Conor Coventry

Loan Watch: Coventry takes promotion push to final week

West Ham United loanee Conor Coventry will head into the final week of the EFL League One season still vying for promotion with MK Dons.

With Liam Manning’s team seeking to keep pace with Wigan Athletic and Rotherham United – two automatic promotion spots are available at the top end of the table – victory was vital for Liam Manning’s side at Stadium MK against struggling Morecambe.

And with Coventry typically pulling the strings in the centre of the park, the Dons recorded a dominant 70 per cent possession in a 2-0 win over the Shrimps.

Central defender Harry Darling put MK Dons ahead with a stunning solo goal on 20 minutes, before Daniel Harvie sealed victory with a low drive eleven minutes from the end of play.

And Republic of Ireland U21s skipper Coventry once again impressed at the heart of that display with a 91.25 per cent passing accuracy (73 of 80 completed), two key passes, a tackle, an interception, a dribble – and four out of six duels won.

The result moved MK Dons onto 86 points, level with second-placed Rotherham – who have a game in hand away at Sunderland on Tuesday – and three behind first-placed Wigan Athletic, who also have a game in hand and a seven-superior goal difference.

Consequentially, all eyes will be on the Stadium of Light in midweek as Coventry and Dons look to overhaul the Millers in their final-day game away at playoff hopefuls Plymouth Argyle on Saturday.

Over in the League of Ireland Premier Division, goalkeeper Joseph Anang kept another clean sheet – his sixth in 12 league games so far this season – as St Patrick’s Athletic defeated Finn Harps 2-0 at Richmond Park on Friday.

The Saints were dominant in the first half but – having gone two goals ahead – needed the 21-year-old to be in acrobatic form in the second period, with Anang producing one particularly impressive flying save with ten minutes remaining to preserve the shutout.

The result takes Anang and St Patrick’s Athletic up to third in the league table, seven points behind leaders Derry City FC.

Elsewhere in League One, Nathan Holland did not come off the bench for Oxford United as their promotion push was mathematically ended by the aforementioned 2-1 defeat at Rotherham. 

The U’s will now play for pride in their final game of the season at home to Doncaster Rovers on Saturday, for whom fellow loanee Mipo Odubeko did not feature at the weekend due to illness.

In the 19-year-old’s absence, Doncaster recorded a 2-0 win over Burton Albion to extend their stay in League One until the final week of the season – but they would require other results, plus an improbable 29-goal swing, to leapfrog Fleetwood Town.

And in Ligue 2, AS Nancy – for whom Academy goalkeeper Nathan Trott has featured 23 times on loan this season – saw relegation confirmed after a home game against Quevilly-Rouen was abandoned and a 3-0 walkover win awarded to the visitors.