Jump to content
  • Sign up for free and receive a month's subscription

    You are viewing this page as a guest. That means you are either a member who has not logged in, or you have not yet registered with us. Signing up for an account only takes a minute and it means you will no longer see this annoying box! It will also allow you to get involved with our friendly(ish!) community and take part in the discussions on our forums. And because we're feeling generous, if you sign up for a free account we will give you a month's free trial access to our subscriber only content with no obligation to commit. Register an account and then send a private message to @dave u and he'll hook you up with a subscription.

Loan Watch - 2022/23


Recommended Posts

Everybody’s free to feel good 


Fidel O’Rourke : A second league appearance for Halifax against promotion hopefuls Barnet, 15 minutes off the bench. Barnet were already 2-1 up at that point, and added a third on the break late on, while the home side had two goals chalked off themselves. Unused sub in the FA Trophy tie against Maidenhead, which Halifax won on penalties. 


Tyler Morton : Back into the side for the trip to fellow promotion chasers Watford. Played an hour in a solid defensive effort, not getting forward as much, especially after Bradley Dack gave them the lead, and subbed off in what looked like a pre-planned change. The home team got an equaliser afterwards, and Blackburn are now hovering just below the playoff places.


Jarrell Quansah : After two losses to open his spell at Bristol Rovers, surely this would be a better game against draw specialists Lincoln? No!

Quansah wasn’t to blame for Lincoln’s goal (a free header at a corner where at least one Rovers defender looked to have been pushed over), then they had their centre-forward sent off for throwing an elbow at the opposing goalie’s chest.  It ended 1-0.

Fuck Joey Barton.


Adam Lewis :  Newport travelled to far-off Barrow (the away support was estimated as, erm, ninety-five), and Adam played a full part in securing three points at the death. With ten minutes left, he was clattered hard while challenging for a loose ball, resulting in his opponent being sent off. Then in stoppage time, his corner kick was headed home by OAP Mickey Demetriou to win the game. Consecutive league wins for the Welshmen for the first time since August, and eight points clear of the drop.


Luke Chambers : A first senior cup game for Kilmarnock at Dundee United, who chose to wear a change strip at home. The visitors dominated the first half without looking like scoring, then opened the scoring against the run of play after the break, and held on to reach the last eight. Chambers didn’t get forward as much as much as he’d like, and his crosses did not produce anything of note, but was defensively sound.


Anderson Arroyo : A rare start in the league for Alavés at Real Zaragoza, and lasted the full ninety minutes as the Basques ran out 4-1 winners. Generally solid defensively, although there was one counterattack in the second half where he was about twenty metres out of position. Still gets beaten in the air a lot. Alavés back up to third; it’s their year (or whatever that is in Euskara).


Jack Bearne  : No game (Rested by Kidderminster against Spennymoor).


Vitezslav Jaros : No game (Stuck on Stockport’s bench).


Conor Bradley : No game (Suspended after accumulating ten league bookings).


Leighton Clarkson : No game (Darvel).

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let down by the post


Jack Bearne : Brought on by Kidderminster as a late second-half substitute against Brackley; however he was not able to influence the game as the visitors won 2-1. Brackley’s win takes them third; Kidderminster stay eight, a point off the playoffs.


Fidel O’Rourke : A late substitute for Halifax in their game at Southend, but had no effect on the game as Southend held on to defend their 2-1 lead. Still, plenty of games left.


Tyler Morton : Started the game at WBA, played 82 minutes in a deeper role than he sometimes has, could have done better in the box for Albions goal (an observation that could be made about five of his teammates as well), subbed off in the last ten minutes as Rovers successfully sought an equaliser.  Blackburn still a point behind Watford in the last playoff place, but with a game in hand on Udine reserves.


Jarrell Quansah : Finally a clean sheet for Bristol Rovers in their 0-0 draw at promotion-chasing Ipswich.  Jarrell missed a free header early on at a corner, but shone at the other end , clearing a shot off the line in the last ten minutes before making a strong clearing header from the corner that marked the last action of the match. Named man of the match on the Rovers website. Something about Joey Barton.


Adam Lewis : Another 90 minutes at left-wingback for Newport against promotion certainties Stevenage. Plenty of hard work with the occasional foray forward; had a header go narrowly wide at the end of the first half.A late penalty helped County to a 2-2 draw, they now have a seven point lead over the relegation places.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Other opinions are available 


Leighton Clarkson : Started Aberdeen’s game at Parkhead in the middle of a five-man midfield. Predictably a game that would not play to his strengths. Was a step too slow in his own box to close down  Callum McGregor for Celtic’s opening goal, then got passed round for their second. Subbed off after an hour. Aberdeen stay seventh.


Luke Chambers : Played the full game for Kilmarnock at Hibs. Looked better going forward than defending, Not especially to blame for either Hibs goal; gets outmuscled, something to which teenage defenders are prone. Kilmarnock are three points off the bottom and their struggle continues.


Fidel O’Rourke : Once again a late substitute for Halifax in their trip to Boreham Wood, as the visitors, much the better team in the second half as they came back to equalise after falling behind early, looked for a winner. Forced a corner with his first attack, but saw less of the ball when the focus shifted to more of a long-ball attack as the end of the game approached. 


Jack Bearne : Came on at halftime for Kidderminster in their game with Banbury, with the home side already one down. Should have had an assist when his Salah-esque through ball created a chance that was wasted; then had a weak long-range shot trickle wide of the post. Banbury added a second goal from a late free-kick and Kidderminster were booed off.


Conor Bradley : Back from his two-match ban and straight back into the team for Bolton’s trip to Wycombe. Could have set the match on a different path when his cross from the right created a chance for Ricardo, whose shot cleared the bar narrowly; then another run into the box allowed him to get in another cross, which was rifled against the crossbar by Gethin Jones. Not conspicuous at the corner that led to the Wycombe goal at the end of the first half. Despite Wanderers having more of the ball in the second period, their hosts hung on for the win. Bolton still fourth, although their pursuers all have games in hand. Next up: Accrington in the EFL semifinals.


