This week’s loan round-up will be a considerably quicker read than usual, as inclement weather and FA Cup eliminations meant that many of the young Chelsea loanees were left without action this weekend.
Sidelined because of snow were Adam Phillip and Michael Woods as both Yeovil’s trip to Hartlepool and Notts County’s home tie with Bournemouth were called off, with the latter being a very late cancellation.
Woods had joined Paul Ince’s team late in the week at the close of the current Football League loan window, and had been named as a substitute ahead of what would might been his professional debut. That will have to wait, but he looks set to have the chance to impress at Meadow Lane in a spell which provisionally runs until early January.
Conor Clifford also had the weekend off as Plymouth’s cup campaign came to a First Round exit earlier in the month, whilst Ryan Bertrand and Nottingham Forest play on Monday evening. You can keep up to date with how he does on Twitter @chelseayouth.
Clifford did play ninety minutes in midweek in the second month of his spell at Home Park, and impressed in a rare 2-1 home win over Dagenham & Redbridge. Phillip saw more time from the bench away to Bournemouth but Terry Skiverton’s boys lost 2-0 to stay second bottom in League One.
Jack Cork, however, was in weekend action and used a live match in front of the television cameras to write his name into Sunday morning headlines. In stoppage time of Burnley’s home match against Derby, the England Under-21 international made a darting near-post run to meet Wade Elliot’s cross before delivering a glorious glancing header into the far corner.
It was his second goal of the season and moved Brian Laws’ side within a point of the playoff places. You can watch his goal at the end of this video.
It was also a good weekend for Michael Mancienne’s Wolves, who picked up a first win in nine games with a dramatic comeback to defeat Sunderland 3-2 at Molineux. Mancienne was withdrawn ten minutes from time as Mick McCarthy went more attacking, with the approach paying immediate dividends.
His performance has polarised some sections of the Wolves fan base, with some claims that he was excellent. You can check it out for yourself on The Wolf Forums.
Rhys Taylor and Crewe headed to Morecambe in the only League Two action on Saturday, with Dario Gradi confirming the Welshman as his certain number one choice for the remainder of the season, and was repaid with a 2-1 win.
The clean sheet was ruined a minute from time when Chris Shuker pulled one back, but for the second consecutive week Taylor saved a spot kick, denying Phil Jevons with his legs in the closing stages. Despite being crucial to another three points, it still rankles with Crewe fans that he is playing ahead of a club-owned player, which seems a rather odd point of view, but each to their own.
Ben Gordon and Kilmarnock continue to improve on last year’s dismal showing and picked up another solid three points on Saturday as a goal in each half beat Aberdeen 2-0 at Rugby Park. One of their most consistent performers, Ben has grown more comfortable in his attacking game of late and is having an impact at both ends of the pitch.
With Tomaš Kalas and Sigma Olomouc now on their winter break in the Czech Republic, we finish with a trip to Holland to check up on Vitesse Arnhem. After a minor falling out with manager Albert Ferrer last week, Nemanja Matic responded with a positive week in training and was duly restored to the starting eleven for the trip to De Graafschap.
Vitesse were only able to pick up a point, with Matic (who was booked) completing the match alongside captain Slobodan Rajkovic, but extend their unbeaten run to five matches. Matej Delac, as per usual, served as backup to Eloy Room.
Check out our fantastic NEW Chelsea T-Shirts site at TheChels.biz – the best Chelsea t-shirts on-line!