Loan Watch – Ashley Fletcher scores first Sunderland goal

Loan Round-Up

Fletcher gets off the mark…

Friday night saw Ashley Fletcher finally score his first goal for Sunderland since joining the club in January.

The 22-year-old had gone eight games without a goal but doubled Sunderland’s one-goal lead in an eventual (and surprising) 4-1 win against promotion chasing Derby County.

He could have scored more too, but saw one shot drift narrowly wide and another hit the post.

“We could play off Fletch and it was his best game for us since he arrived,” said Sunderland boss Chris Coleman. “He has been struggling to find form and confidence. He was much more reliable and he could have had a hat-trick.

“It was a good performance – I was delighted for him. I was always going to start with Fletcher.”

Coleman also praised the extra lengths the Manchester United academy graduate has put in during training in order to improve his game.

“He has been struggling for form but hasn’t ducked it,” he said. “He has been out doing extra training and I really like that.

“He is only 22, a young boy. He doesn’t have a lot of experience, only really one full season with Barnsley. He has a super attitude.”

And the rest…

Joe Fryer was on the bench for Stevenage, who drew 0-0 against Grimsby Town.

Callum Cooke was an unused substitute for Blackpool in their 2-1 defeat at home to Doncaster.

Julien de Sart plays in a Europa League play-off match against OH Leuven on Sunday (7pm kick off).

Nathan McGinley missed Wycombe’s stalemate against Notts County through illness. “Nathan McGinley would have been in the squad but he was taken ill on the morning of the game,” Wanderers boss Gareth Ainsworth said.

Lewis Wing didn’t have a game this week as Yeovil don’t play until Monday night when they visit Coventry City.

Connor Ripley was in goal as Bury picked up a fourth consecutive defeat against Bristol Rovers – losing to an 85th minute penalty.

George Miller led the line in the same game, playing the full 90 minutes in the unfortunate 2-1 loss, which leaves Bury rooted to the bottom of the League One table.

Marcus Tavernier is still recovering from injury, so MK Dons’ trip to Gillingham on Thursday came too soon for the youngster.

Aynsley Pears had no fixture this week as Darlington’s game against Southport was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

Alex Pattison played 70 minutes for York in their dramatic late win over Southport on Tuesday night. The 20-year-old picked up a foot injury and was taken off as a precaution. He started the following game against Chorley, but was taken off early in that game too.

Martin Braithwaite plays on Sunday against Guingamp.

Middlesbrough Minutes:

• Fryer – Unused sub vs. Grimsby
• Cooke – Unused sub vs. Doncaster
• de Sart – N/A
• McGinley – Missed out through illness vs Notts County.
• Wing – N/A
• Ripley – Played 90 minutes vs. Bristol City
• Miller – Played 90 minutes vs. Bristol City
• Tavernier – Missed out through injury vs. Gillingham
• Pears – N/A
• Fletcher – Played 90 minutes and scored vs. Derby
• Braithwaite – N/A
• Pattison – Played 70 minutes vs. Southport and 16 minutes vs. Chorley

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