Jarrell Quansah : Still there in the Bristol Rovers defence against struggling Burton after his man-of-the-match performance in their previous game. Not seen to best effect at Burton’s equaliser, missing an attempt at a header from an opposition goal kick that left him well out of position, waving in vain for an offside flag. May well have handled the ball while blocking a shot in the second half, but the rebound ended up in the net anyway to give Burton the lead. Another defeat for Joey Barton. Fuck Joey Barton.


Adam Lewis : Still a regular at left wing-back for Newport as they travelled to Walsall.  County were second best for virtually the whole match, falling behind in the first half and under pressure for most of the second, but the records will only show that Lewis supplied the back-post corner from which Cameron Norman headed home to secure the 1-1 draw. Newport now eight points clear of the drop. It’s not going to go down as a great season, but it’s better than being Rochdale.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Only the fittest of the fittest shall survive


Tyler Morton : After sitting out the win over Swansea on the bench, Morton was once again named as a substitute for the game against Blackpool. Came on with about 15 minutes left with Rovers already one up. Had an excellent opportunity when getting on the end of a through ball on the left hand side of the box, but his chip over the onrushing keeper spun wide of the far post. Blackburn held on and go fourth.


Jack Bearne : Back into the lineup for Kidderminster at fellow playoff contenders Chorley. Didn’t see a lot of the ball far enough up the field to make use of it. Had one really good run in the last few minutes of the match, but his near post cross was scrambled away by the opposition goalkeeper, and Chorley held on to win 1-0 and go five points ahead of their visitors.


Fidel O’Rourke : Once again brought on with about fifteen minutes to play for Halifax against Solihull. Didn’t see much of the ball and it stayed 1-1.


Conor Bradley : Named in the starting lineup for Bolton’s EFL Trophy semifinal at Accrington. Central figure in the first important point of the game when he was fouled vigorously by Stanley’s Sean McConville, resulting in a red card. Two other fouls on Bradley resulted in yellow cards in the first half. Thought he had created the opening goal for Dion Charles early in the second half only to be foiled by the assistant’s flag.

Appeared to be tripped in the box halfway through the second half but nothing given.

Eventually in the last ten minutes the pressure exerted by Wanderers converted into goals, two of them. Bradley was subbed in stoppage time, was named Man-Of-The-Match, and Bolton are off to Wembley.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What does it all mean?


Tyler Morton : Once again on the subs bench for Blackburn’s trip to QPR. Brought on with ten minutes left with Rovers already 3-1 up. Helped see out Blackburn’s third straight win; now fourth, with a goal difference of 0 - the best it’s been since November.


Conor Bradley : Back to league business after the semifinal win at Accrington for Bolton against Port Vale, and, after going behind early, Wanderers pulled themselves together to win 2-1; Bradley missed a header.


Jarrell Quansah : After Bristol Rovers extended their winless run to seven league games, Joey Barton made a switch to a back three, with Quansah in the middle of it, and was rewarded with a 3-0 win at Oxford, including a penalty conceded by onetime Barcelona target Cameron Brannagan. Quansah picked up a booking for a frankly cynical foul to stop an Oxford counterattack, but I’m sure we’re all agreed that you do need a bit of that. Fuck Karl Robinson.


Fidel O’Rourke : Again on the subs bench for Halifax against Maidenhead. Brought on at halftime with the visitors leading 1-0. Had a good chance for an equaliser late on with a shot from the edge of the box that was well saved, and then was flattened going for a high ball near the penalty spot by the Maidenhead keeper that would probably have been a spot kick at a higher level of the game. Halifax now only five points above the relegation places.


Jack Bearne : Retained his place in the Kidderminster team for the trip to Darlington. Played well, especially in the first half, where several of his crosses could have been productive, and also had a chance of his own that was unlucky not to go in. Squandered another good chance on a counterattack in the second half. The game ended 0-0 and Kidderminster fell further behind the playoff teams.


Luke Chambers : Kilmarnock were another team to attempt to change their fortunes by shifting to a back five, and Chambers kept his place in the team. Defensively sound in the main without getting forward much. Subbed off with Kilmarnock leading 1-0 with five minutes left - which was long enough for Motherwell to equalise direct from a free kick. The draw sees them drop into the bottom two on goal difference.


Leighton Clarkson : Aberdeen switched to 4-3-3 for their home game with Livingston but Clarkson kept his place. A lot of the game in the first half passed him by, frequently because it involved long balls from behind him direct to the front three. However the Aberdeen goal, just seconds before half time, resulted from a Clarkson corner that was headed off the line, before being put back into the box for a Miovski volley. His main input in the second half was also from his inswinging corners from the left, deserving of better finishing. The win takes Aberdeen back into the top six, and with a game with crisis club Dundee United next time, there’s every chance of cementing their place in the top half before the split.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It’s a blip


Adam Lewis : Sadly a serious hamstring injury has finished Lewis’s loan to Newport, just as he was in a good run. An uncertain future awaits.


Conor Bradley : An off night for Bradley and Bolton as they fell 3-1 at Portsmouth, despite taking the lead. Perhaps their busy schedule in league and cup has caught up with them. Still fourth in the table though.


Fidel O’Rourke : A first start for Halifax for O’Rourke at home to mid-table Wealdstone (yes, absolutely a real place and not just part of a meme), and a change in fortunes for the Shaymen as they ran up a 5-0 win. O’Rourke missed a couple of chances to open the scoring, but redeemed himself by setting up the first goal when his cross was deflected in at close range. A good all-round performance, subbed in the 86th minute.


