It was another busy weekend for our players away from Griffin Park with action across four divisions of the Football pyramid.
Ryan Woods made his full debut for Stoke City in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday as The Potters let a two-goal lead slip to draw at Hillsborough against Sheffield Wednesday. Benik Afobe scored twice in the opening 22 minutes to put Gary Rowett’s side in command. However, Marco Matias pulled one back before the break with Barry Bannan firing home a fine late equaliser to deny Stoke all three points. Next up for Ryan and The Potters is a home game against Swansea City at The Bet 365 Stadium tomorrow night.
Jack Bonham impressed again for Bristol Rovers in Sky Bet League One despite The Gas slipping to a 1-0 defeat at Luton Town. After his clean sheet on debut last weekend, Jack made a number of fine saves before he was finally beaten by Andrew Shinnie’s low shot on the hour. Darrell Clarke’s side couldn’t find a way back into the game and slipped to 22nd in the table ahead of tomorrow night’s Checkatrade Trophy game at home to West Ham United’s Under-21s.
Tom Field was absent from the Cheltenham Town matchday 18 for their 0-0 draw at home to Crewe Alexandra in Sky Bet League Two. The home side had the better of the game at the Jonny Rocks Stadium and came closest to scoring on the hour as Tyrone Barnett saw his effort cleared off the line. However, The Robins had to settle for a point from Michael Duff’s first game at the helm. The point leaves the Gloucestershire side 18th in the table with eight points from as many games.
Also in the Fourth Tier, Chiedozie Ogbene played the final ten minutes for Exeter City as The Grecians took all three points on the road at Mansfield Town. Dean Moxey and Nicky Law struck either side of the interval to put the West Country side in control, before Tyler Walker pulled one back on the hour. Chiedozie came on for his third Exeter appearance late on as Matt Taylor’s side held onto the three points and, with it, second spot.
There could be a meeting of loan players next weekend as Chiedozie and Exeter return to the South West to host Tom Field’s Cheltenham Town.
Theo Archibald also saw action off the bench in League Two on Saturday with a late Rueben Reid penalty earning Forest Green Rovers a point from their trip to Milton Keynes Dons. The home side led for the majority of the game in Buckinghamshire thanks to a Chuck Aneke goal but were pegged back late on as Reid converted from 12 yards following a foul on former Don George Williams in the box. Theo’s 30 minute cameo was his seventh of the campaign for Rovers with a home game against Crawley Town coming up next weekend.
In the National League, Ellery Balcombe returned from international duty with England’s Under-20s and watched on from the bench as Boreham Wood salvaged a point thanks to a 93rd minute goal at home to Barrow. Fellow Bee Justin Shaibu was introduced off the bench with ten minutes to play as the away side took a shock lead shortly after through John Rooney. Just as it looked like The Bluebirds would be making the long trip home with all three points, David Stephens nodded down into the path of Keiran Murtagh to smash home and preserve Wood’s unbeaten start to the season at home. Luke Garrard’s men make the short trip to Sutton United tomorrow night for a re-arranged National League fixture.