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Loan Report: Smith Scores Again, Holsgrove’s Side On Top Form

The two academy graduates had weeks to remember for their respective clubs.

Northampton Town v Cambridge United - Sky Bet League Two Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

The best way for a striker to respond to criticism is to score goals. Sam Smith did exactly that last weekend as he scored in a 2-1 victory for Cambridge United over Crawley Town. Cambridge were somewhat fortunate to grab the win, as Crawley were arguably the better side in the game, but a scintillating last ten minutes saw Crawley take the lead, only for Smith to grab an equaliser before teammate Paul Lewis grabbed the winner.

Smith put in a very good performance in this game. The striker did not have many opportunities but worked hard for the team and took his chance when he got it.

Then on Tuesday night Cambridge were in EFL Trophy action against Arsenal under-23s. The game finished 1-1 in normal time, but the Gunners won 4-3 on penalties. The Us took the lead but shortly after half time were reduced to ten men, which allowed the Arsenal youngsters back into the game.

Sam Smith did not start the game but came on with five minutes to go to with the aim of grabbing his side a late winner. Despite failing to do that, the Reading loanee did step up to take a penalty in the shootout and scored.

Would you be surprised if I told you Atletico Baleares won again, and still had a five-point gap at the top of the league? The islanders continued their dominance of Segunda Division B Group 1 at the weekend with a 3-1 win over Real Oviedo B. All four goals in the game came in the first half, and Jordan Holsgrove managed to get himself on the scoresheet. The Scot scored his sides third goal and wrapped up the points for Baleares. He was later substituted with just over ten minutes to go.

After Coventry City’s first-choice right back was sent off in the previous game, the stage was set for Tennai Watson to make a long-awaited start for his loan side. Watson started the game against Accrington Stanley at the weekend, with the game finishing 0-0. The Sky Blues had a man sent off in the second half but looked favourites to be the winners despite going down to ten men. Watson was brought off with just over quarter of an hour to go.

Tuesday night saw another game for Coventry in the EFL Trophy, this time against Southampton under-23s. In a dramatic second half when all five goals were scored, Coventry won the game 3-2. Watson once again started the game but was replaced at half time. One fan was impressed with what he saw by the Reading youngster.

If Sunderland want to be challenging at the very top of League One then they will have to do better than relying on their home form to shoot them up the table. Fortunately for the Black Cats, a home game against struggling Southend United saw them manage pick up a 1-0 win. Marc McNulty came off the bench with just over ten minutes to go, with the score already at 1-0, to try and help his side put the game beyond doubt.

Another side in EFL Trophy action, Sunderland hosted Leicester City under-23s on Tuesday night, with the visitors coming away with a 2-1 victory. McNulty played the full 90 for Phil Parkinson’s men, but was unable to help his team to victory, despite Sunderland leading at half time. It sounds like this fan thinks McNulty maybe needs to work on his fitness before nailing down a starting place.

A mixed week for Mo Barrow’s Denizlispor as they progressed in the Turkish Cup in midweek thanks to a 4-1 win against Icel Idmanyurdu Spor, but lost again in the Super Lig, despite picking up a win last time out. Second-placed Sivasspor were the visitors to the Denizli Ataturk Stadium, and they won the game 2-0, with former Everton man Arouna Kone on the scoresheet.

Barrow did not make the matchday squad for the cup game but did play the full 90 in the league. After putting in a poor performance last time, Barrow improved vastly against Sivasspor, and was his sides most dangerous player going forward, having the most attempts on goal and running at defenders whenever he got the chance.

Steaua Bucharest continued their resurgence up the Liga I table, as they came from behind to beat Sepsi 2-1 at home. The visitors took the lead in the first half and lead at half time, but two goals in four second half minutes, one of which was a penalty, turned the game on its head and Steaua went on to ensure victory. After an impressive performance last time out, Adrian Popa started the game, but with his side trailing at half time, the Reading loanee was brought off at the break.

Hamilton will have felt a rollercoaster of emotions last Saturday as they drew 2-2 with Ross County in the SPL. 1-0 down in the first minute, to being 2-1 up, to conceding an equaliser in the 88th minute, and then having a man sent off in injury time at the end of the game. A point drags them further away from the relegation zone, but performances need to improve. Luke Southwood was an unused sub in this game.

After winning two games in a row, it looked like KSV Roeselare were getting their season going, but fast forward three weeks and that familiar feeling of defeat after defeat will be returning. The Belgian side lost 2-1 away to Beerschot Wilrijk last Saturday, with Tom Holmes an unused sub.