Tyler Morton : Back into the starting XI for Blackburn’s FA Cup tie at Leicester. Good early defensive work, including a top, top block of a goal-bound shot while the score was 0-0. Created a good opportunity by pressing the opposition for Hedges, whose shot was just wide. Came off with five minutes left for a defender as Rovers successfully held on to win 2-1. Their reward is a quarterfinal trip to Sheffield United.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Constant elevation causes expansion 


Sepp van den Berg : Goodness, no, not doing anything as radical as playing, merely being named to the provisional squad for the Netherlands Under-21s, who have qualifying games in the impending international break. Presumably someone believes he is approaching a return to the pitch.


Jarrell Quansah : Kept his place despite genius Joey Barton reverting to a back four for the visit of promotion-chasing Barnsley. Lots of massed defence, especially at set-pieces, to ensure a clean sheet. Also had a couple of chances himself, a header from a corner that was well saved, and a left-footed volley from a free-kick with which he should have done better. Anyway, fuck Joey Barton.


Conor Bradley : Bolton on the road again, this time at Morecambe after their beating at Portsmouth.  Bradley had a better game on a personal level, and created several chances, including an early one for on-loan MUFC gobshite Shola Shotire that should have been converted, and another in the second half for Josh Sheehan, as well as having a shot of his own well saved. 


Fidel O’Rourke : Kept his place for Halifax in their game at Dorking. Got a full ninety minutes in a game that the visitors dominated. Set up a couple of chances in the first half with quick passes, showing his experience with dodgy plastic pitches that he acquired in the Welsh League, without reward. Had opportunities to win it himself in the second half, hitting the bar and having another couple of shots saved. Getting better.


Jack Bearne : Played just over an hour for Kidderminster against Boston. In a dour struggle, had one shot on target from outside the box that appeared to hit a defender’s arm on the way to their keeper. The game ended 0-0; something about getting little from Boston.


Luke Chambers : Kept his place for Kilmarnock in their almost inevitably futile trip to Ibrox. Not at fault for the first two Rangers goals, and the penalty for the third was all me arse. Killie were better in the second half once the game was over, and Chambers got forward more; one of his crosses was put behind for the corner from which they got their goal. Good late clearance to deny Tavernier a tap-in. Not a major disaster.


Leighton Clarkson : In the Aberdeen side to face Dundee United and their third manager of the season, disgraced former Dons boss Jim Goodwin. Good clearance from his own six-yard box following a corner during the scoreless first half. His cross from the left - with his actual left foot, I am not making this up - created the second Aberdeen goal. Also credited with an assist for his part in the third and final goal, again on the left hand side of the opposition box. The BBC Sport match report named him as Player of the Game. Aberdeen back up to fifth and suddenly football is fun again.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Previously on E.R.


Sepp van den Berg : Was previously reported as ‘nearing a return’ after his serious ankle injury; played for Schalke’s reserve team in the fourth tier of German football at the weekend, scored a comedy own goal in the first half, came off with another knock, and his return to their first team has been ‘delayed’. As @awssaid on the injury thread, “he just gets us”.


Anderson Arroyo : Came off the bench for Alavés in their game at Villarreal B to play the last twenty minutes, but couldn’t stop them losing 1-0. Now fifth, but only four points off the top of the table.


Fidel O’Rourke : Started for Halifax in their drab 0-0 draw at Gateshead; picked up a booking and was substituted ten minutes into the second half.


Jack Bearne : Dropped to the bench for Kidderminster’s trip to Chester. Brought on with fifteen minutes left with Harriers 1-0 down and down to ten men after having a man sent off for a spot of handbags with the Chester goalie. Didn’t see much of the ball in the highlights I saw, and Chester scored a second on the counter late on.  Some seasons are going to be over earlier than others.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Less meat than Kate Moss’s toothbrush


Tyler Morton : Started the game at Stoke on the bench, brought on after an hour when Blackburn were already two goals behind. Didn’t see much of the ball at either end of the pitch as Stoke added a third, and although Rovers got two of their own late on, they left empty-handed and fell to fifth after the rest of the weekend’s games.


Conor Bradley : Big game for Bolton with the visit of Ipswich. Bradley had an early chance after a powerful run into the box but failed to fool the opposition keeper when trying to beat him at his near post. Ipswich took the lead on a counterattack just before halftime; after the break Bradley won a penalty after another surging run was ended by foul means, but fellow Norn international Dion Charles had his spot kick pushed away, and Bradley couldn’t do anything with the rebound. Ipswich doubled their lead late on. Bolton slip to sixth; next is a trip to Hillsborough (not the Norn one).


Jarrell Quansah : Bristol Rovers away at Forest Green, which ever-popular former player-turned-manager would come out on top? The home team took an early lead from a long-range shot by Charlie Savage, second of his name (Quansah blameless) before the visitors scored three. Quansah almost created a fourth at a corner, when finding a team mate in the six yard box rather than shooting with the opposition keeper right in front of him. Forest Green then wasted a late penalty. Anyhow,  Bristol Rovers up to 45 points, twelve clear of relegation and with a game in hand on the bottom four. Fuck Duncan Ferguson.


Jack Bearne : Kidderminster looked to rebound from their midweek defeat with a better performance at home to King’s Lynn, with Bearne named on the bench again. Brought on in the last five minutes with the score 1-1; started the move which led to a chance in stoppage time. Season fizzling out.


Luke Chambers : Kilmarnock travelled to the frozen wastes of Inverness to play Cally Thistle in the SFA Cup quarterfinal, with Chambers at left wing-back. They were outfought for ninety minutes, even though they took an early lead.  Chambers was conspicuously out of position for the cross that hit a teammate’s arm for the penalty equaliser, and although he did make a couple of good one-on-one challenges, eventually Thistle got a second goal. Subbed off with quarter of an hour to play. Now they can concentrate on their relegation struggle.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It’s a kind of magic, apparently 


Tyler Morton : Back into the Blackburn starting lineup for their home game with Reading in midweek. Played the full game in the 2-1 victory, with his personal highlight probably the through ball that started the move that ended with Ryan Hedges scoring the winner.  

