albion, Charlton Athletic 0-2 Wigan Athletic, Crewe 0-1 Accrington Stanley, Fleetwood Town 3-2 Cheltenham Town, Gillingham 2-1Morecambe, Ipswich Town 2-2 MK Dons, Shrewsbury Town 0-3 Plymouth Argyle, Sunderland 1-0 AFC Wimbledon, Wycombe 1-0 Lincoln City.