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Mixed fortunes for Royals loanees

Plenty of minutes for youngsters away from RG2 this weekend

22 January 2019

Plenty of young Royals are currently plying their trade elsewhere in the Football League structure as they build up their senior experience.

Tennai Watson has been building up his senior experience at AFC Wimbledon in League One this season, having started 22 matches for the Dons in all competitions so far.

Wally Downes' side are struggling at the foot of the League One, however, and face a battle to survive. Play-Off chasers, Barnsley, ran away with all three points at the Cherry Red Records Stadium on Saturday afternoon, the young full-back played all 90 minutes but Barnsley proved too good on the day, with the Tykes earning a 4-1 win to take back to Oakwell.

Towards the end of last week, Sam Smith ended his loan at Oxford United and started a fresh spell at League One rivals, Shrewsbury Town.

He made his Shrews debut off the bench away at Bloomfield Road at the weekend, with an eventual goalless draw meaning Town moved up to 17th in the League One standings - just one point above the relegation zone as it stands.

Ben House's prolific form for our Under-23s this season, scoring 11 times in 16(+3) appearances, earned him a loan move in the Football League, with Swindon Town acquiring his services for the remainder of the campaign. 

He made his senior debut off the bench a fortnight ago, making an immediate impact by providing the assist for a 90th-minute winner against Macclesfield.

House watched on from the bench this time around, though, as Swindon earned a valuable 2-1 win away at Tranmere Rovers at the weekend, to move within four points of the League Two Play-Offs.

Goalkeeper Lewis Ward spent the first half of the season on loan at Northampton Town, and has taken up a new challenge at Forest Green Rovers until the end of the campaign.

He was a substitute as Rovers went down to a 2-1 defeat at home to Bury, but Ward and his new team-mates are still very much in the hunt for the Play-Offs - currently sitting 7th in the fourth tier standings.

In the National League, two Royals met on opposite sides as George Legg and Boreham Wood faced off against Tyler Frost and Havant and Waterlooville at the weekend.

Legg started between the posts for Wood, but couldn't stem the tide early on as Havant struck twice to take a 2-0 lead within the first 15 minutes.

Frost was introduced as a second-half substitute for the visitors, with Legg saving a late penalty from Alfie Rutherford that was followed up by Hassan Jalloh to see Frost and Havant leave Boreham Wood with all three points.

Another member of our band of talented young goalkeepers at the club, Luke Southwood took over the #1 shirt at Eastleigh in what has been a fruitful one-month loan spell.

The Under-20 World Cup winner started for the Spitfires on Saturday in a dramatic match against Sutton United, that saw Eastleigh pegged back twice from winning positions, before Ben Williamson struck two minutes from time to earn all three points at the Silverlake Stadium.

This result moves Eastleigh to within three points of the National League Play-Offs - with a place in the Football League available at the end of the campaign.

In the National League South, Under-23 left-back Ramarni Medford-Smith was in action for Wealdstone at the weekend, having been with the Ruislip-based club since mid-December. 

The Stones are unbeaten in January, and continued that run with a clean sheet in a 1-0 victory over Hungerford Town in the sixth tier.

Medford-Smith started for Wealdstone on the day, having also been a regular in our Under-23s with 14(+2) appearances for Scott Marshall's side this season.

Last but not least, young midfielder Jazz Wallace started and played all 90 minutes for Leatherhead at the weekend, with the Isthmian Premier League side coming from behind to earn a 2-1 victory at home to Worthing at the weekend.

All of our loanees will continue building up their exposure to senior football, with a full fixture list this weekend!

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