Kept his place for the FA Cup quarter-final at Bramall Lane. Struggled to get into the game initially, but his first contribution was to get down the left and cross to Gallagher whose shot was well saved by Jack Robinson. Ben Brereton scored the resulting penalty. After the Blades got their freak equaliser, Rovers next chance came from a Morton free kick, as a header from Hyam was barely tipped over the bar, and the resulting corner created yet another chance that Gallagher headed over the top.

Snatched at a chance with his left foot early in the second half, but then his tackle won the ball before Szmodics scored the second. However, what he’ll be remembered for in this game is losing the ball by the touch line forty-odd yards from goal, and then going down and staying down in the ninety-first minute while the opposition scored the winner. Having to delete his social media accounts might be the least of his worries.


Jarrell Quansah : Played on the right of a back three for Bristol Rovers at home to Wycombe in midweek; definitely at fault for the second of Wycombe’s goals in the 2-0 defeat, allowing his man to get goal-side of him for an easy header. You can’t be the best defender on the field every week. 

Then on Saturday Portsmouth came to the Memorial and took all three points. Quansah can’t be said to be at fault for the first Pompey goal, which was at least a yard offside, and the challenge that resulted in the penalty from which they scored their second was not in his vicinity either, while his powerful header from a set-piece was one of their better chances to get a goal back. Definitely his fault : the 89th minute scissor tackle that earned him a straight red card, and deciding to stick his head into the recipient of said tackle in the aftermath might interest the Disciplinary Committee as well. A long break awaits him, when he gets back from England duty. His manager may well have some sympathy with him, though.


Conor Bradley : Friday night saw Bolton travel to play Sheffield Wednesday. Involved in the move on the right flank that led to the Wanderers equaliser as they gave their hosts as tough an examination as anyone has this year (barring Ian Herbert, of course). It finished 1-1, leaving them sixth, four points clear of their pursuers for the last playoff place. No league game next week, due to the international commitments for Bolton’s squad (including Bradley, of course).


Leighton Clarkson : In the middle of a five-man midfield for Aberdeen as they returned to league action at home to Hearts. Involved early in the move on the left that led to the first Dons goal, a scuffed shot by Duk. Also took the free kick that was headed in from eight yards out to make it 3-0. Could have had another assist in the second half when his corner to the back post ought to have been headed past (rather than straight at) the motionless Hearts keeper. Subbed off in the last ten minutes with the result decided. Aberdeen back up to fourth, and the word ‘Darvel’ has almost disappeared from social media…

  • Upvote 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I’ve seen the future, and it will be.


Leighton Clarkson : In the middle of the midfield five for Aberdeen as they went to St. Johnstone in the first game since Barry Robson was confirmed as permanent manager. Almost created an early goal when his floaty free kick was headed on target but their keeper tipped it round the post. Another similar ball resulted in the corner from which came the only goal of the game. Also got a late booking during the ‘hanging-on grimly’ phase. You do actually need some of that.


Luke Chambers : After an unsuccessful international window with England Under-19s, who were embarrassingly knocked out of the qualifying stage for the European Championships by Iceland, a return to the subs bench for Kilmarnock in the league against Hearts. Was brought on with around half an hour to play after Killie had a man sent off, resulting in a lot of ‘hanging-on grimly’. Also picked up a booking. I’ve heard you need a bit of that as a young defender.


Tyler Morton : Having had two weeks to reflect on Cup disappointment, Tyler returned to the starting lineup in the league game at Birmingham. Not as involved going forward in the 4-2-3-1 as he sometimes is. Rovers had the majority of the possession and chances, but the home team keeper was the man of the match, and they won it on a long-range shot through a crowd of players following a corner. Blackburn fall to sixth, but still four points clear of the playoff pursuers, who have also all played a game more. Might still end the season at Wembley.


Vitezslav Jaros : Called up by Czechia Under-21s for friendly games in the international window; got to play the full ninety minutes against the Dutch, which ended as a 1-1 draw. Came back to Stockport to sit on County’s bench and watch them draw with fellow playoff contenders Salford. Might still end the season going to Wembley.


Conor Bradley : After a mixed international break with Northern Ireland, where he was praised in the press for his efforts in the defeat by Finland, off to that Wembley with Bolton  for the final of the EFL Trophy against Plymouth. Played the full game in their 4-0 win. Not his most eye catching performance going forward, but who cares? And with Wanderers still fifth, ahead of Peterborough and Derby with a game in hand on both, they might end their season back at Wembley.


Fidel O’Rourke : Back from injury for Halifax in their FA Trophy semifinal at Altrincham, on the subs bench. Brought on in the last minute of normal time with Town trailing 1-0, he put himself about in the opposition box without actually touching the ball, although that didn’t stop him celebrating wildly when they equalised in the 94th minute. Was due to take the fifth penalty in the resulting shootout; it never came to that, as Halifax came from 2-0 behind to win 3-2 when the final Altrincham penalty hit the crossbar and bounced away. Halifax’s second Trophy final in seven years will be on May 21st; their season will indeed end at That Wembley.

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

A bumper Bank Holiday special


Jack Bearne : Came off the bench in Kidderminster’s 1-0 win over Buxton on Friday in stoppage time and almost created a second goal. Also a late sub in the Monday victory over Fylde, who had started the day top of the table. Harriers now just four points short of the playoff places with three games left.


Fidel O’Rourke : Unused sub in Halifax’s earth-shattering upset 3-1 win over the world’s 40th richest club in Wrexham (Have you checked this? - Finance Ed.) on Good Friday. Then a late sub in the 3-0 win at York.


