Loan Watch: Alfie Lewis makes St Patrick’s Athletic debut
Midfielder Alfie Lewis made his League of Ireland Premier Division debut on Saturday, one of three West Ham United loanees to feature for their respective clubs.
With St Patrick’s Athletic – whom Lewis will represent on loan until 26 June – two goals to the good at home to Derry City, the 21-year-old entered the field of play as an 80th-minute substitute for his debut at his adopted club and helped see out their third win in four games.
As a result of the 2-0 victory, Lewis and St Patrick’s Athletic sit top of the early League of Ireland Premier Division table, level on ten points with Finn Harps – but ahead on goal difference.
80’ Double sub; Jason McClelland replaces Billy King and making his debut Alfie Lewis replaces Chris Forrester. 2-0— St Patrick's Athletic FC (@stpatsfc) April 9, 2021
Another Academy of Football product enjoying the taste of victory over the weekend was Oladapo Afolayan, whose Bolton Wanderers side returned to winning ways with a 2-1 turnaround win over Harrogate Town in League Two.
Seeking to bounce back from a difficult Easter weekend after a hitherto impressive winning run, the Trotters got off to a poor start at the University of Bolton Stadium when Mark Beck managed to convert a low cross from close-range in the 13th minute.
Restored to the starting eleven after beginning the previous match, a defeat to Newport, on the bench, Afolayan’s team were on the backfoot in the first half, but levelled midway through the second when Lloyd Isgrove drove in from distance.
Afolayan went on to complete 74 minutes for Bolton before top scorer Eoin Doyle capitalised on a defensive mistake to slam home the winner shortly after, boosting his team up to third – and into the automatic promotion places with just six games to go.
In Super League Greece, Xande Silva and Aris Thessaloniki FC’s European aspirations took a knock with a 3-1 defeat at home to fourth-placed AEK Athens.
Sitting second before the game and needing to finish in the top three to enter the Europa League qualification rounds, Aris’ loss sees Aris remain where they were – but with AEK Athens having narrowed the gap on them to just three points.
After having scored and assisted goals from the bench last week, 24-year-old Silva saw his team make a poor start at Kleanthis Vikelidis Stadium, going three goals behind after just 36 minutes on the clock, including two penalties.
Aris did pull a goal back ten minutes after half-time when Daniel Mancini finished off a flowing counter-attacking move with a smart finish, but despite their best efforts, they could not land the second goal that would have opened a route back into the game.
In the Championship, Winston Reid was an unused substitute as Brentford romped home to a thumping 5-0 win over Preston North End at Deepdale.
Thomas Frank’s Bees have endured a frustrating time in front of goal of late, but cast those difficulties aside in an emphatic win which keeps them in the hunt for an automatic promotion spot, nine points behind Watford, but with a game in hand on the Hornets.
In League Two, Olatunji Akinola was among the substitutes for Leyton Orient as Conor Thomas’ 31st-minute penalty saw the O’s solid form of late halted by a 1-0 defeat at division leaders Cheltenham Town.
And in the Swiss Super League, Gonçalo Cardoso was named on the bench but did not get on during FC Basel’s 4-3 away win at Luzern – a result which keeps the defender’s adopted team in fourth, and still in the mix for a top-three finish and Europa League qualification.