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Loan Report: Heartbreak For Luke Southwood

The youngster’s fine form wasn’t enough to seal promotion for Eastleigh.

Salford City v AFC Fylde - Vanarama National League Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

It was playoff heartbreak for Luke Southwood and Eastleigh this past week. Last Thursday, the Hampshire side travelled to Wrexham and managed to grab a 1-0 win in injury time thanks to a fantastic volley from Danny Hollands, and Luke Southwood put in a man of the match performance in this game.

However, this past Sunday, just one step from Wembley, Eastleigh were beaten in the Vanarama National playoff semi-final on penalties by Salford City. Southwood again impressed, but was unable to help his side in their quest for league football. Nonetheless, he won plaudits.

A third home game in a row for Minnesota United saw them draw 1-1 with Seattle Sounders in the MLS. Vito Mannone once again was between the sticks for Minnesota in a game the hosts will feel they should have won. They’re a third of the way through the MLS season now, and Minnesota are currently par for the course.

We had already reported that Forest Green had qualified for the League Two playoffs, and they will contest the semi-finals with Tranmere Rovers for a place at Wembley. In their 0-0 draw at home to Exeter City, Lewis Ward was an unused substitute, and given that he has lost his place over the past few games, he may struggle to feature in the playoff picture.

The great escape is complete for AFC Wimbledon. Drawing 0-0 at already relegated Bradford was enough for the Dons to survive by goal difference. Tennai Watson was an unused substitute in this game, and he now returns to the Royals after finishing his loan spell.

The good times unfortunately couldn’t last forever for Sone Aluko in China. Beijing Renhe were beaten 2-1 at home by Henan Jianye in the Chinese Super League, and it appears the Renhe team have a worse disciplinary record than Joey van den Berg! They went 1-0 up thanks to a penalty, but two goals before half time for the visitors saw them take the lead into half time. With just over ten minutes to go, Beijing were reduced to ten men once again, and this set them back in their bid to draw level in the game.

No wins in two games now for Ludogorets as they equalised in the 93rd minute to draw 1-1 away at Beroe. Adrian Popa was brought on with ten minutes remaining for what would be an action-packed finish. With five minutes to go, Beroe took the lead before Ludogorets salvaged a draw in the dying seconds. As the Bulgarian playoff mini league enters the latter stages, Ludogorets now only have a three-point gap over nearest rivals CSKA Sofia.

Travelling to the Ibrox to take on Steven Gerrard’s Rangers isn’t an easy task, and Marc McNulty’s Hibs found that out the hard way after suffering a 1-0 defeat, which was sealed by a goal from Jermain Defoe just a few minutes before half time. McNulty played the full ninety minutes but was unable to find the net and help his side get anything from the game.

It’s mid-table mediocrity in League Two for Swindon Town this season, as they finished their season by beating Notts County 3-1 at home. Despite being 1-0 down, the Robins came back to win, and this result would have ramifications for their opponents as this result would see Notts County relegated from the football league. Ben House was an unused substitute for Swindon here.