The past couple of weeks have provided an upturn in form for Luke Southwood and Hamilton in the SPL. Struggling towards the foot of the table, two points from the last two games will certainly be a welcome return considering they lost four of the last five before this.
Their first point came in a 2-2 draw against bottom side Hearts. The visitors led 2-0 after 16 mins with two goals through Marios Ogkmpoe. Five minutes later and potentially the turning point of the afternoon as Hamilton had Jamie Hamilton sent off. The Accies hung on until half time, but three minutes after the restart Hearts grabbed their first of the game. Three minutes from time and the comeback was complete. Southwood continued his run in the side in this game, playing the whole match.
Hamilton’s second point from two came at home in a 0-0 draw to Motherwell. There was also a red card in this game, with the visitors Chris Long receiving his marching orders with less than ten minutes until half time. Neither team could go on to find a winner, with this game remaining goalless.
Another year, and another loan spell for Vito Mannone. After being named MLS Goalkeeper of the Season for 2019 with Minnesota United, the Italian now finds himself on loan in the Danish Superliga with Esbjerg. After a long winter break in Denmark, the past couple of weeks has seen a return to league action and it’s been a mixed time for the Reading man. In his debut for the club, Esbjerg picked up a shock 1-0 win against FC Kobenhavn, with a goal from former Leeds midfielder Rodolph Austin.
Esbjerg were quickly bought back down to earth with a bump though, suffering a 2-0 defeat away to Lyngby. A goal either side of half time settled the win for the home team, but the visitors will be disappointed in not even scoring, let alone losing the game after they dominated the stats. Mannone once again was between the sticks for his new side in this one. With four games left of the regular part of the Danish Superliga season, Esbjerg find themselves just one place off the bottom but five points ahead of Silkeborg who occupy that position.
Marc McNulty's Hibernian extended their unbeaten run to four in all competitions over the past couple of weeks, with four points from a possible six in the SPL. Their first game in this spell was a 2-1 win away at Kilmarnock. All three goals came in the first half and Hibs had to take the lead twice in the game to assure victory.
The second game was a 1-1 draw at home to Livingston. Both goals in this game came in the opening ten minutes of the second half, with Hibs perhaps disappointed at not being able to go on and find a winner. Reading loanee McNulty played the full 90 minutes in both of these games but was unable to continue his impressive form since going back on loan to the club, grabbing four goals in the previous two games. However, one team mate seems to love his work right now…
Steaua Bucharest’s hopes of closing the gap at the top of the Romanian Liga I have taken a hit in recent weeks, as they now find themselves without a win in three in the league. On the 16th, Steaua took a short trip to city rivals Dinamo Bucharest but were defeated 2-1 in a game that had just about everything. A goal either side of half time, not to mention a Steaua red card and penalty, gave the home side the win. Adrian Popa came on with the scores level at half time, but could not help his team salvage a point despite the man deficit.
A week later and strugglers Chindia Targoviste visited Steaua Bucharest in Liga I, with Popa getting a rare start. The Reading loanee took this opportunity with open arms and got the assist for his team’s goal. His corner found the head of George Miron who fired the hosts in front. Steaua could not hold on for victory as the visitors grabbed an equaliser in injury time. Popa played the full 90 minutes in this game, as Steaua find themselves fourth in the league, eight points off the top.
Another two weeks and another two defeats for Denizlispor in the Super Lig. The first game was a 1-0 defeat at home to Kayserispor. After featuring regularly in the team throughout the season, Mo Barrow was actually an unused sub in this game. Perhaps this was to with issues off the field as a couple of days later it was reported that Barrow had walked out on the club after unpaid wages over a long period of time.
Just over a week later and Barrow was back in the starting line-up for a trip to Kasimpasa that ended in a 2-0 defeat for the Roosters. Barrow played the full 90 minutes and had the most shots of anyone on his team, but could not help his side break through the Kasimpasa defence. Denizlispor now find themselves just four points above the drop zone in the Turkish Super Lig.
February has been a quiet month for Dagenham & Redbridge, who have played just one game in the past three weeks, picking up a 2-0 win over Solihull Moors. The game was wrapped by half time, with both goals coming in the first half. Reading loanee Ben House started the game but could not get himself on the score sheet, and was replaced in the 86th minute.