Loan Watch – Armstrong bags winner, O’Neill scores first professional goal

League football returned for some after the conclusion of the international break, but for most it was business as usual.

All but one loanee featured for their loan clubs this week. Enes Mahmutovic was the only unused substitute.

Here’s the latest round up from up and down the leagues…

Armstrong hits the winner…

Luke Armstrong has been a key figure in Gateshead’s climb up the National League table so far this season – and he proved his worth once more this weekend.

The 22-year-old had only scored two goals in seven games prior to the trip to Barnet, but soon notched his seventh goal of the season.

With the game perfectly poised at one-all going into the last 15 minutes, Armstrong was found on the edge of the box by Scott Barrow.

It was the perfect invitation for a deadly Armstrong, who fired the ball into the bottom right-hand corner to put the visitors in front.

The goal set up a tense and nervy finish for Gateshead, but they did hold out for the three points.

“It feels so much better when you get the winner,” Armstrong told Gateshead’s website.

“Obviously as a striker, you just want to score goals but when it’s a consolation it doesn’t do much for the team so you can’t really be too pleased so to get the winner, the feeling is just different class.

“It’s really important to have got back to winning ways today.

“We’ve had some good performances recently and some not so good so to put in a great performance today and come away with the three points, it’s now going to be great going into Leyton Orient.”

Highlights – Barnet 1-2 Gateshead


O’Neill scores first professional goal…

Tyrone O’Neill played the part of an impact sub during Hartlepool’s FA Cup fixture against Gillingham on Wednesday night.

Starting from the bench, O’Neill watched Pools take a two-goal lead before Gillingham pulled one back just after the break.

He was then introduced on the hour mark but the away side scored deep into stoppage time to force extra time.

Gillingham went on to score to more goals, but O’Neill did bag what proved to be a consolation in the 114th minute.

The 19-year-old showed great skill and strength to take control of the ball before twisting and turning and shielding away from his marker to bundle home.

It was a dogged performance from the youngster which resulted in him starting from the off in the following game against bottom of the league Dover.

He wasn’t to make it two in two though, as Pools suffered a 2-1 defeat.

Highlights – Hartlepool 3-4 Gillingham 


Agent Johnson plays a part…

Marvin Johnson has barely had a sniff since joining Sheffield United, which is perhaps a measure of the Blades’ good form in the Championship.

He did, however, get on for the final few minutes against a Rotherham side who were unbeaten in four going into the Yorkshire derby.

Johnson attempted a run forward in the dying embers of the game, but his close control was poor and gave Rotherham the chance to counter.

The ball eventually fell to Millers striker Jamie Proctor, who was in the right place at the right time to fire home the equaliser.

It was a result that gave Boro the chance to go second in the tea time kick-off, which they, of course, took with aplomb.


Elsewhere around the grounds…

In the National League, Aynsley Pears went without a clean sheet but did make sure Gatesheld held out for a valuable win against Barnet. The 20-year-old took one for the team in the latter stages, picking up a yellow card for time wasting.

George Miller had two games this week. He was a late substitute for Bradford in their penalty shoot-out victory over Aldershot on Tuesday night, and in their 2-0 win at home to Oxford on Saturday.

Staying in League One, Connor Ripley continues as Accrington Stanley’s no.1 but was on the wrong side of a 1-0 scoreline against Rochdale.

In League Two, Nathan McGinley played 90 minutes in the 3-0 FA Cup defeat to Oxford United on Tuesday. He was then on the winning side in the league just days later, playing another 90 minutes in the 2-1 victory over Carlisle.

Elsewhere in League Two, Alex Pattison started and played the full 90 minutes for Yeovil in their 1-0 defeat to Macclesfield Town. He was booked in the 20th minute.

Zach Hemming started in goal for Darlington, who were knocked out of the FA Cup following a 2-0 defeat to AFC Telford on Friday night.


Middlesbrough Minutes

• Luke Armstrong – 90 mins and goal vs. Barnet
• Aynsley Pears – 90 mins vs. Barnet
• George Miller – 12 mins vs. Aldershot, 12 mins vs. Oxford Utd
• Connor Ripley – 90 mins vs. Rochdale
• Nathan McGinley – 90 mins vs. Oxford Utd, 90 mins vs. Carlisle
• Zach Hemming – 90 mins vs. AFC Telford
• Tyrone O’Neill – 60 mins and goal vs. Gillingham, 61 mins vs. Dover
• Alex Pattison – 90 mins vs. Macclesfield Town

Injured: Joe Fryer

Not in action: Enes Mahmutovic



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