A look at how our loan players got on over the festive period
The festive period ended brightly for our loan players with six of the seven sides that our players are loaned out to coming out on the winning side.
Dom Smith’s Southport put a 2017 to forget behind them by picking up a win on the first day of 2018 against Chorley. The Sandgrounders were 3-0 victors, the first time that they have won a game since September. 2017 was one to forget from a Southport persuasion as they got relegated from the National League and ended it in 23rd place in the National League North, but 2018 got off to flyer thanks to goals from David Morgan, Nathan Sheron and Jack Sampson. Meanwhile, Dom was part of the back-four which kept back to back clean-sheets.
There was another goal-fest in the Welsh Premier League as two of our youngsters clubs went head to head for the second time in just four days. This time it was Newtown who came out on top against TNS, making up for their 3-2 defeat on Boxing Day. Callum Roberts wasn’t involved for TNS, but they did take a 2-0 lead in this one thanks to goals from Greg Draper and Jamie Mullan, however Newtown hit back to level before the break thanks to a goal from our very own Ryan Sears and one from Luke Boundford. TNS then went down to 10-men and Newtown capitalised as Boundford scored his second of the game before Nick Rushton scored late on to give the Robins a 4-2 victory.
AJ Leitch-Smith went into the Scottish winter break in style as he scored a 91st minute goal in Dundee’s 2-0 win over St. Johnstone. Marcus Haber had put Dundee in front in the 3rd minute and St. Johnstone then had a man sent off. Leitch-Smith’s late goal was a fine strike as he ran 40 yards before firing into the corner from 20 yards. Dundee now don’t have a game until the 20th January when they face Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the Scottish Cup Fourth Round.
Chris Gallagher started his first game for Stalybridge Celtic on New Year’s Day and helped them to a five 5-2 win over Lancaster City. A hat-trick from Jordan Chapell and further goals from Luke Ashworth and Theo Bailey-Jones started 2018 off with a bang for struggling Celtic as Gallagher played 74 minutes before being substituted.
Meanwhile, both Shaun Rowley and John McAtee weren’t involved in their respective sides New Year’s Day wins. Tamworth started 2018 with a 2-0 win over Nuneaton Town thanks to goals from Connor Taylor and Callum Powell, whilst Halesowen beat Sutton Coldfield 1-0 thanks to Jordan Goddard’s screamer.