Three Liverpool loanees laid on assists for their clubs over the weekend, with Jake Cain proving influential in only his second league start for Newport County.
Cain joined Newport on a season-long loan on deadline day, with it clear the 20-year-old would benefit more from senior football elsewhere than more time in the academy.
It has been a slow start for the midfielder, however, as previous manager Michael Flynn limited him to just three starts, two of which came against under-23s sides in the EFL Trophy.
But a month after his first start in League Two – after which came just five minutes off the bench, with three games seeing him left out of the matchday squad entirely – Cain was brought back into the fold on Saturday.
That came in a trip to Joey Barton’s Bristol Rovers, on the managerial debut of Flynn’s replacement James Rowberry, and saw the youngster make his first goal contribution for his loan club.
It was a smart move from Cain, who overlapped into space in the penalty area before drilling Robbie Willmott’s pass across the six-yard box for striker Courtney Baker-Richardson to slide home.
Cain was lively throughout the 3-1 victory, operating as one of three central midfielders as he completed the full 90 minutes.
Speaking to the club’s official website, Rowberry explained the importance of boosting Newport’s intensity, namechecking Cain as crucial to that process.
“We’ve started to work on that a little more and you can see today with the youth and energy,” he said.
“We’ve got a good mix – it’s not just about the youth it’s about the senior lads as well with their experience.
“But I look at the young lads, Jake, Finn and Ollie, I have to say, I’m very proud with what they’ve done, they were amazing today.”
Cain wasn’t the only Liverpool loanee to record an assist over the weekend, with Ben Woodburn also laying on his first for Hearts in their 1-1 draw with Dundee.
The No. 9 had already gone close on a number of occasions before finding himself crowded out in the penalty area, forcing him to turn around and lay it off for John Souttar to curl a brilliant effort in.
Woodburn did not return for the second half, however, with Robbie Neilson withdrawing him at the break after escaping a red card before the opener.
Sheyi Ojo was the third Reds player to tee up a team-mate, firing in a lovely left-footed cross for Tom Bradshaw to convert on the way to a 2-1 comeback victory for Millwall at home to Stoke.
Elsewhere in the Championship, Ben Davies played 90 minutes as Sheffield United sealed a 3-2 win over relegation candidates Barnsley, while Sepp van den Berg also lasted the full game as Preston lost 2-0 to rivals Blackpool.
Anderson Arroyo clocked another 90 in Mirandes’ 4-1 defeat to Almeria, while Vitezslav Jaros and Jakub Ojrzynski had contrasting fortunes for St Patrick’s Athletic and Caernarfon Town.
Jaros celebrated progress to the final of the FAI Cup as St Pat’s beat Dundalk 3-1, but Ojrzynski suffered defeat as his side lost 1-0 to Newtown.
Liverpool Loan Watch Roundup
- Jake Cain (Newport County) – 90 mins vs. Bristol Rovers, assist
- Sheyi Ojo (Millwall) – 69 mins vs. Stoke, assist
- Ben Woodburn (Hearts) – 45 mins vs. Dundee, assist
- Ben Davies (Sheffield United) – 90 mins vs. Barnsley
- Sepp van den Berg (Preston) – 90 mins vs. Blackpool
- Anderson Arroyo (Mirandes) – 90 mins vs. Almeria
- Vitezslav Jaros (St Patrick’s Athletic) – 90 mins vs. Dundalk
- Jakub Ojrzynski (Caernarfon Town) – 90 mins vs. Newtown
Unused: Clarkson, Williams, Glatzel, Longstaff