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Ben Woodburn nets rare brace as LFC loanee backed after costly mistake

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Ben Woodburn scored his first goals since 2019 with a stunning brace in Hearts’ 5-2 victory over Dundee United, but that was only one of two wins for Liverpool’s loanees.

Throughout a surprising pre-season with the Reds, it looked like Woodburn could even carve out a niche as a utility man for Jurgen Klopp this term.

But with it deemed more beneficial that the 22-year-old head out on another loan for the final year of his contract, it seems that his time on Merseyside is drawing to a close.

He is, then, effectively playing for his future at Hearts, and the versatile youngster has been given the game time to do so in Edinburgh so far.

An ill-disciplined showing in his seventh consecutive start against Dundee FC in October saw him reduced to a substitutes’ role in the following two games, but he was back in the XI for the clash with Dundee United.

Wearing the No. 9 shirt and operating on the wing, Woodburn marked his return to the side with a brilliant double, including an outstanding first-time strike.

The Welshman played 82 minutes in a strong victory for Hearts, who sit third in the Scottish Premiership having only lost once so far this season – two points off Celtic and six behind leaders Rangers.

Speaking after the game, manager Robbie Neilson predicted that “we’ll see more of [Ben] now,” with goals and assists a vital currency for a player of his ilk.

The only other Liverpool loanee to contribute to victory over the weekend was goalkeeper Jakub Ojrzynski, who kept a clean sheet in Caernarfon Town’s 1-0 win over Cardiff Met.

Ojrzynski had trained with the Reds’ first team the day prior, but was back between the sticks for the Welsh side and impressed again in earning a fifth victory of the Welsh Premier League campaign.

HERNING, DENMARK - Wednesday, December 9, 2020: Liverpool's goalkeeper Jaros Vitezslav during the pre-match warm-up before the UEFA Champions League Group D match between FC Midtjylland and Liverpool FC at the Herning Arena. (Pic by Lars Møller/Propaganda)

There was considerably less luck for Ojrzynski’s counterpart Vitezslav Jaros, though, with the Czech guilty of a costly error as St Patrick’s Athletic slipped to a 3-0 loss to Sligo Rovers.

With Sligo’s Johnny Kenny firing a header at goal, Jaros was only able to palm it weakly back into his path to allow the striker to convert for 2-0.

“Absolutely no issue and that’s part and parcel of his learning,” St Pat’s manager Alan Mathews told The42.

“He’s 20 years of age and he plays like a fella who has been playing for 20 years with the composure and just his overall game.

“No issue, he’s made more saves than what we’d call tonight maybe, I don’t know, a mistake, a lapse.”

Sepp van den Berg, Preston

Elsewhere, Leighton Clarkson was an unused substitute for Blackburn’s 3-1 win over Sheffield United, which Ben Davies missed through injury, while Rhys Williams was left out of the Swansea squad entirely for their 4-0 loss to Bournemouth.

Paul Glatzel remained on the bench throughout Tranmere’s 1-0 win over Crawley in the FA Cup first round, with Jake Cain starting in the competition but unable to keep Newport County from a 1-0 defeat to Morecambe.

Sepp van den Berg played 90 minutes in Preston’s 3-0 loss to Nottingham Forest, while Sheyi Ojo and Luis Longstaff were given a handful of minutes each in draws for Millwall and Queen’s Park.

Anderson Arroyo, a mainstay at centre-back for Spanish second-tier side Mirandes, played the full 90 minutes for the 12th game in a row, but suffered a 3-1 defeat to Real Valladolid.

Liverpool Loan Watch Roundup

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, March 4, 2021: Liverpool's goalkeeper Jakub Ojrzynski during the pre-match warm-up before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield. Chelsea won 1-0 condemning Liverpool to their fifth consecutive home defeat for the first time in the club’s history. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

  • Ben Woodburn (Hearts) – 82 mins vs. Dundee United, two goals
  • Sepp van den Berg (Preston) – 90 mins vs. Nottingham Forest
  • Jakub Ojrzynski (Caernarfon Town) – 90 mins vs. Cardiff Met, clean sheet
  • Anderson Arroyo (Mirandes) – 90 mins vs. Real Valladolid
  • Vitezslav Jaros (St Patrick’s Athletic) – 90 mins vs. Sligo Rovers
  • Jake Cain (Newport County) – 77 mins vs. Morecambe
  • Luis Longstaff (Queen’s Park) – 8 mins vs. East Fife
  • Sheyi Ojo (Millwall) – 3 mins vs. Derby

Unused: Clarkson, Williams, Glatzel
Injured: Davies, Lewis

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