Tyler Morton : Blackburn lost again 2-0 at home to Norwich on Friday. Morton not to blame for the first goal, which came from a run right up the middle. The Rovers website seemed to imply he was at fault for the second, which isn’t borne out by the video. The Monday match at Huddersfield was very much a game of two halves. Morton inadvertently deflected a cross which led to the home team taking the lead. His positioning for the cross that resulted in their second didn’t look too clever either. Nevertheless, the second half went a little better; he was involved in the slick passing move that created Blackburns goal ninety-ish seconds after kick-off, he hit the post from twenty yards out with what looks suspiciously like a misplaced through ball, and finally it was his cross from the right, knocked down by Rankin-Costello, that was put away by Ryan Hedges to secure the 2-2 draw in the fourth minute of stoppage time. Thanks to a cavalcade of helpful results later in the day, Rovers stay sixth, despite that negative goal difference.


Conor Bradley : Bolton followed up on their Wembley glory by grinding out a 1-0 win at Exeter on Friday; Bradley grabbed the winner in the first half when he ran onto a through ball into the box and finished through the keeper’s legs, his first league goal since December. A fair bit of “hanging-on-grimly” by Wanderers and their injury-hit defence ensued. Bradley won the fans vote for man-of-the-match. Less successful on Monday, although it was Bradley’s cross that was converted at the second attempt by Declan John into their goal against Cambridge. The late equaliser for the visitors leaves Bolton still sixth, ahead of Derby on goal difference; they will need to get something from their game in hand.


Marcelo Pitaluga : Made an unexpected return to Macclesfield for the first time since being injured before Christmas, as the Northern Premier League Western Division champions (a very real thing, apparently) beat City of Liverpool FC 5-0. A couple of really good saves in the highlights I saw. Not involved in Mondays draw at Hanley.


Leighton Clarkson : Aberdeen took on struggling Kilmarnock at Pittodrie  and ran out 2-0 winners; another solid midfield performance by Clarkson capped by the defence-splitting chip into the opposition box that led to their second goal. Now back up to third for the first time since the World Cup, and the top-half finish has now been guaranteed.


Luke Chambers : Back into the starting lineup for Kilmarnock at left wingback; not at fault for the first goal, which went straight through the middle from the opening kickoff to the back of the net in 16 of your earth seconds. Could have got closer to Duk for the second. Actually a better team performance than the result shows, Kilmarnock arguably had the better of it between the two goals. The fight against relegation will continue next weekend against, erm, Celtic.

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A season that lasts


Leighton Clarkson : Aberdeen got off to an early start to the weekend on Friday night at Ross County. Clarkson made the only goal of the game by intercepting a pass five yards inside the Aberdeen half, running at the County back line before sliding a ball through the inside-right channel, where Duk beats the keeper into the far corner. They held onto this lead in a scruffy game, surviving a stoppage-time red card to secure their sixth league win in a row; now five points ahead of fourth-place Hearts with one game to go before the split. Clarkson credited with his sixth assist of the season, to go with four goals; the Aberdeen club website also shows him as second on the team in successful tackles.


Tyler Morton : Blackburn up against Hull at home, Morton in a deeper midfield role. Had one of Rovers few good chances near the end of the first half with a shot that was deflected wide for a corner. The resulting goalless draw looks like two points dropped, even if they are still sixth with a game in hand over most of their pursuers.


Conor Bradley : Injury-hit Bolton went to struggling Oxford, and once again Bradley set up the opening goal;  nowhere near his best cross from inside the box, but the home teams goalie could only block it into the path of fellow Norn international Dion Charles, who lashed it home for his 20th goal of the season. Oxford dominated play and took 24 shots, none of which went in; 1-0 to the Wanderers, back up to fifth.


Jack Bearne : Another late substitute appearance for Kidderminster in their 3-0 win over Telford; had a 93rd-minute shot on target. Harriers, whose season looked over six weeks ago, suddenly now one point off the playoffs with two games left, both against teams below them.


Luke Chambers : In the starting lineup for Kilmarnock in their impossible task at home to Celtic. Not to blame for the first goal (ran beyond a teammate who then turned to face his own goal and gave the ball away), or the third (central defenders got in each others way), or even the fourth (mass panic on the other side of the box, resulting in an attempted clearing header going straight to a Celtic player fifteen yards from goal), but could definitely have got closer to his man early in the move that led to the second. Had the best chance of the second half when strolling into the box, unmarked, to get his head on the end of a cross from the right, but simply wasn’t good enough to direct it away from Hart. Subbed off in the last ten minutes. Kilmarnock now second-bottom with six games left.


Anderson Arroyo : Came on as a late substitute for Alavés in their trip to Gijon; appeared to be playing right wingback. Alavés survived a late scare to get the 0-0 draw (98th minute goal for Gijon ruled out for offside by VAR). This leaves them fourth, four points off the top, with six games left, looking assured of at least a playoff place.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How low can you go?


Tyler Morton : “Rotated” to the subs bench as JDT changed his team looking to end their winless run as Blackburn hosted Coventry. Brought on with six minutes left with Rovers defending a 1-0 lead;  they were unable to do so, owing to the Coventry keeper coming up for a 95th minute corner and propelling it into the net with the assistance of his left forearm, unseen by the officials. The point leaves Rovers sixth and it looks like they will need to get something from their game in hand.


Conor Bradley : Bolton took their injury-ravaged squad to Burton, and got an early lead when a long-range shot was deflected past the Albion keeper (robbing Bradley of the assist that would have accrued from his square ball). Burton scrambled an equaliser in the second half, and a late chance for Bradley was cleared off the line. The point leaves Wanderers sixth.


