Loan Watch: Friend avoided relegation and Jones’s foot nearly stopped Leeds

Our two remaining out on-loan players in League One has played their last league games for the season today in two dramatic encounters.

George Friend had an important role in Exeter when the team fought to avoid relegation. During eighty minutes of the game they were under the relegation line after Roberts gave Huddersfield the lead in the second minute.

But Friend and Exeter didn’t give up, of course. After twenty minutes Friend had a good effort from 25 yards out but it went wide. In the 22nd minute Matt Taylor – the captain of the team who was crowned Player Of The Year in Exeter by the fans votes – equalised for his team on a header after a corner.

But that was not enough to save Exeter. They were still in the relegation zone and needed a win, as Tranmere were in the lead against Stockport. Secombe and Cosic went close in the first half, but no cigar.

In the second half Harley had a good effort in the beginning, but it went over the crossbar. After 50 minutes Friend had a good chance of taking his team to the lead, but his shot was blocked in the goal scramble.

Just after the hour Harley drilled a ball across the penalty area and Friend together with Logan were there to take care of it, but the linesman flagged it off for offside.

And then – in the 82nd minute – Exeter got a free-kick and Corr headed the ball on to Harley who shot from just inside the penalty area and it was enough to sail into the net and earn Exeter the win and another year in League One.

The celebration at the Park afterwards is described as the best in years. How nice for George Friend to have contributed to that and to be a part of that celebration. I believe he has grown much this season as he has been out on loan to four clubs and experienced a lot. Hopefully he is ready to compete for a spot in Wolves next season.

Interesting enough Exeter became a more winning team when George Friend joined them in March and he looks to be very much liked by the fans. Exeter is the club that wolves signed George from and in the post match poll of Man Of The Match Friend got 21% of the votes when I write this – only surpassed by one percentage by the decisive goalscorer Harley. Well done, George!

Bristol Rovers had not much to play for being placed just below the play-off line with no chance to advance. But the interesting thing about their penultimate game for the season was their opposition. They met Leeds United, who had a chance to take the second automatic spot directly to the Championship.

And Daniel Jones was very much involved in the drama. Just after half an hour played Max Gradel was sent off after stamping on Daniel Jonesfoot and it seemed as he used his elbow as well. Jones were given a yellow card for the same incident, perhaps because he went down rather dramatically. It took a long time before Gradel was persuaded by his comrades to get off the pitch.

The match started again and Jones was booed every time he touched the ball now. But that didn’t stop him, nor the Rovers. Shortly after the sending off of Gradel Jones sent in a cross towards goal. Koffour sent it back to Duffy who scored with one touch. The goal meant that Charlton took the second spot in the tables, as they were leading their game and Swindon and Millwall were one all.

With only ten men and one goal down and a Rovers team playing well, Leeds were in dire straits. But ten minutes after Rovers goal – just before the hour – they responded with a goal from Howson, assisted by Beckford and when having the momentum Beckford scored a second just a couple of minutes later. Both teams had some chances after that, but Leeds could triumph in the end.

Leeds is back in the Championship again, but Daniel Jones foot could have stopped them. He has done very well at Bristol and as his contract with Wolves ends this summer so I guess that he will stay with the Rovers.

But maybe the club will make a mistake if they let him go. His crosses are very good and like Friend he has grown when out on loan. He came to play for Wolves when he was nine. isn’t it a waste to let him go now when he has grown and shown what he can do?



~ by paddytheflea on May 8, 2010.

3 Responses to “Loan Watch: Friend avoided relegation and Jones’s foot nearly stopped Leeds”

  1. jones should have been sent off for raising his fist in same incident as mad lunatic sack him now gradel was sent off. Hope he plays on 31st july-we won’t forget jones i could hate him anymore even if he was a scum player

  2. Jones had committed an ugly foul on Gradel momens before. Gradel stamped on his foot in retaliaion after verbals. Jones went down holding his face and when Becchio told him to get up Jones pushed becchio in the face and then dropped like a stone again holding his own face. Gradel deserved to be sent off but so did Jones. We can do without players like this. Ship him off to spain orItaly where this sort of thin is rife.

  3. The above comment is a much more accurate take on what happened with Jones at Elland Road yesterday. The player was an absolute disgrace and was rightly booed for his antics. Even though I’m a Leeds United fan was understandably angered by the events, it’s not something I like to see from any team and it happens way too much. His play-acting and thuggish ways were a disgrace to an otherwise good Bristol team who fought for everything despite having nothing to gain.

    Just to correct another error too, Jermaine Beckford assisted the first goal, not Becchio.

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