Loan Watch: McNeill nets first senior goal

Monday 20 March 2023 12:43

Manchester United striker Charlie McNeill got off the mark in senior football at the weekend, netting Newport County’s second goal in the League Two side’s 3-1 victory away to Tranmere Rovers.

It was McNeill’s first goal for the club since arriving on loan in January, and also the 19-year-old’s first-ever in senior football, helping his side on the way to a valuable three points.

“It was a relief for him because he had been going close as the weeks went on,” said Newport boss Graham Coughlan to the South Wales Argus after the match.

“Strikers get frustrated if they don’t score, they sometimes don’t see the bigger picture for the team and winning games.

“Charlie was showing a little bit of frustration creeping into his game, but I was delighted he got the goal, same for [Calum Kavanagh] as well. Hopefully, they can push on for the club.”

McNeill wasn’t the only one of our loanees who was on the scoresheet this weekend, with Amad netting for Sunderland once more.

The attacker, who was recently called up to the Ivory Coast’s international squad for the first time since 2021, made no mistake from the spot late on to rescue a point for the Black Cats against high-flying Luton Town.

Amad stepped up to take the penalty after being fouled, and arrowed his effort into the top corner to cancel out Alfie Doughty’s 51st-minute goal, taking his tally for the season to nine so far.

Alvaro Fernandez played 86 minutes for Preston North End, as the Lancashire side were defeated 4-0 away from home by Middlesbrough – managed by former Red Michael Carrick.

Preston manager Ryan Lowe recently praised the Spaniard for the way he has adapted to life in the Championship.

“He’s definitely coming on, he’s definitely getting better each game, each training session, he’s learning,” Lowe said to The Lancashire Post.

Alvaro Fernandez has impressed on loan at Preston North End this season.

“His English is self-taught, that’s what we need, he needs to listen so we can make sure he keeps performing.

“He’s keeping a top international out of the team at the moment in Robbie Brady and he’s got to keep his standards high. His performances have been excellent and long may that continue.”

Also in the Championship, Axel Tuanzebe kept a clean sheet for Stoke City, as the Potters held Norwich City to a goalless draw. Hannibal was a second-half substitute as Birmingham City triumphed 1-0 at Queens Park Rangers, thanks to an early goal from former Red Tahith Chong. Ethan Laird was out injured for the Londoners.

Charlie Savage played 59 minutes of Forest Green Rovers’ 2-0 away loss to Plymouth Argyle in League One, having recently been granted permission to remain with the club during the upcoming international break after he was called up to Wales’ Under-21s.

Rounding up our domestic loans are Ethan Galbraith, Will Fish, Maximilian Oyedele and Joe Hugill, who experienced differing fortunes for their respective clubs. Galbraith featured in Salford City’s 3-1 home win over Doncaster, while Oyedele and Hugill started Altrincham’s match at Eastleigh and narrowly lost 3-2. Fish also suffered defeat, with 10-men Hibernian being beaten 3-1 by Scottish Premier League Champions Celtic, despite taking the lead.

Di'Shon Bernard was an unused substitute in Portsmouth's 2-0 win on the road at Bristol Rovers.

On the continent, Eric Bailly came on in the latter stages of Marseille’s 2-1 away win at Reims, with Alex Telles playing 72 minutes as Sevilla were defeated 2-0 by Getafe. Matej Kovar kept another clean sheet, as Sparta Prague triumphed 2-0 away to Hradec Kralove.