It was a tough weekend for our seven players out on loan as they had just one win to show for their efforts on Saturday.
Ellery Balcombe’s impressive his return to the Boreham Wood starting line-up wasn’t enough to prevent an injury-ravaged Wood falling to defeat at Hartlepool on Saturday. It was Ellery’s first appearance for the Hertfordshire club in a month and he made a superb early save to deny Liam Noble from close range. There was nothing the 18-year-old could do next time as Andrew Davies steamed in to head home from a set-piece. As Wood, for whom Justin Shaibu came on with 25 minutes to play, pushed for a leveller they were punished on the break, Davies heading home his second of the game from close range to wrap up the points. Defeat leaves Garrard’s side 14th in the table ahead of next Saturday’s home game against Maidenhead United, a game Ellery will miss as he joins up with the England Under-20 squad.
In Sky Bet League Two, Chiedozie Ogbene suffered an injury in the warm-up which meant he missed Exeter City’s 2-2 draw away at Yeovil Town. Goals in each half from Jayden Stockley bookended the contest at Huish Park; Jordan Green and Alex Fisher netting early during the second-half for the home side. The point means the Grecians remain second ahead of their home game against Swindon Town next Saturday.
Also in the Fourth Tier, Tom Field played 65 minutes of Cheltenham Town’s 3-0 defeat at MK Dons. The home side took a 34th minute lead at Stadium:MK thanks to Chuck Aneke. Tom was withdrawn midway through the second-half with the score at 1-0 as The Robins sought a route back into the game. However, Rhys Healey and Robbie Simpson netted late on to condemn Michael Duff’s side to a defeat which leaves them just a point outside the drop zone.
Theo Archibald again watched on from the bench as Forest Green Rovers drew 1-1 with Newport County at The New Lawn. Both goals came in the first-half as Scot Bennett put into his own net to give Rovers the lead in the game between 3rd and 5th. County were level before the break thanks to Padraig Amond and that was how it stayed as Rovers dropped to sixth in the table with a trip to Northampton Town up next.
Jack Bonham was denied his third straight clean sheet for Bristol Rovers by a 94th minute Kieron Morris goal for Walsall at The Memorial Stadium. The away side had the better of the game but found their route to goal repeatedly blocked by the on-loan Bees keeper. However, just as it looked like Darrell Clarke’s side would register another point, Morris headed home deep into injury-time as Rovers fell back into the League One relegation zone.
In the Sky Bet Championship, Ryan Woods captained Stoke City as they made it seven points from nine in the league with a 1-0 victory over Norwich City. The only goal of the game came ten minutes before the interval as Timm Klose turned a low Cuco Martina cross into his own net. The victory means the upwardly mobile Potters are now 14th, just three points outside the top six ahead of the international break.