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Reading FC Loan Report: September 16

Penalty saves, goals and debut joy - Find out how Reading FC's loanees have been getting on away from the Mad Stad.

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Lewis Ward - Margate (National League South) Appearances: 8 Clean Sheets: 1

Ward continued his fine start between the sticks for Margate by helping his side pick up a couple of wins over the past few weeks. However, after a run of three successive defeats, conceding six goals, which included a 4-2 loss to Hampton & Richmond Borough, Ward and his side managed to stop the rot by picking up a victory over Weston-Super-Mare. Ward did make a penalty save in one of the defeats though, in the 1-0 defeat to Poole Town.

Ward then continued between the sticks the following week, but was replaced at half-time following a concussion picked up in the first-half during his side's 4-0 defeat to Ebbsfeet. Consequently, Ward was absent the following week, missing out on the opportunity to play against his academy team-mate, George Legg, against Hungerford. He did return the following week though, in a 2-1 win against East Thurrock.

George Legg - Hungerford Town (National League South) Appearances: 9 Clean Sheets: 3

Like Ward, George Legg has also firmly established himself as his new loan side's number one, appearing in all nine games over the past few weeks. He participated in notable victories against Bishop's Strortford (2-1) and Hemel Hempstead (3-0), as well as hard-earned draws against Margate (1-1) and Ebssfleet (1-1). Also like Ward, Legg saved a penalty during the 3-0 triumph over Hemel Hempstead, which Trevor Legg managed to catch on camera:

Paolo Hurtado - Vitoria de Guimaraes (Liga NOS) Appearances: 3 Goals: 1

Hurtado deputised for his newest loan club over the past few weeks, playing 90 minutes in a 1-0 defeat to Braga. That performance earned him a start the following week too, this time adding 68 minutes to his season tally in a 2-0 victory over Maritimo. He then bagged his first goal for the club, scoring his side's fourth in a thrilling 5-3 victory over his former club, Pacos de Ferreira:

Sean Long - Cambridge United (English Football League Two) Appearances: 6

Long has had an up-and-down time thus far at his loan club, Cambridge. He started off the latest period as a mainstay at right-back, playing 90 minutes in defeats to Colchester and Doncaster, as well as a draw against Carlisle, before then dropping to the bench in defeats to Wolves, in the Cup, and Luton, in the League. He came off the bench in the 1-0 win over Shrewsbury, before being absent altogether from the goalless draw with Mansfield, presumably as he was away with Ireland's U21s.

Crag Tanner -€” Plymouth Argyle (Football League Two) Appearances: 3 Goals: 1

Reading's young attacker re-joined his former loan club, Plymouth, a club in which he enjoyed a successful spell last season, shortly before the summer's transfer window slammed shut last week. He began his second stint at the club on the bench during his side's 2-0 win over Mansfield, before making his second debut, entering the game as an 81st minute substitute in a 1-0 win over Blackpool. He was rewarded with a start in the next match too, and he repaid his manager's faith in him, scoring Plymouth's fourth goal in stoppage time to make it 4-1. He then made it through 90 minutes as Plymouth got the better of Cambridge 2-1.

Aaron Kuhl -€” Boreham Wood (National League Prem) Appearances: 3

Kuhl has fallen out of favour at Reading since making his debut under Nigel Adkins, and he's been shipped out to Boreham Wood for this season. He made his debut for the club off the bench in the 73rd minute in a 1-1 draw with Chester, before sitting out the draw against Gateshead. He then played 90 minutes in the 1-0 defeat to Maidstone, before playing 78 minutes in the 2-0 win at Dagenham.

Rob Dickie -€” Cheltenham Town (League Two) Appearances: 3 Goals: 1

Similarly to Tanner, Dickie re-joined his former loan club from last season before the window shut last week, and he began his second spell at the club with a bang, scoring the opener in a 2-0 win over Crewe, from right back. For that performance, and goal, Dickie was included in League Two's ‘Team of the Day', and spoke of his delight below;

ROBINS TV: @RobDickie96
on scoring during his return to #ctfc


— Cheltenham Town FC (@CTFCofficial) August 28, 2016

Dickie also played 90 minutes in both the 2-1 defeat to Blackpool and 1-0 defeat to Plymouth. Rob also had some interesting comments to say on his favoured position after the game against Plymouth;

"I will happily play as a wing-back, I don't mind playing wherever the manger asks me. I have played a lot as a right back in a four," he said.

"When I am a right back I like to get forward, so would have no problems playing there if the manager asks me to do that.

"I will do whatever the manager asks me to do and if that's as a right wing-back if the manager asks me to, I am sure I will do well."

Jonathan Bond -€” Gillingham (League One) Appearances: 3

Bond has fallen out of favour at Reading since starting last season as Reading's number one. The form of Ali Al-Habsi and the arrival of Anssi Jaakkola have pushed Bond down the pecking order, and his dispensability has forced him to drop down a level and join League One Gillingham on loan. He made his debut in a 3-2 win over Crewe, before being rested in the EFL Cup defeat to Luton. He then returned to the side in the league, but couldn't prevent Billy Sharp scoring a stoppage time penalty to condemn the Gills to defeat. The keeper then kept his place as they drew with Bradford.

Sam Smith – Bishop’s Stortford (National League South) Appearances: 4 Goals: 2

Smith had the dream debut for his new club after joining on a short loan deal. He bagged a 92nd minute winner against Gosport Borough. He then solidified his place in the starting line-up, playing 90 minutes in a 3-0 win against Wealdstone and a 0-0 draw with Concord Rangers. Sandwiched between those games though, Smith added his second in three games, scoring a fourth minute opener in a 3-2 win over Hemel Hempstead.

Jack Stacey – Exeter (League Two) Appearances: 2

Stacey enjoyed an eventful debut for his new loan club, picking up a 41st minute booking in a 3-2 win over Tariqe Fosu’s Colchester. Starting on the right hand side of a front three, similar to the system Jaap Stam is implementing at his parent club, Jack assisted the winner to kick off what he hopes will be a successful spell in League Two.

Tariqe Fosu – Colchester United (Football League Two) Appearances: 2

In the same game, Tariqe Fosu made his debut for Colchester, but his was slightly less eventful than that of his Reading team-mate, Jack Stacey. He started on the bench for United, but entered the fray just after the hour mark, so had a front-row seat as Stacey grabbed the assist to down Fosu and his new team-mates.

Fosu followed that up by coming on as a half-time sub as Colchester beat Blackpool 3-2.

Dom Hyam – Portsmouth (Football League Two) Appearances: 0

With Hyam being away with Scotland’s U21 squad over the international break, he has yet to deputise for the former Premier League giants.


There are certainly a lot of options here this week, including George Legg & Lewis Ward's penalty saves, Hurtado, Tanner or Dickie's goals for their sides, but Sam Smith bagging two in three in his first spell away from Reading earns him this week's award.