Loanee round up
- There was a packed schedule for those Hammers on loan in the Football League over the Easter weekend
- Reece Oxford and Reading are close to sealing their place in the Championship play-offs
- Likewise, Bradford City and Josh Cullen are still set for a top-six finish in League One
There was a packed schedule for many West Ham United loanees with most Football League clubs in action twice over the Easter weekend.
Starting with first the Premier League, however, Enner Valencia’s Everton were in action just once as they beat Burnley 3-1 at Goodison Park on Saturday.
Ecuadorian international Valencia played the full second half for the Toffees, who took the lead through Phil Jagielka four minutes after the Hammers man’s introduction.
Sam Vokes equalised for the Clarets shortly after with a penalty but Everton went back in front with 19 minutes left on the clock as Ben Mee was unfortunate to deflect into his own net.
Romelu Lukaku rounded off the victory minutes later, scoring for a ninth successive home game to, albeit for a day, push Ronald Koeman’s side up to fifth in the Premier League table.
Reece Oxford missed out on Reading’s 3-1 win over Aston Villa on Saturday, but was back in the squad as the Royals beat rock-bottom Rotherham United on Monday.
The centre-back was an unused sub, however, as he watched Lewis Grabban and John Swift overturn a Tom Adeyemi opener to make it five wins in six games.
Oxford’s men now mathematically need only a win and a draw – though realistically fewer would probably suffice – from three final games to seal their place in the Championship play-off spots.
In League One, there was no rest for Josh Cullen who played the entirety of Bradford City’s two Easter weekend clashes.
On Good Friday, the Bantams’ weekend got off to the perfect start as they beat Oxford United – who were without the injured Toni Martinez – 1-0 at Valley Parade.
Nicky Law scored the game’s only goal on the hour mark as he touched home Charlie Wyke’s glancing header as Stuart McCall’s men then began to focus on Monday’s clash against Sheffield United.
There was a party atmosphere, however, at Bramall Lane as the Blades – already promoted – looked to secure the third tier’s top spot.
They did so, putting three past Bradford thanks to Leon Clarke, who grabbed a brace, and League One top scorer Billy Sharp.
Cullen and Bradford, six points clear of seventh-placed Southend United, still look a sure bet for the play-offs, despite Monday’s defeat.
In League Two, Newport County kept their survival hopes alive with a 1-0 Friday win over Yeovil Town, with Hammer Jaanai Gordon as an unused substitute.
Mickey Demetriou’s second half free-kick proved the decisive moment and despite a 6-1 thrashing two days later at promoted Plymouth Argyle, the Exiles remain just a point from safety.
Finally, Sam Howes played for Hampton and Richmond Borough in the National League South though they were beaten 3-1 at Dartford. The Beavers are now unable to qualify for the play-off spots.