Lewis Ward - Margate (National League South) Appearances: 12 Clean Sheets: 3
Ward appeared four times over the past fortnight, keeping two clean sheets and solidifying his place as Margate's number one keeper throughout his short spell at the club thusfar. I spoke to Margate's Supporters Club to find out their opinions on Ward's time at the club:
"Really dreading how our season will fare when he has to return to Reading. Calm, composed and shows a maturity beyond his years – we forget he’s only a youngster. Some spectacular saves have been the difference between us being in the relegation zone and our current position, feel much less stressed when he is between the sticks – haven’t felt that confident since Nikki Bull was keeper.
Top notch until his injury.... can’t fault him...good at coming for crosses...decent shot stopper...a good authority in and around the box.... Developing with each game, brave, great shot stopper, doesn't look out of place for his age and has kept the score line down in some games where we've been outclassed.
Since he arrived at Hartsdown Park he has been excellent a quality keeper who commands his defence very well, as a Margate fan living in Reading it is great to see him paying his trade and I'm sure he will go on to great things. He has a great work ethic & attitude and a real team player. As much as I would like to see him stay for years to come in have no doubt he will go on to play at the highest level in the not too distant future."
George Legg - Hungerford Town (National League South) Appearances: 13 Clean Sheets: 5
Reading's young keeper didn't get off to the best of starts this fortnight, scoring a fourth-minute own-goal in a 3-3 draw against Gosport Borough, but recovered to keep two clean sheets in 1-0 wins against Basingstoke Town and Weston-Super-Mare in both the cup and league respectively. Post-match, Legg tweeted a photo via Twitter of a save made during the 3-3 with Gosport;
Paolo Hurtado - Vitoria de Guimaraes (Liga NOS) Appearances: 6 Goals: 1
The Peruvian winger started all three of Vitoria's games this week, including a humbling 3-0 defeat to Porto, in a game in which he started on the right hand side of a central midfield three. He moved centrally for the next two games though, playing behind the striker in an entertaining 3-3 draw with Belenenses, and a 1-0 win over Moreirense. In the Porto match, despite the score-line, Hurtado played relatively well, covering 5.1 kilometres at an average speed of 7.1 kilometres per hour, according to the heat map below;
Sean Long - Cambridge United (Football League Two) Appearances: 6
Long was absent from the match day squad at the beginning of this fortnight, but did earn a spot on the bench for the most recent couple of games, failing to make the pitch in either. With Cambridge's whirlwind finale at the end of their match against Accrington Stanley, in which they finished with nine men and saved two stoppage time penalties, Reading's young full-back may get a look in for their next game.
Craig Tanner - Plymouth Argyle (Football League Two) Appearances: 7 Goals: 1
Tanner grabbed two assists this week, for Jordan Slew in a 2-1 win against Yeovil, and Garita in a 2-0 win against Exeter. And since re-joining the club on loan this transfer window, the praise has been flooding in for the young attacking player.
Craig Tanner off? This day keeps getting worse! #pafc— Jak Ball (@Jakfirst) September 24, 2016
@ArgyleYap tanner involved in both goals and stopped so many counters by working tirelessly back to niggle at the city players— pafcmatt (@FLTRANSFERSs) September 17, 2016
Plymouth fans Anthony Kingman, Matthew Dalton and Mark Gilbert also took to Twitter to review Tanner's recent performances;
Kingman - "quality"
Dalton - "Great performance by all the lads today, Tanner was outstanding."
Gilbert - "Thought Craig Tanner was superb today."
And Tanner had some interesting comments too after the two assists this week;
"Me and Graham are capable of playing both of those positions.
"My natural position is number 10 and it's where I'm enjoying playing at the moment, but I will play anywhere. I'm not really fussed.
He continued: "I have come back here (to Argyle) and I knew I had to work on my end product.
"I'm only a young lad so there is always going to be things to work on.
"Hopefully, my stats are showing that's what I have worked hard on while I have been away and analysed about my game.
