- This week’s international break saw only three West Ham United loanees in action over the weekend
- Toni Martinez was the sole Hammer to feature in League One
- Meanwhile, Sam Howes and Sam Ford played in the National League South
With both the Premier League and the Championship campaigns on hold due to the international break, there were only three West Ham United loanees in action over the weekend.
And a couple of those who may have played in the third tier were away with their national sides for youth level fixtures.
It was, therefore, no surprise to see Bradford City, without the superb Josh Cullen, suffer their first defeat in eight games when they travelled to Scunthorpe United on Saturday.
The 20-year-old, who was busy helping the Republic of Ireland U21s to a 1-0 UEFA U21 European Championship qualifying round win against Kosovo, has been one of League One’s standout players this term and the Bantams clearly missed his calming influence in midfield.
Meanwhile, Martin Samuelsen, away with Norway U21s, missed out on Peterborough United’s 1-0 victory at Gillingham.
The only loanee to appear this week in the third tier was Toni Martinez, who played 56 minutes for Oxford United in their goalless draw with Northampton.
The Spaniard fired over during a first half which the visiting Us edged, but Michael Appleton’s men could not find a winner and now have seven points and four places to make up if they are set for a play-off finish.
Down a division in League Two, Jaanai Gordon’s Newport County were dealt a blow in their hopes for survival as they were beaten 2-1 by promotion hopefuls Portsmouth.
The forward was an unused substitute for the Exiles, who never recovered after going two goals down, though Alex Samuel did pull one back with 13 minutes left.
Goalkeeper Sam Howes was minutes away from keeping another clean sheet in the National League South for Hampton and Richmond Borough, but the Beavers conceded a late equaliser to draw 1-1 with Ebbsfleet United.
The stopper had previously made a string of good saves to keep the visitors at bay, but Bradley Bubb popped up in the final minute to bag against the hosts who had earlier been reduced to ten men.
Finally, Sam Ford, in action in the same division for Bishop’s Stortford, could not help his side claw their way back up towards the survival spots as they lost out 2-0 to Maidenhead United.
Bishop’s are now nine points from safety with only six games remaining.