Loan Watch: Two Academy of Football goalkeepers feature
Joseph Anang and Nathan Trott were both in action between the posts this weekend as three West Ham United loanees took to the pitch for their adopted clubs.
Anang, who is spending the season on loan at Stevenage in League Two, enjoyed the strongest result as the Boro drew 1-1 at home to Port Vale to maintain their impressive start to the season.
The 21-year-old goalkeeper has already impressed at his new club with five clean sheets in his first eight games, including competitive and non-competitive fixtures, and a match-winning brace of penalty stops against Luton Town in the Carabao Cup.
And after adding another penalty stop to his record in the 4-1 defeat at Bradford City last weekend, Anang was once again in solid form for Stevenage during Saturday’s draw with Port Vale.
After Jake Reeves had hit the post in the early stages for Stevenage, ‘keeper Anang had little to do prior to Vale taking the lead in the 20th minute, a low cross slid home from close range by Devante Rodney.
A fiercely struck Luke Norris free-kick drew Stevenage level ten minutes before half-time, but chances proved slim pickings for the home team in the second half, with Luke Prosser having a header cleared off the line from Reeves’ corner.
Port Vale looked like they might win it in the closing stages with Ben Garrity firing low across Anang’s goal, but the ‘stopper not only made an excellent save in the first instance, but sprung to his feet to bravely dive on top of the ball as a visiting forward closed in.
The result boosts Stevenage to fifth place after collecting seven points in their opening four games – a positive start for Alex Revell’s side.
Battling at the opposite end of the Ligue 2 table are Trott and AS Nancy, the French club suffering their fourth defeat in five games after going down 1-0 at Caen on Saturday afternoon.
A largely evenly-matched encounter was settled by Alexandre Mendy’s 17th-minute goal – a clinical close-range finish which Trott stood little chance with – but the goalkeeper rose admirably to several tests, most notably standing tall to deny Jessy Deminguet clean through on goal in the closing stages.
The 22-year-old goalkeeper has made four appearances for Nancy so far but has yet to pick up a clean sheet for the team who sit bottom of the French second tier; a home game against thus-unbeaten Auxerre is next up.
And Nathan Holland also suffered defeat on Saturday after coming on for the closing stages of Oxford United’s 2-1 loss at Bolton Wanderers.
Matt Taylor had given the U’s an early lead at the University of Bolton Stadium, but former Hammer Oladapo Afolayan drew the Lilywhites level on the stroke of half-time with an excellent long-range strike.
After Eoin Doyle put the home team ahead midway through the second half, Holland entered the fray after 77 minutes for his third consecutive substitute appearance since rejoining Oxford on a season-long loan.
The winger almost made a huge impact, weaving to the line in injury time and pulling the ball back into a threatening area – but Gavin Whyte lifted his finish over the bar when he perhaps should have scored. Oxford sit tenth after four games.
And elsewhere in League One, Frederik Alves is awaiting his Sunderland debut as the Denmark U21 defender remained among the substitutes for a second week during the Black Cats’ 1-0 win over AFC Wimbledon at the Stadium of Light.