Loan Watch: Joseph Anang keeps clean sheet on Football League debut for Stevenage
West Ham United goalkeeper Joseph Anang kept a clean sheet on his Football League debut as he helped Stevenage kick off League Two with a win on Saturday.
The 21-year-old joined The Boro on a season-long loan in June, having been a regular standout performer in the Hammers’ development squad during 49 appearances over the last two seasons.
And after enjoying a strong pre-season with his adopted club, during which Anang kept three clean sheets in five appearances, the England U20 international carried that imperious form forwards into Stevenage’s season opener against Barrow.
In truth, it was a tight affair at Lamex Stadium, with Barrow only enjoying two shots on target over the course of the afternoon – the most troubling for Anang requiring him to get down low to his right to clasp Josh Kay’s daisy-cutter.
But Anang’s shut-out was crucial in allowing Stevenage to kick off their 2021/22 campaign on a positive note, having finished the previous season in excellent form under manager Alex Revell.
A sweeping finish from midfielder Jake Reeves a minute into the second half proved to be the winner, with the Stevenage players celebrating a victory in front of home supporters for the first time in 651 days.
Kay came closest to equalising for Barrow, only for Anang to cover his angles well and force the visiting attacker to hit the side-netting when well placed.
The charismatic goalkeeper will hope to maintain such a fine run of form when Stevenage play host to Luton Town in the Carabao Cup first round on Tuesday evening.
Fellow Academy goalkeeper Nathan Trott did not have a fixture to fulfil with adopted club AS Nancy over the weekend, having made his Ligue 2 debut last week in a 4-0 home defeat to Toulouse.
And Nathan Holland was not involved in Oxford United’s 1-1 draw at Cambridge United in League One, having only rejoined the U’s on a season-long loan last week.