Loan Watch – Pears helps Gateshead continue good form in National League

Pears’ clean sheet joy…

Aynsley Pears started against National League stragglers Havant & Waterloovile and claimed his second successive clean sheet in the 1-0 victory.

That’s now five clean sheet’s for the season for the promising Pears, who has become a poignant figure in Gateshead’s impressive start.

The Heed have now made it four away win in a row, and four wins in their last five games. In that run, Pears has only conceded two goals.

So, where’s Luke?…

Luke Armstrong was again absent from Gateshead’s squad this week, as his side entered the play-offs with a 1-0 win over Havant & Waterlooville.

The 22-year-old made a flying start to the season, scoring five goals in seven games.

That included a brace against Salford City in August – after which he was named Gateshead’s Player on the Month.

But the striker hasn’t been seen since.

He missed the opening game of September with a hamstring injury, pulling out of the starting eleven late on.

And bizarrely, there’s been no official update on his whereabouts since, so we can only assume he’s still sidelined.

Miller’s difficult task…

George Miller had been tasked with leading a Bradford revival from the bench on Saturday – a fairly difficult job given their recent form.

The striker was brought on with the Bantams one-nil down to Accrington Stanley, who would have had Connor Ripley between the sticks had he not been sent off last weekend.

Miller tried to get them back into the game, but as is the narrative of Bradford’s form, it didn’t work out.

They were condemned to their third defeat in a row with Accrington taking home the three points in a 3-1 win.

McGinley gaining valuable game-time…

Nathan McGinley has become a key feature of Forest Green Rovers’ back line so far this season.

The 22-year-old, who is to join the League Two side permanently in January, played the full 90 minutes in two games this week.

The first, a mid-week EFL Cup tie against Coventry, where a 1-1 draw in normal time sent the game to penalties.

Unfortunately for McGinley and Forest Green Rovers, it was a second successive penalty defeat to Coventry in the controversial competition.

McGinley’s second game of the week came against Northampton, which ended in a 3-1 defeat.

Middlesbrough Minutes:

• Armstrong – N/A
• Pears – Played 90 minutes and kept a clean sheet vs. Havant & Waterlooville
• Coulson – N/A
• Fryer – N/A (injured)
• Miller – Played 37 minutes vs. Accrington Stanley
• Pattison – N/A (game postponed)
• Ripley – N/A (suspended)
• McGinley – Played 90 minutes vs. Coventry and Northampton
• Johnson – N/A
• Mahmutovic – N/A (game postponed)

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