Loan Watch – First clean sheet for Pears, learning curve for Coulson

Safe pair of hands…

Aynsley Pears started both of Gateshead’s games this week as he continues to establish himself at their undisputed number one.

The Heed have had a solid start to the season but fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat away to Halifax on Monday – disappointment for Pears and his hunt for the sluisve first clean sheet.

However, the 20-year-old England youth international didn’t have to wait long for that crowing keeper glory, keeping a clean sheet five days later in the 1-0 win against Maidstone.

“Credit to the lads,” he said after the game. “All the lads were really good today from back to front. We dominated the game.

“I didn’t have a lot to do, but that’s fine. As long as we’re winning games I’m more than happy.”

A tough few tests for Coulson…

Hayden Coulson was on the end of another unfortunate drubbing for St. Mirren this week.

The defender played the full 90 minutes as a wing back against Hearts, but the change in formation backfired for Alan Stubbs’s side, who were defeated 4-1.

The Scottish Premiership side currently sit second from bottom in the table having lost their last four games by an aggregate score of 11-1.

After the game, Stubbs said: “It’s not as if the opposition are completely cutting us open; we’re contributing significantly to our own demise at the moment.

“They have to learn very quickly. I don’t want to point the finger individually – that stays private – but we have to do far better.”

It’s worth noting that this is Coulson’s first loan spell away from Boro, and being a young player, he can’t be criticised too much.

But these games will provide vast experience for the 20-year-old, which will no doubt bode him well in the future.

Luke Armstrong was named Gateshead’s Player of the Month for August having scored five goals in seven games. He started September without a goal but played 90 minutes in the  1-0 defeat to Halifax Town and Monday night, but picked up a hamstring injury on the eve of the Maidstone United game.

George Miller started for Bradford against Fleetwood Town – a 2-1 defeat for the Bantams, in which Miller played the full 90 minutes.

Connor Ripley was in goal for Accrington Stanley, who drew one-all at home to Scunthorpe. That’s now four games unbeaten for the League One side.

Alex Pattison, who will soon be joined by his Boro teammate Enes Mahmutovic, played the full match against Grimsby Town, which ended in a 1-0 victory and extended their unbeaten run to five league games.

Nathan McGinley impressed on his Forest Green Rovers debut on Saturday. The 21-year-old put in a Man of the Match performance as the League Two side defeated struggling Notts County 3-1.

Middlesbrough minutes:

• Armstrong – Played 90 minutes vs. Halifax; didn’t feature vs. Maidstone
• Pears – Played 90 minutes vs. Halifax; played 90 minutes and kept a clean sheet vs Maidstone
• Coulson – Played 90 minutes vs. Hearts
• Fryer – N/A (injured)
• Miller – Played 90 minutes vs. Fleetwood Town
• Pattison – Played 90 minutes vs. Grimsby
• Ripley – Played 90 minutes vs. Scunthorpe
• McGinley – Played 90 minutes vs. Notts County
• Johnson – N/A
• Mahmutovic – N/A

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