Loan Watch (12/2)

Last updated : 14 February 2017 By Michael Morris

Another instalment of Loan Watch, we're up to series 3, episode 2 now. Suck on that, Casualty. New readers might be wondering 'what have I missed?' but 'what haven't I missed?' would be a better question. It's all been happening here; laughter, tears, hopes and fears - and that was just Danny Johnson's loan spell at Stevenage. No, it's gone now, you'll just have to pick it up as you go along or wait until the box set comes out.

Matty Kennedy's loan spell at Plymouth can hardly have started better for him. His home debut yesterday, in the Devon derby against Exeter, left everyone impressed. Not just on the ball but off it too as he worked hard tracking back and covering his full back. He scored the first and, especially for a player with only a couple of career goals to his name, it was an excellent one. A great piece of movement from in off the flank brought him into the space between the centre-backs and when the pass arrived he finished it accurately. He then popped up in a deeper central area and while the defenders worried that he'd run at them, Ryan Taylor drifted into space and was found perfectly by Kennedy to score the second in a 3-0 win.

Interesting that Kennedy is proving effective coming inside. It's something he's looked comfortable with at DVP level (he even started one game this season in an advanced central midfield role) and gives the impression that there's a lot more to his game than just being an out-and-out winger. Of course, there's a huge difference between that standard, or even League 2, and the Championship but he can only deal with what's in front of him and he's doing that very well for now. Worth bearing in mind that he faded here after a strong start and then failed to push on after a strong start on loan at Port Vale last season but let's hope he has put that behind him and is now going to fulfil his undoubted potential.

Another successful day for Emyr Huws as he scored the only goal in Ipswich's 1-0 win at Villa. Hard to make sense of what's going on here but he's another player who is impressing his new fanbase. An excellent performance was capped by the winner near the end, finishing after a late run into the box from midfield (I won't do the 'whatever that is' gag again). Manager Mick McCarthy said 'we have missed that from the centre of the park, a player driving forward and scoring goals'. I'm missing something here too. Whatever the problem has been with Emyr, as with Kennedy, we've obviously got a talented player on our hands.

Another good performance from Semi Ajayi for Rotherham as they drew 1-1 with Blackburn. A couple of mistakes crept into his game yesterday (he's prone to this) but they didn't prove costly and, overall, he continues to impress in a struggling side. Tom Adeyemi started too and did well before being subbed.

A bit of a mixed bag elsewhere. Adam le Fondre started in Bolton's 4-1 win over Walsall (alongside old boy Andrew Taylor) but didn't get among the goals. Deji Oshilaja played at left-back in Gillingham's 1-1 draw with Port Vale and Ben Wilson kept another clean sheet for Rochdale as they drew at Fleetwood. Stuart O'Keefe played two games for MK Dons this week and while they won the first (with an injury time winner from Nicky Maynard) they lost to a late Oxford goal yesterday. Idriss Saadi played the 90 minutes as Kortrijk lost 2-0 at home.

Youngster Lloyd Humphries played in Weston-Super-Mare's 2-0 defeat at Poole, alongside former players Chris Barker, Rollin Menayese and Gethyn Hill. Before yesterday, if anyone had asked me who Melanius Mullarkey is then I would've guessed he's an undertaker from a Charles Dickens novel but I now know he's the right back at Hayes and Yeading. They won 2-1 against Redditch, for whom our young keeper Luke O'Reilly was on the bench.

No goal for Etien this week but some other former players did score including Ross McCormack, Jon Parkin, Danny Johnson, Eikrem and Berget as well as Guido Burgstaller for Schalke. A mention too for Simon Moore who kept a clean sheet as Sheffield United moved five points clear in League 1.