The weekend saw two Liverpool loanees keep up their promotion hopes, with the “lung-bursting” efforts of one key as he crafted his side’s winner.
As the end of the season draws close, clubs across the English Football League fight for automatic promotion or a crucial spot in the playoffs.
In the Championship, Burnley have already confirmed their return to the top flight, but in League One the fight at the top is fiercely contested by four clubs.
Bolton find themselves outside of that group, but firmly in the running for a place in the playoffs, having taken another big step with a 1-0 victory over Oxford United on Saturday.
Conor Bradley has been central to his side’s promotion bid, and it was his cutback that led to Dion Charles’ goal.
Whether it will count as an official assist is unclear, but there is no denying Bradley made it happen, with the Bolton News‘ Marc Iles handing Bradley an 8.5-out-of-10 rating.
“Pipped by [ex-Liverpool defender George] Johnston for Man of the Match but no less courageous,” Iles wrote.
“Seven shots blocked, every blade of grass on the right flank covered. Lung-bursting effort.”
Elsewhere, Tyler Morton and Blackburn are in a similar position, and Rovers moved into the Championship playoff places despite dropping points in a 0-0 draw with Hull.
Morton played the full 90 minutes and recycled possession well in midfield, though LancsLive‘s Elliott Jackson explained that “his performance mirrored the team as he went backwards in the second half.”
There is no promotion on offer for Leighton Clarkson, but the midfielder helped maintain hopes of a third-placed finish in the Scottish Premiership as Aberdeen beat Ross County 1-0.
Aberdeen went down to 10 men late on, but held on for a victory that was supplied by Clarkson, whose through ball was despatched expertly by Duk.
On Sunday, though, there was misery for Kilmarnock against Celtic, with Luke Chambers playing 83 minutes in a 4-1 defeat that, in truth, could have been much worse.
Jack Bearne came off the bench for the closing stages of Kidderminster Harriers’ 3-0 win over Telford United, while Anderson Arroyo featured late into Alaves’ 0-0 draw with Sporting Gijon.
Three players went unused over the weekend, including Marcelo Pitaluga at Macclesfield, with the Brazilian instead starting for Liverpool under-21s in their 1-1 draw at Everton.
Sepp van den Berg was not in the Schalke squad, though he nears a return from injury, while Jarell Quansah served the final game of his three-match suspension with Bristol Rovers.
Liverpool Loan Watch Roundup
- Tyler Morton (Blackburn) – 90 mins vs. Hull
- Leighton Clarkson (Aberdeen) – 90 mins vs. Ross County – assist
- Conor Bradley (Bolton) – 90 mins vs. Oxford United
- Luke Chambers (Kilmarnock) – 83 mins vs. Celtic
- Jack Bearne (Kidderminster Harriers) – 8 mins vs. Telford United
- Anderson Arroyo (Alaves) – 9 mins vs. Sporting Gijon
Unused: Marcelo Pitaluga, Vitezslav Jaros, Fidel O’Rourke
Injured: Sepp van den Berg, Paul Glatzel
Suspended: Jarell Quansah