Loan round-up of the weekend’s actionOnce again a number of our younger players continued to gain more and more experience with their loan clubs in other divisions of the EFL.
So we take a look at how our boys got on around the country…
Winger Tariqe Fosu netted his first goal for new loan-club Colchester, helping the U’s to a 1-1 draw away at Barnet. The 20-year-old checked his run to take a low Drey Wright cross – Fosu needed one touch to control and another to strike low and hard on the half-volley to give the visitors a 6th-minute lead.
The Royals loanee had a free-kick tipped over the bar later in the first half, the closest that either team came to grabbing that second goal – until former Swindon and Gillingham midfielder Curtis Weston diverted in a scrappy goal from close-range to level things up. Fosu’s next game comes on Saturday against Accrington, with whom he reached the League 2 play-offs last season.
Down in Devon, the early kick-off pitted Royal against Royal as Craig Tanner’s Plymouth Argyle made the short journey to Jack Stacey’s Exeter City. And it was the Pilgrims that left the happier as an outstanding contribution by Tanner hoisted the visitors up to the summit of League 2 with a 2-0 win.
Indeed it was Tanner’s early cross into Paul Garita that led to the opener – the forward controlled, laid off to Graham Carey, who in turn lashed Argyle ahead. And then Tanner grabbed the assist for Garita’s goal by sliding in the striker to steer past Bobby Olejnik and take a two-goal lead into the break. Six wins and two defeats from eight sees the Pilgrims to the top of the table; the Grecians’ inverted version of that record put them into the bottom two.
Rob Dickie and Cheltenham Town lost out in a dramatic five-goal thriller at home against Notts County – despite levelling twice, the Robins were ultimately beaten 3-2 by the Magpies.
Defender Dickie actually had a chance to put the hosts ahead after Danny Wright had cancelled out Jonathan Forte’s opener for the visitors, but he was denied by the outstretched leg of Adam Collin after making a forward foray. But a Jon Stead double, either side of a Harry Pell strike for the Robins, gave the visitors the points.
Meanwhile in League 1, loan goalkeeper Jonathan Bond could count himself unlucky to be on the losing side as Gillingham fell to a 2-1 defeat at Port Vale. The Gills had in fact been leading when Josh Wright turned in a low cross midway through the first period.
Bond showed lightning-quick reflexes to turn away a point-blank header from Sam Foley to preserve that lead – but the Gills were eventually breached with 15 minutes remaining. The goalie kept out Gezim Shalaj’s thunderous initial effort but the ball fell kindly for Remie Streete, who was judged onside, who followed in. And then a remarkable one-handed stop to keep Anthony Grant’s effort out looked to have saved the Gills a point after he was released on goal… only for Birmingham loanee Alex Jones to squeeze in the winner in a crowded box.