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“Best on the pitch again” – Ricky Holmes lauded after MOTM performance – SUFC LOAN WATCH

Another sub-standard week of action for Sheffield United’s loanees, made it effortless for attacking midfielder Ricky Holmes to steal the headlines following his Man of the Match performance at home to Shrewsbury. 

Ten loanees featured throughout the week, with Caolan Lavery (Bury FC) still ruled out due to injury, and Sam Graham (Oldham AFC) failing to even make an appearance off the bench.

Here’s the full lowdown of this week’s action, starting with Holmes…

The 31-year old began the week with a visit back to his former club Charlton Athletic, in which his current club Oxford United, came from behind to secure an unlikely 1-1 draw. Holmes enjoyed a strong individual performance at the Valley, as he completed more dribbles than any other player on the field, and almost levelled for the visitors on the brink of half-time, but narrowly missed the target.

Moving forward, Holmes again started for Oxford, as his team welcomed Shrewsbury to the Kassam Stadium. During the game, his work rate and creativity showed dividends, as many Oxford fans tagged him the ‘MOTM’ despite not getting himself on the scoresheet. The game ended 3-0 in the U’s favour.

Also, on-loan at Oxford United, Samir Carruthers didn’t receive the same number of plaudits. Making his only appearance of the week off the bench against Charlton replacing Holmes in the 93rd minute.

On-loan at Fleetwood Town, Ched Evans was unable to create any clear-cut chances, as his side lost 1-0 away at Peterborough United. However, his fortunes changed at the weekend, as Fleetwood beat Blackpool for the first time in the club’s history thanks to a 3-2 win at Highbury. Linking up well with Wes Burns and Ashley Hunter all game, Evans was an influential figure in the club’s historic win.

On the other hand, on-loan at Blackpool, Ben Heneghan played the entire 90 minutes in his side’s 3-2 loss to Fleetwood and doing so failed to maintain the direct and pacey threat which Ashley Hunter deployed. Furthermore, the central defender didn’t feature for the Seasiders’ 1-0 victory over Scunthorpe midweek.

Additionally, there were three loanees in action during this week’s League Two fixtures, and unfortunately none of them relished in much success.

Enduring another miserable week, Nathan Thomas failed to make an impact in both of his games, featuring off the bench in Notts County’s 2-1 loss to MK Dons midweek, and their 2-1 defeat to Swindon Town at the weekend.

Making a comeback to the first team, Regan Slater on-loan at Carlisle, was played out of position as a part of the Cumbrians back four against Lincoln City, in a game which ended a 2-2 draw. However, moving back into his favoured central midfield position, Slater was forced out in a midfield battle against Yeovil’s Sessi D’Almeida, which led to his side losing 1-0 at Brunton Park.

Finalizing the League Two action, Harvey Gilmour had to deal with as with a 3-1 loss to Forest Green Rovers, as his side Tranmere Rovers failed to obtain any momentum against their old non-league rivals. Despite this, Tranmere were raring to go in their weekend fixture against Crawley, as they emphatically won the game 5-1, with Gilmour making a short appearance off the bench.

Looking outside of the football league, Tyler Smith, and Rhys Norrington-Davies both featured in Barrow AFC’s 2-0 defeat against Barnet. Whilst, defender Callum Semple was subbed on late into the second half, as his side Queen of the South decisively saw off Falkirk 2-0 in the Scottish Championship.

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