Round-up of the action from our loanees this weekendA number of our outbound loanees were in action for their new clubs this weekend, after a few loan transfers were made earlier in the week.
While we were in action in Cardiff, it was a positive weekend for the most part for our lads with their loan teams – so here we round up how they got on…
Goalkeeper Jonathan Bond had a victorious start with new club Gillingham after making the move to Kent on Friday – and in dramatic circumstances. Hosts Shrewsbury had raced into a two-goal lead in the League 1 meeting as Louis Dodds found the top corner with a stunning strike and then hit a second after an initial blocked shot fell kindly for the striker.
But a couple of stunning saves from Bond – including denying Dodds his hat-trick – kept the Gills in the game, and built the base for them to get back on terms through Jay Emmanuel-Thomas’s second-half brace. And after he made a remarkable one-on-one save from AJ Leitch-Smith in the 92nd minute to preserve parity, Max Ehmer stole a winner even later, making it 3-2 to the visitors with seconds to spare.
Rob Dickie announced his return to Whaddon Road in spectacular fashion by scoring the opening goal for Cheltenham Town just quarter of an hour into his first competitive appearance of the season.
The 20-year-old defender, who spent two loan spells with the Robins in their National League title-winning season in 2015/16 before debuting for our senior squad, rounded off a well-worked corner with a smart finish as they hosted Crewe. James Dayton added a second for the Robins just six minutes later as they recorded their first win in League 2 this year.
Like Dickie, Craig Tanner made a winning return to his League 2 loan club as well. The forward linked up with Plymouth Argyle once again and came off the bench in Blackpool to help them to their third straight win in League 2.
The Pilgrims were already a goal up and a man up when Tanner replaced Graham Carey with ten minutes left – Nauris Bulvitis headed in Carey’s corner early in the second half, before Jack Payne was dismissed for the Tangerines for a last-man challenge.
Elsewhere in League 2, defender Sean Long was an unused substitute for Cambridge United as they faced another of his former loan clubs Luton Town. He watched on from the bench as they fell to a 3-0 defeat at the Abbey Stadium, leaving propping up the rest of the EFL. Aaron Kuhl was also on the bench for Boreham Wood’s trip to Gateshead as the London side earned a creditable 1-1 draw against the Heed in their National League meeting.
There were contrasting fortunes for our two goalkeepers on loan in the National League South. Despite making several saves, George Legg – on loan at Hungerford Town – had to make two visits to the net as his side were defeated 2-0 in Dartford, but Lewis Ward was on the winning side in Margate’s 3-1 triumph at Weston-super-Mare, ending their run of four straight defeats.
And in the same division there was late drama for 18-year-old Sam Smith on his debut in senior football after joining Bishop’s Stortford on loan – the forward, who signed his first pro contract with Reading this summer, was on hand to guide in a 92nd-minute header to earn a 1-0 win away at Gosport Borough.