After Friday's busy loan deadline day, four Brentford players made debuts for their new clubs on Saturday but it wasn't to be a weekend to savour for any of them.
Jack Bonham's first appearance for Bristol Rovers in Sky Bet League One saw The Gas pick up a point from their trip to last season’s beaten Play-Off finalists Shrewsbury Town. Jack joined Rovers last Monday and went straight into the starting XI for the game at The Montgomery Waters Meadows. The Gas took a 53rd minute lead through Stefan Payne but were reduced to ten men on the hour as Joe Martin picked up a second booking. The equaliser for the home side came with a quarter of an hour to play as Daniel Leadbitter turned former Bee Josh Laurent’s cross into his own net. The point leaves Rovers in 21st with bottom-of-the-table Plymouth Argyle making the relatively short trip to The Memorial Stadium next Saturday.
Two more Brentford players making their debuts for new clubs in Sky Bet League Two had afternoons to forget as Tom Field and Chiedozie Ogbene both tasted defeat on their maiden outings for Cheltenham Town and Exeter City respectively. Tom played the full 90 minutes for The Robins as they lost 3-1 at home to Colchester United, former Brentford youngster Luke Norris grabbing two of the goals for the Essex side. Meanwhile, Chiedozie was an early second-half substitute at St James Park as three goals in 13 minutes either side of the break sunk The Grecians at home to high-flying Lincoln City; another former Bee, John Akinde, on target for City.
Both will be hoping for improved fortunes in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday as Exeter head to Yeovil Town and Cheltenham visit Forest Green Rovers.
Cheltenham’s trip to Forest Green could see Tom line-up against fellow Bee Theo Archibald after the Scottish winger was an unused substitute during Rovers’ 3-1 win over manager-less Notts County on Saturday. Liam Shepherd, Reuben Reid, and Dayle Grubb got the goals as Mark Cooper’s side extended their unbeaten run to eight games and moved into the League Two Play-Off places.
In the National League, Ellery Balcombe kept up his ever-present record since heading to Boreham Wood as Luke Garrard’s side were held 1-1 at home by Braintree Town. Jamal Fyfield headed the Wood in front just before the break before Mohamed Bettamer levelled for Braintree with a powerful free-kick two minutes into the second half. Justin Shaibu was a late substitute for the home side, his fourth appearances of the campaign, as Wood stay 12th ahead of tomorrow’s home game against Chesterfield. Ellery, however, won’t be involved tomorrow night as he has been called-up to the England Under-20 squad for games against Switzerland and Holland this weekend.
In the Sky Bet Championship, Ryan Woods came off the bench to make his debut for Stoke City as Gary Rowett’s side lost 2-1 at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday. Dwight Gayle netted a quarter of an hour into both halves, the second coming shortly after Ryan’s introduction, as The Baggies picked up their third league win of the campaign. Defeat sees The Potters drop to 18th with a trip to Sheffield Wednesday coming up after the international break.