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The Loan Report: March 14

A look at how the young Grecians are getting on away from St James Park

14 March 2018

Exiled Grecian's report covers matches that took place on Tuesday, March 6 and the weekend of Saturday, March 10.

Alex Hartridge - Truro City - Vanarama League South
Saturday, March 10 | St Albans 0-1 Truro City

After three successive postponed matches, Truro were back in action in a must-win game against a St Albans side sitting in the bottom half of the play offs. The White Tigers, who had just lost three on the bounce and had dropped out of a play off spot themselves, went into the game looking to close the gap on their hosts to just one point. Alex Hartridge was on the bench.

Truro took the lead in a cagey 45 minutes from the penalty spot. Former Grecian Connor Riley-Lowe coolly converting the only real chance of the first half on 26 minutes.

It proved to be a game of two halves however, with the second half providing plenty of goalmouth action. Despite a poor opening period, St Albans were on the front foot for pretty much the entire second half, with another former Grecian, David Noble, setting up attack after attack for the hosts.

During the barrage of chances, Hartridge was brought on for the final 12 minutes to help the White Tigers' defence deal with the pressure.

The visitors eventually held on to a big away win, which puts them within a point of the play offs with two games in hand.

Watch highlights here.

Stats:

  • League: 19 appearances, 16 starts, 1,532 minutes, 1 goal.
  • FA Cup: 3 appearances, 3 starts, 270 minutes*.
  • FA Trophy: 2 appearances, 2 starts, 180 minutes.

Last game:
10/3/2018, St Albans 0-1 Truro, played the last 12 minutes.

*Assumption made that he played the full 90 minutes vs AFC Sudbury in 3rd Qualifying Round.

James Hamon - Gloucester City - Vanarama League South
Saturday, March 10 | Eastbourne Borough 0-1 Gloucester City

Gloucester secured their first back-to-back clean sheets of the season on their trip to Eastbourne at the weekend, a result that moved them 12 points clear of the relegation zone and closed the gap to the play offs to seven points.

Gloucester took the lead with the first chance of the game on 13 minutes, Joe Parker blocking a defender's long ball upfield before slotting past the stranded keeper. Despite the hosts' pressure throughout the rest of the game, they failed to muster a meaningful effort on target, with Hamon comfortably dealing with any balls that did make it as far as him.

Gloucester should really have made sure of the win with two late chances on the break, but their profligacy went unpunished as they secured a sixth win in their last eight games.

Watch highlights here.

Stats:

  • League: 9 appearances, 9 starts, 810 minutes, 3 clean sheets, 11 conceded.
  • Gloucestershire FA Challenge Cup: 1 appearance, 1 start, 90 minutes, 1 clean sheet.

Last game:
10/3/2018, Eastbourne Borough 0-1 Gloucester, played the full 90 minutes, kept a clean sheet.

Archie Collins - Dorchester Town - Evo-Stick South Premier
Saturday, March 10, Dorchester Town 1-2 Merthyr Town

Following their postponed trip to Kidderminster, the Magpies fell to a disappointing home defeat at the hands of Merthyr Town, a result which leaves them without a win in four games and nervously looking over their shoulders at the relegation zone. Archie Collins started for the hosts.

Dorchester started the game brightly with Collins first playing through Bournemouth loanee Ashley Pope, whose effort went over, before planting a corner on Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist's head, but the striker could only manage a tame header towards goal which was easily dealt with.

The hosts were made to rue those missed opportunities, as shortly afterwards Ross Carmichael's under-hit backpass was pounced upon by the alert Ian Traylor, who calmly curled the ball beyond Chris Weale on 16 minutes.

The visitors broke through on goal again minutes later, but Carmichael made amends for his earlier mistake with a last ditch tackle. Weale was then twice called into action as the half wore on, acrobatically saving from Traylor before palming away a 'venomous' Owain Jones effort.

Merthyr did double their advantage shortly after the break. A poor ball forward from the Dorchester defence was instantly looped into the path of Traylor, who outmuscled Carmichael before slotting his second of the game under the onrushing Weale. Weale then had to save from both Jones and Traylor to keep the hosts in the game.

At the other end, Collins hit a long range effort off the underside of the crossbar, before playing his part in the equaliser. Collins' corner was headed onto the crossbar by Ryan Prosser, with the ball only being cleared as far as Luke Winsper, who rifled a 25-yard strike straight into the top corner to halve the deficit.

Dorchester continued to press for an equaliser that sadly never came, with the defeat leaving them in 20th place.

Stats*:
League: 12 appearances, 8 starts, 801 minutes, 2 goals.
Last game:
10/3/2018, Dorchester 1-2 Merthyr Town, played the full 90 minutes.

*These stats aren't recorded on any website, so the minutes played is an estimate based on time-stamps on social media or match reports. Does not include stoppage time.

Max Smallcombe, Ben Seymour & Josh Key - Bideford - Evo-Stick South West
Tuesday, March 6 | Bideford 3-2 Willand Rovers

    

Bideford were in Devon Bowl semi-final action last Tuesday, twice coming from behind to set up a final against either Cullompton Rangers or Plymouth Parkway. Josh Key started, whilst Seymour was ineligible.