Jarrell Quansah Back from his ban into the back three for Bristol Rovers against promotion chasing Sheff Wed. Resembled another defender in a number 5 shirt when giving the ball away while facing his own goal, leading to the first goal of the game. Could also have done better with his attempted headed clearance of a corner which resulted in Wednesday’s second. Rovers stay 15th, one point from mathematical safety from relegation. Fuck Sheffield Wednesday.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We’re all trying to find who did this


Luke Chambers : Moved from wing-back into a nominal back three for Kilmarnock at St. Mirren. Still got forward regularly in the first half, created a couple of chances before the first half goals were scored. Less adventurous once Killie were defending the two-goal lead, understandably. Generally defensively sound. This was Kilmarnocks first away win in the league this season; still 11th, due to Dundee Utd unexpectedly winning as well, and five more games of struggle await next month.


Tyler Morton : Back into the midfield from the start for Blackburn’s derby game at Preston as Jon Dahl Tomasson tried another combination to end their winless run.

Didn’t see a lot of the ball in the first half. Started the move that ended with Szmodics punching the ball into the Preston net, which was eventually ruled to be handball. Subbed off in the last minute of normal time, by which time Rovers were 1-0 up; they failed to hang on to that lead as an aimless cross bounced off a defenders knee into the net, to rob them of the win in the fifth minute of stoppage time. Rovers down to eighth with that fourth draw in a row; next up is a visit from pissed-off Burnley.


Conor Bradley : Bolton’s injury-ravaged squad took on Shrewsbury in a game described on Wanderers website as “a one-sided contest” with “lengthy periods camped around the Shrewsbury penalty area“. Bradley hit the bar with a deflected shot in the second half, and supplied the cross for Dion Charles to put the ball in the net, only for the whistle to go for a foul. Eventually Bolton got the only goal of the game; back up to fifth, and two wins from their last three games will ensure the playoffs.


Jarrell Quansah : Dropped to the bench by infallible managerial genius Joey Barton for the visit of Bristol Rovers to crisis club Port Vale. Subbed on as part of a quadruple change ten minutes into the second half with Rovers already 2-0 down; part of a steady, untroubled defensive performance for the rest of the game, without any change to the score. Fuck Joey Barton.


Anderson Arroyo : Came off the bench for Alavés in their game against Leganes for the last 25 minutes with the score 1-1; their eventual 2-1 win sends them second, just a point off leaders Eibar with five games left.


Leighton Clarkson : Aberdeen took on Rangers in the final league game before the split, having not beaten them in five years. Clarkson’s first involvement was to stop a certain goal by blocking a shot with his head on his own goal line; there was quite a lot of dogged defending through the scoreless first half. He hadn’t really seen a lot of the ball in the second half, even after the wind-assisted (‘fluke’ - Mick Beale) goal that gave Aberdeen the lead, before he created the second, picking up a loose ball twenty-five yards out and slicing a cross to the back post for Miovski to head in. A lot more defending followed (one really well-timed block of a Cantwell shot on the edge of the area) before the win was secured - seven wins in a row now, and five points clear of Hearts. Third place is in their grasp.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 minutes ago, Pidge said:

@alles ist gut is Clarkson looking more physically ready now? Not ness for us, just champ/prem football?



No. He is who is, he’s not getting any taller or broader. Opponents will always be able to chip the ball over him in the middle of the field, and hold him off physically in possession, and so he will need to have cover in any midfield; Aberdeen’s current base system of 3-5-2 is a good fit for him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When you thought you’d seen everything 


Conor Bradley : Bolton fell to an unexpected defeat against doomed Accrington in midweek; despite regular testing crosses from Bradley, they couldn’t find an equaliser after Stanley took the lead against the run of play. Much better against Fleetwood in their final home game of the season; Wanderers dominated the game again, Bradley having a long-range shot pushed away before setting up another chance that Dion Charles couldn’t convert. In the second half, after the visitors were reduced to ten men after an off-the-ball incident was deemed worthy of a red card, Bradley had another shot blocked in a goalmouth melee, before two late goals saw the home side clinch the three points that guarantees them a place in the playoffs. 

The club end-of-season awards were announced Saturday evening; Bradley won both Supporters Player of the Year and Players Player of the Year, and was also named joint Young Player of the Year with on-loan keeper James Trafford. Which is nice.


Jarrell Quansah : Back into the starting lineup for the trip to Plymouth in midweek; Rovers were down to ten men inside the first half hour but managed to avoid conceding until into the second half.  Quansah not at fault for the first goal, but could definitely have made  a stronger challenge on the scorer of the second, a header from a corner. Kept his place all the same for the trip to playoff-chasing Peterborough. Quansah couldn’t really be said to have had a great day against Jonson Clarke-Harris, more an educational one, but having said that, the Rovers Twitter account man-of-the-match poll had him third, and in any case the resulting 0-0 draw is all that matters.


Anderson Arroyo : Surprising return to the first team for the Alavés game at Levante, and played the whole game.Not at fault for the first goal, volleyed in from the edge of the D from a poor clearing header, or the second, a header from a corner. The 2-0 defeat drops Alavés to fourth, but only two points off the top of the table with four games left. Plenty of drama left.


Jack Bearne : Brought on once again as a late substitute by Kidderminster to protect their lead as they finished their season with yet another win, 3-0 over Kettering to clinch what had looked an impossible place in the playoffs when they were fourteenth at the end of March. Alfreton Town await them.


Sepp van den Berg : Not a name I thought I’d be typing much in this space, which just goes to show… Brought off the bench by Schalke for the first time since his hideous ankle injury in the autumn, with fifteen minutes to play at home to Werder Bremen and a goal down, he crashed a shot into the corner of the net from the edge of the area, after a throw-in wasn’t cleared, to equalise. Also picked up a booking, but in a relegation fight, you need a bit of that. Schalke’s injury-time winner leaves them a point from safety with four games to play. They’ve looked doomed for so long; can the team in blue engineer a great escape?

