Loan Watch: Busy week for Kodua and Downes nets late winner

It has been a positive week for forward Gideon Kodua, who has seen his minutes increase over the past two fixtures while on loan at EFL League One side Wycombe Wanderers.

Alongside fellow Hammer Freddie Potts, who started both games in the heart of midfield, Kodua made a strong impact from the bench in a 0-0 draw against Derby County in midweek, before being rewarded with a start against Shrewsbury Town on Saturday.

Late goals from Luke Leahy and Richard Kone saw the Chairboys capitalise on their man advantage after Tom Flanagan was sent off on 67 minutes.

Having taken four points from their first two games after defeat in the Bristol Street Motors Trophy final, Wycombe have moved into 14th place in the English third tier, with 14 wins from their 42 league games.

When I first came it was all a bit of a surprise to me, but I’m used to it now and you can see I’m kicking on and expressing myself
Gideon Kodua

Speaking to talkSPORT during the week, Kodua admitted he is looking to build on what he’s learned during his first three months of senior football.

“For me personally, I feel I’m going in the right direction,” he stated. “I’ve gone from U18s to U21s to first-team football, and that’s what I’ve wanted to do since I was young.

“It’s about progressing myself as a player and also helping my team, scoring and making assists, and proving myself in every situation I’m in.

“It has been a huge step up for me [U21 football to League One], but I’ve got to say thank you to the gaffer here because he’s taught me a lot and given me chances and allowed me to grow into the game.

“When I first came it was all a bit of a surprise to me, but I’m used to it now and you can see I’m kicking on and expressing myself and getting better.

“The gaffer said to me on my first day that they know what I can do and that he wanted me to do it for Wycombe. Do your thing, get at your man, create chances, play with freedom and do your bit for the team."


Downes' late winner the highlight for other Hammers loanees 

A huge moment in Southampton’s bid for an immediate return to the Premier League arrived from the boot of Flynn Downes.

The West Ham loanee scored a dramatic winner in the 99th minute to see the Saints beat Watford 3-2 in the EFL Championship on Saturday.

A busy game had already seen four goals before Downes kept Southampton’s automatic promotion chances alive with a winner in the final seconds at St Mary’s Stadium.

Russell Martin’s men are fourth in the table, and trail Leicester in second place by seven points, although the Saints have played one game fewer.

Elsewhere, Keenan Appiah-Forson continued to impress in the English fifth tier and played 90 minutes as Dagenham & Redbridge picked up a point from a 1-1 draw with Hartlepool.

Dagenham are 15th in the National League table, with 14 wins from their 45 league games this season.

Goalkeeper Nathan Trott and Vejle FC were defeated 2-1 by Randers in the Danish Superliga, while in France's Ligue 1 Saïd Benrahma featured in Lyon’s 4-3 win over Brest.

Goalkeeper Krisztián Hegyi and Den Bosch will face Jong FC Utrecht in the Dutch second-tier on Monday evening.