Royston Drenthe - Sheffield Wednesday (SkyBet Championship) Appearances: 9
This week we start with Royston, whose Sheffield Wednesday side played former Premier League outfit Norwich City. Six games in and still no starts though for Royston as he battles his way back to full fitness. He came off the bench in this one in the 56th minute - with Wednesday's new signing Gary Taylor-Fletcher - as his side held Norwich to a goalless draw. Following the match, Royston said that:
I’m always ready to play, the decision is the gaffer's but when I get my chance I have to take it"
And take it he did. Starting a match for the first time this season against Charlton, Royston scored a fantastic solo goal that wouldn't have been out of place in a Real Madrid game as his side conceded a late equaliser to draw the match 1-1. Want to see Drenthe's goal? Of course you do.
Royston then earned his second start of the season as his side played host to Bournemouth. Unfortunately, Drenthe was back to the Royston we Reading fans have come to love, as he was sent off (harshly) in the 60th minute for a second bookable offence with the scores level at 0-0. Ten-man Wednesday then conceded two goals in four minutes as Andrew Surman and Ryan Fraser sent AFC Bournemouth top of the SkyBet Championship.
Stuart Moore - Basingstoke Town (Vanarama Conference South) Appearances: 14
The main news last week coming out of Basingstoke was that they had signed former Reading FC midfielder, James Harper. His Royal links will surely be a benefit for our young keeper Stuart Moore, who started in 'Stoke's 1-1 FA Cup draw with Harrow Borough. Liam Enver-Marum had opened the scoring on 12 minutes, only for Borough to salvage a replay mid-way through the second half. Moore also started the replay, in which 33 year-old Jamie Brown opened the scoring, only for Borough to equalise again midway through the second half. With a place in the first round proper at stake, Chris Flood stepped up to a late penalty which would have sent Basingstoke into the next round. However, Flood missed the penalty and the game went to extra time. Liam Enver-Marum gave 'Stoke the lead before two goals from Lloyd Macklin and Simon Dunn - both in the 120th minute - saw Basingstoke advance to the FA Cup first round proper.
The following week, Moore played 90 minutes as his side slipped to a shock defeat to Chelmsford. Lloyd Macklin put Basingstoke on terms after Chelmsford had gone in front before City scored the winner to condemn Basingstoke to only their fourth defeat in thirteen in the league this season. Despite the defeat, Moore's side remain top of the Conference South by two points.
Jon Henly - Welling United/Reading FC (Vanarama Conference Prem) Appearances: 9
A fortnight ago, I mentioned that Welling United had resigned former keeper Lee Butcher. Since that match, Henly hasn't featured either on the field or on the bench for the Wings, leading to suggestions that he had returned to his parent club. Both clubs declined to comment but there have been numerous pictures posted by Reading that feature Henly so my guess is that he has returned. It's another short term loan for Jon, which is a shame as he's reaching the stage where I'm sure he'd like to play more regularly and for a longer spell at a club in one of the top five tiers of English football.