The Robins were 'second best' for large periods in the first half, falling behind after 13 minutes when Luke Mortimer rushed through on goal and slotted beyond Steve Oliver from a tight angle. Despite a poor opening half, Bideford levelled the scores on 28 minutes when Kevin Squire volleyed home his 95th goal for the club from 25 yards. Willand restored their lead shortly before the break, as the hosts repeatedly failed to clear their lines and allowing Mortimer to double his tally for the night from a deflected effort.

The Robins rallied in the second half and could have been level within minutes of the restart, but Squire's header was disallowed after he was adjudged to have fouled the keeper. They were level within a minute though, as Sean Downing's cut back was smashed home by Ian Sampson for his first goal of the campaign.

Josh Key went on to score what proved to be the winning goal with just over 20 minutes to go, picking up the ball 25 yards from the goal before unleashing a 'cracking low drive' into the bottom corner. The hosts then went on to have a number of chances to finish off the game which they failed to convert, but held on comfortably to book their place in the final.

Meanwhile, Max Smallcombe was involved in City's reserve game at Kidderminster, playing his first minutes since picking up an injury in September.

Saturday, March 10 | Bideford 2-1 AFC Totton
Bideford hosted fellow play off chasers AFC Totton on Saturday in a game both sides needed to win to keep their promotion aspirations alive. Josh Key started again, while Ben Seymour was unavailable due to illness and Smallcombe still wasn't fit enough for a place in the squad.

The Robins started to assert their dominance after an even first 20 minutes, but Downing and Olly Mehew saw their efforts thwarted, while Squire could only volley over this time around. But against the run of play, Totton looked set to extend their impressive unbeaten run away from home (having not lost since October) when Charlie Gunson gave them the lead shortly before the break.

It was a short-lived lead however, as Bideford levelled in the first minute of the second half through City loanee Josh Key. The Grecians youngster worked some space for himself on the left of the box before curling in a 'sublime' effort into the top corner.

The hosts rallied after the equaliser, producing a spell of dominance in which Mehew and James Mayne missed good chances and Stephen Reed rattled the crossbar from a long-range free kick. The Robins finally took the lead they deserved 10 minutes into the second period, when Downing was played through on goal, rounded the keeper and rolled the ball home.

Both sides went on to have further chances, with Key forcing a good save towards the end, but neither side could find a way through and Bideford held on to a big win which puts them back in with an excellent chance of reaching the play offs. They sit four points adrift, but have four games in hand.

Josh Key was named as the club’s Man of the Match for his performance against AFC Totton.

Stats*:
Max Smallcombe:

  • League: 5 appearances, 5 starts, 426 minutes.
  • FA Cup: 3 appearances, 3 starts, 243 minutes, 2 goals, 1 assist.

Last game:
20/9/2017, Bodmin 1-1 Bideford (FA Cup), was subbed off on 90 minutes, captained the side.

Ben Seymour:

  • League: 20 appearances, 19 starts, 1,573 minutes, 17 goals, 1 assist, 1 red card.
  • Challenge Cup: 1 appearance, 1 start, 90 minutes, 1 goal, 1 assist.
  • FA Trophy: 1 appearance, 1 start, 90 minutes, 1 goal.

Last game:
24/2/2018, Bideford 0-4 Kidlington, subbed off after 83 minutes.

Josh Key:

  • League: 4 appearances, 4 starts, 360 minutes, 2 goals.
  • Devon Bowl: 2 appearances, 2 starts, 180 minutes, 1 goal.

Last game:
10/3/2018, Bideford 2-1 AFC Totton, played the full 90 minutes, scored the equaliser.

*These stats aren't recorded on any website, so the minutes played is an estimate based on time-stamps on social media or match reports. Does not include stoppage time.

Sam Haynes and Mitch Thomas - Barnstaple Town - Evo-Stick South West
Saturday, March 10 | Slimsbridge P-P Barnstaple Town

Barnstaple suffered another postponement at the weekend. Slimbridge's waterlogged pitch means Barum haven't played a game since February 24.

Stats*:

Sam Haynes:
League: 5 appearances, 5 starts, 450 minutes.

Last game:
24/2/2018, Winchester City 1-1 Barnstaple, played the full 90 minutes.

Sam Thomas:
League: 1 appearance, 1 start, 90 minutes.

Last game:
24/2/2018, Winchester City 1-1 Barnstaple, played the full 90 minutes.

*These stats aren't recorded on any website, so the minutes played is an estimate based on time-stamps on social media or match reports. Does not include stoppage time.

Joel Randall - Taunton Town - Evo-Stick South West
Saturday, March 10 | Whinchester P-P Taunton Town

Taunton’s game against Winchester was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. Much like Barnstaple, the Peacocks also haven't played in over two weeks.

 Stats*:

League: 4 appearances, 1 start, 109 minutes.

Last game:
24/2/2018, North Leigh 1-1 Taunton, played the last 16 minutes.

*These stats aren't recorded on any website, so the minutes played is an estimate based on time-stamps on social media or match reports. Does not include stoppage time.


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