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Loan Watch: Saturday, 7th March 2020

Here we take our regular look at how the Saddlers' fringe players are doing as they look to force their way into the club's first-team plans.
Saddlers manager Darrell Clarke has opted to loan out youngsters Tom Leak and Joe Willis along with experienced midfielder Gary Liddle and unproven striker Mitchel Candlin as they look to secure some much-needed first-team football.

Saddlers defender Tom Leak was named in the starting eleven as Salisbury played host to Merthyr Town in their latest BetVictor Southern League Premier Division South fixture of the season at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium.

The home side fell behind to an Owain Jones goal after fourteen minutes of play but, despite missing a penalty midway through the first-half, were able to regain their footing before going on to win the match by two-goals-to-one.

The Whites' first goal arrived around twelve minutes into the second-half as Merthyr goalscorer Owain Jones put past his own 'keeper. The Martyrs' pain wouldn't end there however, as goalkeeper Alex Harris was subsequently sent of for dissent.

Salisbury's turnaround was complete eleven minutes from full-time as Tom Leak marked his final game for the club with a match-winning goal, the hot prospect has made quite the mark at the Ray Mac and will no doubt be welcomed back with open arms.

Hartlepool United played host to Ebbsfleet United in their latest Vanarama National League outing of the season. The match would end in disappointing fashion for the Pools as they slipped to a relatively rare home defeat on Saturday afternoon.

Gary Liddle continued his spell of starts as the two sides contested a rather bad-mannered affair which was settled by Gozie Ugwu's goal twelve minutes before full-time. A result which helped the Fleet to close the gap to a few of their relegation rivals.

Mitchel Candlin had to make do with a place on the bench as Alvechurch faced his former side, Nuneaton Borough, in the BetVictor Southern League Premier Division Central on Saturday afternoon.

Mitch, who took to the pitch alongside former Saddler Connor Deards with sixty-six minutes on the clock, enjoyed a loan spell with Nuneaton earlier this season but was unable to help his new team earn all three points as goals from Jamie Hood (56') and Luke Benbow [P] (86') saw Boro return to winning ways.

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