With the football season firmly in the business end there was another full weekend of action for Southampton’s loanees, as Nico Lawrence picked up more personal silverware at Torquay United. This and more in the latest Loan Watch…
Starting in the National League, B team star Lawrence has continued to impress in Devon as his Torquay side are in the midst of an impressive resurgence to try and survive relegation to the sixth tier.
Having only joined in January, the centre-back was presented with the club’s Young Player of the Season award before their crucial home clash with York City.
That accolade followed successive Player of the Month awards for the youngster, which he won in both February and March.
In the game that followed, Lawrence played the full 90 minutes in a 3-2 win to continue Torquay’s winning streak to five consecutive matches as they moved to within two points of safety.
Up in the Premier League, Jack Stephens has also enjoyed an upturn in form with Bournemouth as he played in their dramatic 3-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur that moved the Cherries up to 14th in the table.
In the Championship, Nathan Tella was unfortunately withdrawn from Burnley’s goalless draw against Reading in the first half through injury; the extent of the midfielder’s condition is yet to be confirmed as he and the Clarets approach their impending title victory.
Elsewhere in the division, Will Smallbone continued his mainstay in Stoke City’s starting line-up but was unable to help his side collect any points in a 2-1 defeat away to playoff-chasing West Brom.
Down a division in League One, Dan Nlundulu made his first start since the end of January as he played just under an hour in Bolton Wanderers’ 1-0 win over Oxford United.
The victory takes Bolton up to fifth place in the table with a two point advantage over the chasing pack along with a game in hand.
Meanwhile in League One, Morecambe made a return to winning ways as Caleb Watts also made his first start since January.
The Shrimps ended their barren run of 10 winless games as they beat Wycombe 1-0 at home, with Watts playing 62 minutes whilst Dynel Simeu was introduced off the bench in the closing stages to secure the points.
There was derby day disappointment for Kegs Chauke as he started for Exeter City but was on the wrong end of a 1-0 defeat against Plymouth Argyle, who returned to the top of the league table.
In League Two, Kazeem Olaigbe maintained his starting spot in Harrogate Town’s attack as the Yorkshire club came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 for the third game in a row; the young Belgian played the full 90 minutes in the entertaining clash against Doncaster Rovers.
Back outside of the EFL, Jack Bycroft enjoyed midweek success with Taunton Town as they travelled to second-place Dartford and ground out an impressive 1-0 victory.
Bycroft kept his 19th clean sheet of the season in the game, making a particularly impressive save in the first half to tip a shot from the edge of the area onto the crossbar.
Taunton were unable to add a consecutive win at the weekend as they were beaten by Dulwich Hamlet, but their midweek heroics confirmed their safety in the division for another season.
Elsewhere in the National League South, Luke Pearce played the full 90 minutes in Eastbourne Borough’s 3-0 win over Hemel Hempstead that has kept them in the playoff hunt towards the end of the season.
Jack Turner picked up more valuable minutes for Braintree Town as a half time introduction off the bench in a narrow defeat away to Worthing.
Finally, up in Scotland, Thierry Small was also deployed off the bench as he played the final half an hour in St Mirren’s battling trip to Rangers which ultimately resulted in a 5-2 defeat despite the Saints levelling the score twice on the day.