Four West Ham United loanees were in action over the weekend for their adopted clubs, with goalkeeper Joseph Anang in solid form for St Patrick’s Athletic.
The 21-year-old shot-stopper picked up his fifth clean sheet in nine League of Ireland Premier Division appearances in the Pat’s 0-0 draw against Dundalk on Friday.
Seeking a first win in three league games, Anang’s side went close to breaking the deadlock on numerous occasions at Richmond Park without quite finding the killer touch.
Indeed, title-chasing St Patrick’s Athletic dominated throughout but found themselves frustrated by visiting goalkeeper Nathan Sheppherd on numerous occasions, while the West Ham goalkeeper himself performed all of his necessary work neatly and tidily.
The 0-0 draw sees St Pat’s slip nine points behind early pace-setters Derry City at the top of of the table, but they remain third with plenty of the season still to come.
In League One, forward Mipo Odubeko featured for the final 15 minutes of Doncaster Rovers’ vital 2-0 victory over bottom-of-the-table Crewe Alexandra at Keepmoat Stadium.
Needing to win to stay in touch with the sides just above the relegation zone, 23rd-placed Doncaster achieved precisely that in a comfortable victory, scoring either side of half-time through Tommy Rowe and Josh Martin.
And Odubeko had a great chance to extend the lead in the final minute after Rovers broke two-on-one, but the 19-year-old’s marker recovered well to block his shot.
The win takes Gary McSheffrey’s Doncaster side within five points of safety, albeit with only four league games left to play. Next up is a home game against midtable Bolton Wanderers on Good Friday.
Elsewhere, MK Dons’ title charge was halted as Conor Coventry’s adopted side were held to a 1-1 draw away at AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.
The midfielder once again helped his team dominate possession (having 69 per cent of the ball) with a controlled display, but needed Troy Parrott’s stunning late goal to take anything away from a fiercely-contested fixture at the Cherry Red Records Stadium.
Alex Woodyard had given the hosts the lead early on with a drilled strike when a free-kick was only half-cleared, but Liam Manning’s Dons and Coventry did manage to hit back with ten minutes remaining to secure a draw which set a new club record for away games unbeaten (12).
MK Dons now have four league games remaining and sit second, three points behind Wigan Athletic and the same margin clear of third-placed Rotherham – but both teams have two games in hand.
And Nathan Holland and Oxford United suffered further frustration in their quest to reach the play-offs following a damaging 2-1 defeat to Sunderland at Kassam Stadium.
The 23-year-old retained his place in Karl Robinson’s starting XI and played an hour of the must-win game against the Black Cats, but came out on the wrong end of an entertaining contest in which the two teams had a combined 31 shots.
Corry Evans had given Sunderland the lead with a close-range goal after a quarter-of-an-hour but whilst Elliott Moore did equalise with a powerful header for Oxford shortly before half-time, Elliott Embleton smashed home for Sunderland with two minutes remaining to give the Black Cats all three points.
After three straight defeats, Oxford now find themselves eighth, four points behind Sunderland in the final play-off spot having played a game more.