The Loan Report; Higgy back with a bang
Stoke`s loan stars enjoyed a good weekend (10th March 2012) as all the players that were involved in a fixture didn`t suffer a defeat.
Danny Higginbotham, who shook off a hamstring injury, returned to the Nottingham Forest starting line-up with a bang, as he scored a scintillating volley to help Forest to beat Millwall 3-1 at the City Ground. 'Higgy`s` goal was his first in just under a year since his free kick strike for Stoke over Newcastle United in the 4-0 victory at the Britannia Stadium.
The victory for Nottingham Forest, who are managed by former Stoke manager Steve Cotterill, leaves them sitting 20th in the Npower Championship, 5 points off the relegation.
Elsewhere in the Championship, Danny Collins made his West Ham debut as an 80th minute substitute but couldn`t help the Hammers to victory as they lost ground on leaders Southampton as they drew 1-1 at Upton Park against Doncaster Rovers.
Youngster Ryan Brunt played the full 90 minutes as he helped Tranmere Rovers record their first win 13 games as they beat Leyton Orient 2-0 at Prenton Park. The win moves the Wirral outfit 4 points clear of the Npower League 1 relegation zone.
Fellow League 1 relegation battlers Walsall stretched their unbeaten run to 6 games as Florent Cuvelier played the full 90 minutes to help Saddlers draw 0-0 at the Bescot. Walsall are now 3 points clear of the relegation zone.
'Flo` narrowly missed out on the League 1 Player of the Month award for February as MK Dons Dean Bowditch took the accolade.
On-loan defender Andrew Davies helped Bradford City ease any relegation concerns as they move seven points clear of the relegation zone in Npower League 2. The Banthams beat former Stoke captain`s Oxford united 2-1 at the Coral Windows Stadium.
Finally in League 2, Matty Lund was somewhat of a bad omen for his borrowed side. Bristol Rovers lead 2-0 against Torquay at Plainmoor, before Lund was introduced after 70 minutes, but a matter of seconds after he entered the field Torquay pulled a goal back through Lee Mansell before he added a second in injury time leaving the score 2-2.
Stoke have two other players out on loan, Michael Tonge, at Barnsley and Tom Soares on loan at Hibernian. Neither played this weekend, as Tonge was left out of the Tykes squad that lost at St. Mary`s to the Championship leaders, Southampton 2-0 whilst Tom Soares didn`t play in Hib`s Scottish Cup Quarter Final victory against Ayr as he was injured.