The latest updates from Boro’s loanees as they looked to sign off 2018 in style this week.
Every Boro loanee but Yeovil duo Alex Pattison and Enes Mahmutovic featured.
This will be the last coverage of Nathan McGinley’s time at Forest Green Rovers, with the 21-year-old making the move permanent on January 1st.
Miller signs off in spectacular fashion…
George Miller has been in fine form of late, which has coincided with a decent run of form for struggling Bradford City.
The League One side were defeated by high flying Sunderland on Boxing Day but bounced back immediately with a convincing 4-0 away victory against Rochdale on Saturday.
Prior to the game against The Dale, Miller had scored three goals in his last five games in all competitions – a purple patch that Bradford fans were hoping he would continue to help their climb away from the relegation zone.
And he did just that.
With Bradford 3-0 up, substitute Miller met a ball over the top before striking a fierce volley into the back of the net. It was a fine way to seal a fine three points for the Bantams.
Bradford remain in the relegation zone, but their recent upturn in form provides hope for the Yorkshre side. And with Miller hitting the goal trail, they may soon find themselves out of trouble.
His tally currently stands at 6 goals for the season. His personal goal for 2019 will no doubt be to hit double figures, and he’s well on his way to doing so.
His spectacular goal against Rochdale signifies the confidence he’s enjoying at the moment, which is good to see after a difficult start to the season.
Armstrong reaches double figures…
Luke Armstrong has been thriving for Gateshead this season, despite spending a month out injured at the start.
His goals have helped the Heed maintain a promotion push as they hope to achieve promotion to the Football League.
They hosted Hartlepool United on Boxing Day – an all North-East clash that ended in a 2-1 victory for the home side.
There’s perhaps no surprise to hear that both of Gateshead’s goals came from the boot of the clinical Armstrong, albeit with a little bit of help from some slack Pools defending.
The first one was a goal made in Middlesbrough. Goalkeeper Aynsley Pears cleared the ball long from a goal kick which was headed on by Armstrong and held up by his strike partner Scott Boden.
Armstrong then locked onto the ball before reaching the box and firing a shot through opposing keeper Scott Loach for his ninth goal of the season.
His tenth goal came from some more questionable Hartlepool defending. Scott Barrow’s cross shot looped into the path of Armstrong, who claimed the ball with a stretching leg and slotted into an empty net.
Armstrong played 90 minutes in the following game against Halifax Town, but wasn’t on the scoresheet this time.
Armstrong will now return to Middlesbrough from his successful loan spell.
Speaking on Armstrong’s future, his father Alun said: “Luke has done really well at Gateshead. He’s really enjoyed it there and would have been happy to stay for the rest of the season.
“It has been a move that has been good for both parties, but he is a Middlesbrough player and they wanted to recall him.
“They are not scoring a lot of goals, but they see Luke as someone that needs to get some experience in the League.”
Could a move to the Football League soon be on the cards for the youngster?
Elsewhere around the grounds…
Aysnley Pears set the aforementioned Luke Amstrong on his way to bagging his tenth goal of the season against Hartlepool on Boxing Day. It was his goalkick that eventually ended in Armstrong striking home.
He also gave away a penalty late on that was converted by Pools’ Luke James, and saw another one hit the post. In the following game against Halifax, Pears was ruled out due to illness.
Connor Ripley was on the winning side on Wednesday as Accrington defeated Shrewsbury 2-1 – that meant back-to-back victories for Stanley.
That all came crashing down just days later though as John Coleman’s side were humbled 4-0 by Peterborough.
Nathan McGinley played 75 minutes for Forest Green Rovers gainst Newport County on Boxing Day.
The League Two side ran out 4-1 winners and followed that up with a 2-2 draw against Cheltenham, in which McGinley played 87 minutes.
- Luke Armstrong – 90 mins and two goals vs. Hartlepool, 90 mins vs. Halifax
- Aynsley Pears – 90 mins vs. Hartlepool, ill vs. Halifax
- George Miller – 90 mins vs. Sunderland, 9 mins and goal vs. Rochdale
- Connor Ripley – 90 mins vs. Shrewsbury, 90 mins vs. Peterborough
- Nathan McGinley – 75 mins vs. Newport, 87 mins vs. Cheltenham