With the dawn of the new season for most clubs across the land this weekend, there were first competitive involvements for our outbound loanees at their temporary clubs.
Full-back Tennai Watson was named in the starting XI for AFC Wimbledon on their season’s opener away at Fleetwood Town – and he was on hand to help the Dons defence to a clean sheet as they picked up their first three points of the season.
Joe Pigott’s sole on the hour-mark was enough to divide the teams in the Dons’ favour; he bundled home Ben Purrington’s cross to earn all three points, and condemn Joey Barton’s Cod Army to defeat in his first game in charge as manager.
Elsewhere in Sky Bet League One, it was a less fruitful start to the season for Sam Smith and Oxford United – the U’s fell to a 4-0 defeat away at recently-relegated Barnsley. Smith was introduced in the 21st minute, replacing the injured Samir Carruthers, but the U’s already trailed at that point to Mamadou Thiam’s opener.
The Royals forward soon set up Jon Obika for a chance to equalise, but the effort was claimed by the goalkeeper. Instead, Thiam doubled the lead before the interval before Brad Potts and Victor Adeboyejo wrapped up the win late on at Oakwell.
Northampton Town were also defeated as they hosted Lincoln City in League Two; goalkeeper Lewis Ward, who made the temporary switch to Sixfields last month, had to be content with a place on the bench as David Cornell got the nod. The Cobblers stopper visited the net when Matt Green was left all alone to convert Neal Eardley’s cross in the second period.
16-year-old goalkeeper Jokull Andresson was named in Hungerford Town’s starting XI in their National League South game at St Alban’s City – and it was a tough introduction to open-age football for the youngster, as they suffered a 3-2 defeat late in stoppage time.
Romone Rose and Harvey Bradbury twice put Hungerford ahead, while Ralston Gabriel equalised each time. And then Dave Diedhiou converted a cross in a crowded box in the fifth added minute to give the Saints a dramatic win.
On the continent, the Belgian leagues also kicked off on the same weekend – Danzell Gravenberch was an unused sub for KSV Roeselare as they were defeated 2-1 at Westerlo. Andrija Novakovich and Fortuna Sittard begin their Dutch top-flight campaign at Excelsior next weekend, while Joey van den Berg and NEC Nijmegen begin their second-tier campaign the following Friday at home against Cambuur.