Loan Watch: Wins for Olatunji Akinola and Xande Silva
Four West Ham United loanees featured for their adopted sides over the weekend, with two – Olatunji Akinola and Xande Silva – securing important victories for their side.
Representing Leyton Orient, 22-year-old defender Akinola once again played an important part in keeping a clean sheet for the O’s as they defeated Barrow 2-0 at the Breyer Group Stadium.
The shutout was Akinola’s 15th in 29 League Two appearances this season, with the versatile defender reverting to right-back for Jobi McAnuff’s reinvigorated side.
From the flank, Akinola won three aerial duels and contributed two successful tackles, a clearance, an interception and a blocked shot, according to respected analytics website WhoScored.com.
Academy of Football graduate Dan Kemp was involved in both of Leyton Orient’s second-half goals, playing the cross which eventually led to Dan Happe hooking home early in the second half, before rifling in a low strike from the edge of the area himself.
The win keeps Leyton Orient in the hunt for a Play-Off place, just a point behind Newport County in the all-important seventh spot – albeit having played a game more.
Also vying in the upper echelons of the fourth-tier table are Oladapo Afolayan and Bolton Wanderers, both of whom suffered a setback to their automatic promotion hopes with a 2-1 defeat at Grimsby Town on Saturday afternoon.
After seeing his side fall behind to Jay Matete’s opening-minute strike, Afolayan was unable to convert a couple of half-chances that came his way before being replaced with 20 minutes to go.
The Trotters went two behind in the closing minutes when Ira Jackson Jr poked home from close range, before Shaun Miller blasted home a consolation goal in the sixth minute of injury time.
Still in third place, Bolton will have the opportunity to immediately bounce back when they host Carlisle United at the University of Bolton Stadium on Tuesday.
In Super League Greece, Xande Silva was a late substitute for Aris Thessaloniki FC as they secured a valuable three points away at ten-man Panathinaikos.
The 24-year-old winger entered the fray with his team, who suffered a damaging defeat against AEK Athens the previous weekend, having overturned a first-half deficit against a Panathinaikos team who had scored with their only shot of the match.
Dimitris Manos and Mateo Garcia had scored quickfire second-half goals to overturn that lead, with Silva coming on in the 86th minute to help his adopted team see out a win which restores them to second place in the Super League Greece table, with just six games left to play.
Elsewhere, Alfie Lewis added to his League of Ireland debut last week with another appearance off the bench for St Patrick’s Athletic, who drew 1-1 at Dundalk on Saturday.
The 21-year-old midfielder, who is set to stay with the Pats until the end of June, featured for the final five minutes, helping to see out a spell of heavy pressure to secure a point which keeps his side joint-top of the early-season table after five matches.
And in League Two, Aji Alese was an unused substitute for Cambridge United as the U’s maintained their top-of-the-table standing with a 1-0 win at Newport County’s Rodney Parade.
Fellow defender Gonçalo Cardoso also remained on the bench for FC Basel in their 5-0 Swiss Super League victory over Servette, a result which lifts the Portuguese’s adopted team into second place in their hunt for European qualification.