Here’s the round-up of this weekend’s prospect action, including another goal for Jonathan Obika, and a struggle in Germany for some of Chelsea’s young talents.
With it being Easter weekend, it meant that Friday saw rather more action than usual, but a number of academy teams had an easter weekend free. Some clubs, like Chelsea and Man Utd, chose to use the weekend as an opportunity to travel abroad and participate in overseas tournaments. Onto those later though. Thursday night saw Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Kyle Bartley on the wrong side of a 3-0 reserve loss to local rivals Tottenham. Jack Wilshere was missing injured. whilst Dean Parrett played an hour for Spurs.
Moving onto Friday, and Jake Thomson was once more missing for Southampton, but their task was a hard one and they duly fell to a 3-0 defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers which pushes them ever closer to relegation. With just four games remaining their fate appears to be sealed, and Thomson will be looking at League One football next season, where they’ll more than likely be playing Yeovil. That, in no small part, is down to the contribution made by Jonathan Obika. An impressive first month on loan saw him extend his deal until the end of the season, and player-manager Terry Skiverton will have been delighted as the England Under-19 international opened the scoring five minutes before half time to set the Glovers on their way to a 2-0 win which gives them more comfort from the drop.
It wasn’t such a Good Friday for Henri Lansbury though, as Scunthorpe fell to a 2-1 defeat to Huddersfield at Glanford Park. He played well but was booked for dissent in stoppage time and the defeat makes their chances of getting into the playoffs a little trickier, although they do have two games in hand.
So to Saturday, where we’ll begin with Federico Macheda’s second goal in as many games, but a piece has been dedicated to that, so we’ll move on swiftly. Barry Bannan played another hour in The Championship for Derby in a 1-0 win at Sheffield Wednesday, resting him after an exhausting fortnight in which he made his Scotland Under-21 debut. In League One, Sam Hewson was forced to watch on injured again as Hereford took another step towards relegation, losing 3-1 at home to probable champions Leicester. Fortunes were brighter for Jordan Spence, despite a yellow card, as he and Leyton Orient won 2-1 against Colchester to steer further away from the drop.
Sunday, and Nathan Delfouneso and Jack Rodwell sat on opposing benches as 5th placed Aston Villa played Everton one place below them. An enthralling 3-3 draw ensued, with Rodwell confined to the bench, but Delfouneso was introduced at 3-1 down with over half an hour to go and played a part in the recovery to earn a point. He had a wonderful chance to win it in stoppage time but forced a good save from Tim Howard.
As mentioned earlier, the extended weekend and absence of most academy action allowed a few clubs to get away and experience tournaments abroad. Chelsea took an Under-19 squad to Dusseldorf in Germany, but struggled, losing 1-0 to the local hosts, Villarreal and Leverkusen, and only drawing 1-1 with Stuttgart to leave Jacob Mellis, Patrick van Aanholt and Jeffrey Bruma out of Monday’s business end of the competition. Matthew James and Ben Amos are in a similarly aged squad in Italy for the Torneo Claudio Sassi, where as of Sunday night the Red Devils had reached Monday’s Final. The squad did not include Davide Petrucci or Daniel Welbeck, leaving them actionless this week along with Rodrigo Possebon and the Da Silva twins.
Finally, Tottenham headed to Bellinzona in Switzerland and Dean Parrett has been a part of a very young party who have hit the Semi-Final stage, where they will play Barcelona tonight.