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Loan Report: Sone Aluko Scores First Beijing Renhe Goal

It was mixed fortunes for Reading’s loan contingent across the world.

Hibernian v Celtic - Scottish Ladbrokes Premiership Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

The last couple of weeks for Sone Aluko will have bought him much confidence and also relief about his time in China. His current side Beijing Renhe picked up their first win of the season last week, and this week Aluko scored his first goal for the Chinese Super League side.

Renhe drew 2-2 at home with Shenzen FC which keeps them a point above the relegation zone. Shenzen led 1-0 at the break, but five minutes after half time Aluko scored to make the score level. Renhe then scored again but Shenzen equalised in the 88th minute to grab a point.

In a game that twisted and turned with seven goals and two red cards, Vito Mannone was on the wrong end of a 4-3 score line as his Minnesota United side were beaten by Toronto FC. The two sending offs were for Minnesota, but both came after all the goals were scored, so any chance of Mannone’s side drawing level was not helped by these dismissals.

A mixed weekend for Eastleigh of one win and one defeat has seen them confirm the last playoff place in the Vanarama National League. A 2-0 defeat away at Dagenham & Redbridge on Friday was followed by a 2-0 win against struggling Maidenhead United. Loanee keeper Luke Southwood was between the sticks for both games and he will be trying to help the Hampshire side push for league football for the first time in the club’s history.

For Boreham Wood, it wasn’t a good Easter weekend, as the struggling Vanarama National side lost two games in a matter of days. On Good Friday, the Wood lost 3-2 at home to title challengers Salford City. Young goalkeeper George Legg was an unused sub in this game.

However, the Royals loanee regained his place in the side for the trip to Chesterfield on Easter Monday, but was unable to help his team to victory as they lost 3-2 for the second game running. Thankfully for Boreham Wood, with one game left of the season, all the relegation sides have already been confirmed, but they will want to try and finish the season on a high in preparation for a better campaign next season.

It’s been a memorable Easter however for Forest Green Rovers. Two wins from two games have seen the League Two side cement a playoff place. A 1-0 win away at fellow playoff side Tranmere Rovers, followed by a 2-1 win at home to strugglers Cambridge United, ensures Mark Cooper’s side cannot be caught in the playoff race. Unfortunately for youngster Lewis Ward, he lost his place for both games and was an unused sub on each occasion. Hopefully the Reading loanee can play a big part in the playoffs for Forest Green.

It seems that we finally have something positive to say about Belgian second tier side KSV Roeselare. Danzell Gravenberch and Darren Sidoel played the full ninety minutes to help Roeselare picked up a massive 1-0 win away at Lommel United, to move off the bottom of the relegation phase table with one game to go.

After finally completing his suspension, Joey van den Berg was back in the side for NEC Nijmegen as they won 3-2 away at FC Volendam. He slotted into the back four for the Dutch second tier side and played the full ninety minutes last Friday as his side picked up all three points. NEC did have another game on Monday, in which they beat RKC Waalwijk at home 2-1, but Joey was not in the match day squad. He picked up a yellow card in the previous game, which meant he was suspended for this game. Shock.

Ludogorets continued their eight-match unbeaten streak with a convincing 3-0 win at home to Botev Plovdiv. Adrian Popa played the full game for Ludogorets which moves them five points clear at the top of the Bulgarian league second phase table.

The Scottish Premiership has now entered its second phase and Hibernian began that by hosting likely future champions Celtic at Easter Road. Marc McNulty played the whole game, but was unable to help his side pick up all three points as the game finished 0-0.

Eredivise side Fortuna Sittard managed to pick up another win this weekend, beating bottom of the table NAC Breda 2-1. Andrija Novakovich couldn’t to add to his tally for the season as he was substituted off towards the end of the first half after picking up an injury. After registering some important results recently, Fortuna can start to look up the table rather than over their shoulders.

Having been given a chance for the first time in many games last time out, Ben House started in Swindon’s 0-0 draw at home to struggling Cambridge United before being substituted just after the hour mark. In Monday’s 2-1 home defeat to Crewe, he was brought on as a substitute but could not help his side fight back to grab a point.

Someone we have not mentioned for a few weeks now in these reports is young striker Sam Smith. He spent the first half of the season on loan at local rivals Oxford United, but after failing to make much of an impact there, he switched to Shrewsbury Town for the second half of the season.

He has not featured for the side in recent weeks, but last Friday in Shrewsbury’s trip to Barnsley, the front man was given the last five minutes off the bench to try and grab a late equaliser but it was not to be as Barnsley won the game 2-1.