Loan Watch: Bishop is Wembley bound

Thursday 19 May 2022 11:00

Manchester United goalkeeper Nathan Bishop helped loan club Mansfield Town secure their spot in the League Two play-off final.

In the first minute of Wednesday's match at Northampton Town, Bishop reacted quickly to produce a fingertip save and prevent Josh Eppiah from putting the hosts in front on the night.

Steve McLaughlin’s 32nd-minute goal extended Mansfield’s aggregate advantage to 3-1 and Northampton couldn’t respond before time was out.

Bishop and Nigel Clough’s Stags will now face the winner of Port Vale versus Swindon Town. The sides are in action on Thursday night.

Bishop has played every one of Mansfield's League Two matches this season.

Mansfield will be seeking a dream promotion in the Saturday 28 May final at Wembley. The Stags had been in non-league football for seven seasons before their EFL return in 2015. They have not been in League One since 2003.

What makes the achievement for Bishop and his side more remarkable is that a 14-game winless run at the start of the season left them deep in trouble, inside the relegation zone in October.

Parallels can be drawn to Nottingham Forest, where United midfielder James Garner is playing, who also endured torrid early season form and have now secured a play-off final spot, in the Championship.

Our 22-year-old keeper played every one of Mansfield’s 46 League Two fixtures this season, keeping 14 clean sheets on the way to the team finishing seventh in the division.

19-year-old Amad faced final heartbreak with Rangers as the Glasgow side were defeated by Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League. The Ivorian winger was an unused substitute as the Gers lost 5-4 in a penalty shoot-out following a 1-1 draw. 

Donny van de Beek's Everton take on Crystal Palace on Thursday evening (19:45 BST), with the Toffees hoping to secure their Premier League status with victory. The Dutchman is in contention for a return to Frank Lampard's squad after injury.