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Flags, red or otherwise 


Jarrell Quansah : Bristol Rovers had a midweek game in hand to play at Shrewsbury, which did not develop to their best advantage. Quansah was beaten in the air at a corner for the first goal, and failed to stop the run and shot across the face of goal for the second. Later he went close at the other end with a header from a corner. It ended 2-1. The final game of the season saw Bolton, already qualified for the playoffs (Conor Bradley rested), come to Rovers; Quansah in a back four this time around. Plenty of blame to go around for Bolton’s first goal from a corner, including Quansah letting his man block him off as the ball came into the six-yard-box. Also missed a header immediately before Wanderers second. The visitors eventually won 3-2, and Bristol Rovers finish 17th. Meanwhile, next stop for Quansah is likely to be Argentina, with England’s squad for the Under-20 World Cup to be announced tomorrow.


Jack Bearne : Late substitute appearance for Kidderminster in their frankly implausible 4-1 playoff semifinal win away to Kings Lynn (who had finished the small matter of 24 points ahead of the Harriers in the final table) for their eight win in a row. They now face Brackley (away, again) on Saturday for the chance to play in the fifth tier.


Sepp van den Berg : In the starting lineup for Schalke as their struggle against relegation continued at Mainz, and played the whole game, all 102 minutes of it. His interception in the middle of the field started the move for the opening goal of the game. Not culpable for the equaliser from a corner, nor for the free kick that levelled the score at 2-2. Schalke won the game with a 102th minute penalty, apparently the latest-ever goal in Bundesliga history; helpful weekend results mean that with three games to go, they are out of the bottom three for the first time since September. 


Luke Chambers : After the announcement of his contract extension, kept in the back three for Kilmarnock as they resumed their fight against the drop at Motherwell. Not to blame for either Motherwell goal (the first came from a cross from the other side of the field to him, the second from a long punt also up Kilmarnock’s right). Good block on a cross in the first half. This role doesn’t allow him to get forward much.


Leighton Clarkson : Aberdeen attempted to extend their winning run at Ibrox. It didn’t happen. The visitors were forced to play on the counter in a bad-tempered game. Clarkson didn’t see a lot of the ball as a consequence. Would have been relieved when the offside flag went up to rule out a Rangers goal, as he had missed the chance to clear the ball in the build up. The best Aberdeen chance of the second half came from one of his inswinging corners from the left. Conceded the corner from which Cantwell scored the only goal of the game. Still, Hearts matched Aberdeen’s result, and that leaves the Dons five points ahead with four games (three at home) remaining. Announced as the winner of the Young Player of the Season at the club end-of-season dinner, held with a month left in the season.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Back to reality


Sepp van den Berg : Schalke were not expected to add anything to their two-game winning streak at Bayern, and they did not; the final score line of 6-0 did not flatter the champions. Van den Berg had already blocked a shot on the line before the Bavarians opened the scoring. Contributed to the scramble which led to the penalty that allowed Bayern to make it 2-0 by tripping over the ball on the edge of the area. Dragged out of position before Gnabry scored the third. Blameless for the last three goals. Schalke now third from bottom with two games left; the last home game against Frankfurt will be pivotal.


Jack Bearne : “Unused substitute” (he was warming up in the technical area at the end of 90 minutes) for Kidderminster as they completed their implausible run to win the National League North promotion playoff final 2-0 at Brackley. Bearne has had limited playing time during Harriers nine-game winning streak with unspecified muscular issues; where his career goes from here is hard to foresee.


Conor Bradley : Back from his rest for the the playoff semi-final first leg against Barnsley. Bradley got fouled hard a couple of times early on ( and then left plenty on Herbie Kane when he had the opportunity). Didn’t see as much of the ball going forward as usual; there were a lot of long balls up the middle with very little to show for it, up until Barnsley took the lead after an hour of play. Bolton then made a couple of substitutions, concentrating on getting the ball down their left and forced an equaliser a few minutes later. Bradley nearly set up a winner with a knock-down at the back post, but the resulting shot was blocked and that was that. Friday night at Oakwell will decide all.


Luke Chambers : Chambers declined to be selected for the England Under-20 squad for the World Cup in Argentina to stay and fight relegation with Kilmarnock, who were back at home to face Livingston, reverting to a back four with Chambers at left-back, where he looked more comfortable than previously in a back three. Started the move for the opening goal, low through ball from the halfway line to the edge of the opposition box that was flicked on for Vassell to finish. Also played the chip into the area that led to a harsh penalty for handball that made it 2-0. Defended well in the face of half an hour of pressure thereafter. Out of the bottom two, with two more home games still to play; survival is in reach.


Leighton Clarkson : Aberdeen faced Hibs at Pittodrie looking to strengthen their grip on third place. Curiously lacklustre from the home team who struggled to create chances; a shot sliced over the bar from a Clarkson corner in the 44th minute was the first of the half. Hibs were much the better team but couldn’t convert their regular chances, including a penalty. It finished 0-0, which is no less than the visitors deserved; Hearts losing at St. Mirren gives them a five point cushion over their next opponents, and a win at Tynecastle on Saturday would clinch third.

  • Upvote 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Backing track: piano (minor key)


Conor Bradley : His Player of the Season year at Bolton came to an end Friday night at Oakwell as Barnsley won the playoff semifinal second leg 1-0 to get to Wembley 2-1. Bolton simply didn’t put their possession advantage to any use and rarely looked like scoring on a day when the rest of the midfield just didn’t turn up. Bradley himself was tightly marked, usually getting the ball close to the touch line with little support. His best effort on the ball was a run into the Barnsley box which ended with him going to ground with barely any opposition contact. Not everyone gets to Wembley.


