Ben Sheaf and Tolaji Bola put in starring performances for their loan sides in the midweek fixtures, after a difficult weekend.

Tolaji Bola with Rochdale AFC (Photo via
Tolaji Bola with Rochdale AFC (Photo via

Neither Sheaf nor Bola had a great weekend, as Coventry and Rochdale lost 2-0 and 3-0 respectively. Sheaf, in particular, attracted some criticism from Coventry supporters for his performance on the day.

It was a completely different story after the draw with Swansea City on Tuesday. Sheaf was arguably the Man of the Match, with a fan poll voting him as such. This time around, social media was full of praise for the Arsenal loanee.

Bola also got some praise from fans in a 1-0 win for Rochdale over Burton Albion. He made five tackles without being dribbled past once and won 12 of his 14 ground duels. Going forward, he completed both of his dribbles and created one chance.

Meanwhile, Harry Clarke and James Olayinka made their debuts for their respective clubs – Oldham Athletic and Southend United.

Clarke came on for the final nine minutes as Oldham drew with Carlisle. He won both of his duels and even created a chance with a cross.

Olayinka played the full 90 minutes against Salford City, but it was a poor team performance around him. Southend lost 3-0, though the Arsenal loanee was one of the more positive performers on the night, with one fan saying he “shows promise”. So it wasn’t all bad.

In other loan news, Matt Smith played 90 minutes in a narrow defeat to Northampton Town despite creating three chances. Daniel Ballard won Man of the Match for Blackpool (read more here). Dejan Iliev made three saves but conceded once in a 1-0 defeat.