I’m not sure how many times Vito Mannone will be able to say this in his career, but this past weekend he managed to get one over on Wayne Rooney, as his Minnesota United side beat DC United 1-0. A goal in the last ten minutes secured the points for the hosts as they are now four points clear of dropping out of the playoffs.
After securing a playoff place last week, Forest Green suffered defeat at the hands of Crewe. Forest Green were 3-1 up in the game, but an own goal from former Royal Joseph Mills, and two goals in the last five minutes for Crewe ensured a dramatic comeback win for the Railwaymen. Royals loanee Lewis Ward was once again an unused sub from the bench, but will be looking to regain a starting spot in the playoffs.
On the last day of the season in the Vanarama National, two sides with Reading youngsters on loan went head to head as Boreham Wood hosted Eastleigh in a match that ended 3-3. Both loanees, George Legg (Boreham Wood) and Luke Southwood (Eastleigh), were both unused substitutes in the game. Boreham Wood finish the season one place above the relegation zone, but were a comfortable eight points clear. Eastleigh secured the last playoff spot and will begin their playoff campaign with a trip to Wrexham.
In the Belgian second tier, it was relief for Darren Sidoel, Danzell Gravenberch, former Reading Technical Director Brian Tevreden, and everyone else associated with KSV Roeselare as the club secured its status in their division with a resounding 4-0 win against Tubize, the side that would be relegated to the third tier.
Sidoel played the full 90 minutes for Roeselare but Gravenberch was not included in the matchday squad. The two defenders will now return to the Royals ahead of the summer, but with Gravenberch out of contract this summer I suggest this will be one of the final times we write about him as a Reading player.
One player we have not written about over the past few weeks in this loan report is young full back Tennai Watson. The defender, on loan at AFC Wimbledon, has found chances limited for first team action for the League One side. However, the Royals loanee came on for the last ten minutes in the Dons 2-1 win over fellow strugglers Wycombe.
Former Royals coach Wally Downes has done an incredible job at Wimbledon since taking over in December after the club looked dead and buried. With one game to go in the season, the Dons are now just two points clear of the relegation zone, which isn’t the best position to be in, but I’m sure they would have bitten your arm off for that given where they have been at certain points this season.
It looks as if Sone Aluko is starting to enjoy life in China, as he made it two goals in two games in the league for Beijing Renhe. He put his team 1-0 up after thirteen minutes. Renhe led for the entire game until a nightmare in injury time. A red card in the 93rd minute, followed by an equaliser by Hebei in the 95th minute saw the hosts snatch a point.
Adrian Popa and Ludogorets will be looking to get back to winning ways after suffering their first defeat in a number of weeks to fellow playoff side Cherno More. The home side picked up a 2-1 win against top of the table Ludogorets. Adrian Popa was subbed off with just under an hour gone in the game, only a few minutes after his side had gone behind.
After coming back from yet another suspension, Joey van den Berg was an unused substitute for Dutch side NEC Nijmegen as they beat the newly crowned champions FC Twente 4-0 in the Dutch second tier.
There was another Edinburgh derby contested in the Scottish Premiership this weekend, with Marc McNulty playing the full ninety minutes for Hibernian. The match ended 1-1 with another former Royal, Uche Ikpeazu grabbing the equaliser for Hearts with just six minutes left.
Two sides with Reading loanees once again faced off but this time in League One. Coventry City hosted Shrewsbury Town in a game that finished 1-1. Coventry had been fighting to try and secure a playoff place in League One but a draw and a defeat in their last two games has put an end to their playoff hopes. David Meyler, on loan at Coventry, had surgery on an injury he sustained just a few weeks into his loan spell which ruled him out for the season. Sam Smith, on loan at Shrewsbury, was an unused substitute in this game.
Striker Ben House was an unused substitute for Swindon Town as they lost 3-2 away at Cheltenham Town. Swindon were 3-0 down in this game, but two goals in the last five minutes made the score look a bit more respectable.