Sepp van den Berg : Schalke went into their final home game third from bottom (the Bundesliga relegation playoff place) needing to get something from the game against Frankfurt, and went ahead in the first minute. Might have got closer to Kamada when he shot from outside the box for the equaliser, but the blame should go entirely to Schwolow who should have saved it. Probably goal-saving interception on a cross early in the second half. Was marking space for the cross that resulted in the second Frankfurt goal (he had made the initial header to clear the corner but the team as a whole did not get out to stop the second ball). The late Schalke equaliser leaves them a point from safety with a trip to Leipzig on the last day of the season. Not every team in blue and white avoids the drop.


Leighton Clarkson : Aberdeen travelled to Hearts looking to secure third place, without their best player in Duk Lopes. The visitors took the lead against the run of play from a Clarkson inswinging corner that was headed in at the back post. Miovski could easily have doubled the lead later in the first half after being put through by a Clarkson chip to the penalty spot, but he couldn’t get the ball under control. Hearts equalised just before halftime, then took the lead ten minutes after the break. Clarkson was one of few Aberdeen players to escape criticism in the media afterwards, the main source of creativity on the pitch, and also made a late goal line clearance (any goal might have been ruled out for offside). Hearts now just two points behind Aberdeen, who, with a trip to Parkhead next weekend, might need a win against St. Mirren on Wednesday.


Luke Chambers : Kilmarnock faced St. Johnstone as their relegation battle continued.   Chambers at left wing-back; not at fault for the visitors only goal, from a back post corner (Chambers tracking his man to the edge of the D). Crashed a shot against the left-hand post from 15 yards out (the chance to put the rebound into an open goal was squandered).  Their task was then made harder by a sending-off just before halftime. Chambers also started the home teams best move of the second half, picking up a loose ball in his own area, bringing it forward into space before switching the ball out to the flank, leading to a shot on goal. The defeat keeps Kilmarnock tenth, with games against both teams below them to come.


Anderson Arroyo : Came off the subs bench for Alavés in their final home game of the season against Malaga with twenty minutes left with a tenuous 1-0 lead to defend. Wasn’t to blame for the equaliser, blasted in from 20 yards out on the other side of the area to him. Alavés grabbed a winner in the 87th minute with a similar long-range shot. Wins for Granada and Las Palmas keep them third, with just next Saturday’s game at Las Palmas to go; the winner gets automatic promotion, plus the championship if Granada don’t take care of their own business. 


Fidel O’Rourke : Disappointing end to his season as he was an unused substitute in Halifax’s FA Trophy triumph over Gateshead at Wembley ; on one level you can understand the Halifax manager wanting to have as many of his permanent players on the field at the end of the game. Still, he’ll always have the moment of being given a winners medal after a Wembley final, when so many others will not.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sportscene (BBC One Scotland only)


Luke Chambers : At left wing-back as Kilmarnock visited bottom club Dundee United. Helped create the opening goal; after losing the ball in the opposing box, his pressing allowed his team mates to win the ball back, and after some pinball in the box Kyle Vassell knocked it into the old onion bag. Then blocked an attempted clearance up the touchline immediately before Kilmarnock scored their second.They eventually won 3-0, which leaves them three points ahead of 11th-placed Ross County, who they will play at home on Sunday,where a draw will keep them out of the relegation playoff.


Leighton Clarkson Aberdeen played their last home game of the season against St. Mirren, and Clarkson scored his fifth goal of the season, and his first since Christmas from a free-kick, just outside the box. ERROL! RUN VT!




After St. Mirren had a man sent off for a terrible tackle (the player in question was clearly in a temper, having just been dispossesed and then nutmegged by Clarkson), Aberdeen added a second before the break, then a third just after. Clarkson himself created more chances after that, and can consider himself unlucky not to add to his team-leading total of eight assists.

The win clinches third place for Aberdeen, which at present gives them a place in the Europa Conference League qualifiers; however should Celtic justify short odds in the FA Cup Final against Inverness Caley Thistle, the reward would upgrade to the Europa League. Sometimes it's the journey, sometimes it's the destination.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

And it don’t stop (except when it does)


Leighton Clarkson : Final game for a weakened Aberdeen team at Parkhead against the perennial champions. It’s not easy to look good if you’re the creative midfielder and your team has only 24% possession. The closest the Dons came to a shot on goal in the first half was a back post header from a Clarkson corner that Joe Hart dealt with without needing to move. There wasn’t one in the second half either. Some days it’s not your week.


Luke Chambers : At the other end of the SPL table, Kilmarnock took on Ross County in a virtual relegation playoff; Chambers at left wing-back.  Did not have an awful lot to do defensively, as the home team dominated the first half, taking the lead late on, and then adding a (relatively generous VAR decision) penalty early in the second period. Even when County got a goal back from the spot themselves (Yan Dhanda!), Kilmarnock stayed in control of the game and added a third to finish things. Tenth place and safety.


Vitezslav Jaros : Unused substitute for Stockport County as they came up short in the League Two playoff final against Carlisle at that Wembley in a penalty shootout after the game finished 1-1 after extra time. He will get the chance to sit on some more benches with the Czechia Under-21 squad at the upcoming European Championships.


Anderson Arroyo : Unused substitute for Alavés in their final game of the season at fellow promotion chasers Las Palmas; the 0-0 draw ensured that the Islanders finished second and go up automatically, while Alavés drop to fourth and will continue their quest in the playoffs, starting at Eibar on Saturday.


Sepp van den Berg : Sadly Schalke were unable to get the result they needed at Leipzig on the last day of the Bundesliga season, falling to a 4-2 defeat and being relegated as a result.  Not great positionally on the first RBL goal, running into the back post as his keeper parried a cross straight to an opposing player and thus unable to do anything about the resulting shot. One of several players dribbled round by Nkunku in the box for their second. Although Schalke were able to get it back to 2-2, they over-committed in search of the win they needed and conceded a third on a counterattack, before Nkunku added a fourth in stoppage time with a chip after van den Berg missed a header on a long punt by the Leipzig keeper. Some years it’s not your week.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...