"I think I have started the season off alright and hopefully there is a lot more to build on."
Aaron Kuhl - Boreham Wood (Conference National Prem) Appearances: 3
Kuhl made two appearances this fortnight, but they were both as an unused substitute as Boreham Wood continue to struggle in the Conference. Reading fan Ben Turner commented that there was "no point in sending Kuhl to Boreham Wood if he's gonna sit on the bench", while Mick Day asked, "what's the point?"
Rob Dickie - Cheltenham Town (Football League Two) Appearances: 6 Goals: 1
Dickie has established himself as a mainstay in the Cheltenham side having re-joined them in the summer, and grabbed an assist against Yeovil, after reacted quickest to a saved penalty to square the ball for a goal.
Goal: Billy Waters / Assist: Rob Dickie (on loan from Reading) pic.twitter.com/aBS59B0QAb— EnglandYouthFootball (@youth_england) September 26, 2016
Despite stellar performances, fans of the club expressed their discontent at the fact that Dickie is playing out of position for the side, often in midfield or on the wing.
Simon, on Twitter, said "Dickie should not be playing on the wing", whereas Dave Nelson asked "what is Dickie doing in midfield?" Matt Addinall also added "we seem to be forcing square pegs in round holes. I would prefer Dickie in a back three."
Jonathan Bond - Gillingham (Football League One) Appearances: 6
Bond was involved in three matches this fortnight, including a 5-0 humbling to Premier League Spurs, but picked up an unfortunate injury in that match and was withdrawn at half-time. The groin injury will keep him out for approximately three weeks, and he has been subsequently absent since. One Port Vale fan, Lee West, was complimentary of Bond, despite his side's struggles, commentating that "if it wasn't for Bond, (Gillingham) would have lost by four or five (in the 2-1 defeat to Port Vale). He was man of the match."
A Gills fan, Jamie Willis, though, was less positive, asking "have we won a game yet with Bond in goal?"
The answer? Yes, once, in a 3-2 win against Shrewsbury on August 27th.
Sam Smith - Bishop's Stortford (National League South) Appearances: 8 Goals: 2
Smith enjoyed a blistering start to life on loan at Bishop's Stortford, scoring two in four, but this week he failed to score in four appearances for the club. He started three games, but his form caused him to drop to the bench in the most recent game.
Jack Stacey - Exeter (Football League Two) Appearances: 6
Stacey grabbed an assist in a 2-0 win over Stevenage last week, which rounded off a solid fortnight for the young winger, who made four appearances in total.
Exeter manager, Paul Tisdale, has been happy with the loanee so far, and had some complimentary comments on him post-match.
"Those young players at the back created the foundation,"
"Stacey, Sweeney and Croll, they did their bit. I'm asking a lot of them, they've only played a handful of games.
"They'll get so much from it, so what a deserved three points and I'm absolutely chuffed."
George Thorpe, an Exeter fan, commented on the formation of his team, and particularly the fact that Stacey is playing in the defence currently, "looks like Tisdale has reshaped the formation, with Stacey dropping into right back."
Dom Lodge also said on Stacey, "he looks really dangerous down that right hand side, I'm really looking forward to watching him over the next four months."
Tariqe Fosu - Colchester United (Football League Two) Appearances: 6
Fosu has had an excellent start to life at Colchester, culminating in a near-perfect fortnight. He bagged two assists in a 3-2 win against Blackpool, as well as another in a 2-1 defeat to his former loan club Accrington Stanley. Sandwiched in between those games, he scored an excellent goal, the opener, in a 1-1 draw with Barnet.
Post-match, Fosu spoke at length to Freddie Laidler on his time at the club thusfar, which you can view below;
Dom Hyam - Portsmouth (Football League Two) Appearances: 0
Hyam has been playing for Popmey's U23s currently, and has yet to make an appearance for the first team.
LOAN PLAYER OF THR WEEK:
Three assists and a goal this fortnight earns Tariqe Fosu the award this time round. Honourable mentions to Craig Tanner and Rob Dickie for their performances.