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Club news

Loan watch: Butcher feeling good

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Matt Butcher made his third consecutive start for St Johnstone as they exited the Scottish Cup at the hands of Premiership leaders Celtic.

Midfielder Butcher played his part as the Saints frustrated Neil Lennon’s team for long periods in the quarter-final at McDiarmid Park.

Holders Celtic arrived in Perth bidding to record a 34th domestic cup victory while St Johnstone were looking to register a first win against the champions since 2016.

Ryan Christie finally broke their dogged resistance when he netted from a free-kick nine minutes from time to set up a semi-final date with Aberdeen.

Butcher made his fifth appearance for Saints and played the full 90 minutes for the second game in succession having helped them draw 2-2 with Rangers seven days previously.

The 22-year-old’s start in their 1-1 draw with Ross County last month was his first in a competitive first-team game since 14th April 2017.

Butcher, who headed to Scotland having recovered from a knee injury, told Saints TV: “I’m loving being out there again and am feeling good.

“I’ve felt good in the past two games and it was nice to get two 90 minutes. In the back of your head, you’re not guessing in the last ten minutes if you can get there. I’m confident in myself.”

CHAMPIONSHIP

Harry Arter (pictured) played his part as Fulham kept the heat on the top two by registering a 2-0 win over fellow promotion hopefuls Preston North End at Craven Cottage.

Arter made his 20th appearance in all competitions for the Cottagers and helped them control long periods of the game alongside central midfield partner Tom Cairney.

Fulham were helped on their way by David Nugent’s 58th-minute own goal before substitute Aboubakar Kamara added a second late on.

Arter, who was replaced by Kevin MacDonald in injury-time, will be hoping to help Fulham maintain their push for a return to the Premier League when they face Bristol City, Brentford and Leeds in their next three games.

Brad Smith looked on from the bench as Cardiff City battled back to claim a 2-2 draw with Brentford at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Smith, who was also an unused substitute during the midweek defeat by Nottingham Forest, saw the Bees forge ahead through Luka Racic and Bryan Mbeumo.

Close-range headers from Junior Hoilett and Joe Ralls earned a point for the Bluebirds with all the goals coming during an entertaining first half.

LEAGUE ONE

Nnamdi Ofoborh was an unused substitute as Wycombe Wanderers suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Doncaster Rovers at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Doncaster reignited their play-off hopes thanks to goals from Niall Ennis and Kieran Sadlier and a Jason McCarthy own goal while Adebayo Akinfenwa hit Wycombe’s consolation.

Midfielder Ofoborh has made 22 appearances for the Chairboys and scored in their midweek win over Hungerford Town in the quarter-finals of the Berks & Bucks Senior Cup. 

NATIONAL SOUTH

Jaidon Anthony made his debut for Weymouth in their convincing 5-1 victory over Maidstone United at the Bob Lucas Stadium.

Anthony was joined in the Terras starting line-up by Calum Ward and Shaun Hobson as Mark Molesley’s team climbed to third place.

Goals from Calvin Brooks and Ben Thomson saw the hosts forge into a 2-0 lead before Abdulai Baggie saw his penalty – one of three in the game – saved by Stones goalkeeper Chris Lewington.

Ryan Johnson’s own goal and Tom Whelan’s 54th-minute penalty made it 4-0, the same player then seeing his second spot-kick saved by Lewington.

Although Sam Corne pulled one back for the visitors, substitute Jack Hoey completed the scoring six minutes from time.

Dinesh Gillela replaced Jake Robinson 14 minutes from the end of Billericay Town’s 1-1 draw at Eastbourne Borough.

Charlie Walker drew first blood for the hosts after just 90 seconds at Priory Lane before Jack Paxman levelled early in the second half.

SOUTHERN PREMIER SOUTH

Cameron Plain (pictured) turned in an impressive display despite finishing on the losing team as Wimborne Town went down 2-1 against Chesham United at Cuthbury.

The teenage goalkeeper made a series of excellent saves and was unfortunate to be beaten by first-half goals from Eoin Casey and Zak Joseph.

Plain parried Bradley Clayton’s free-kick, only for Casey to net the rebound, before Joseph’s effort took a wicked deflection off Ashley Wells which wrong-footed the 18-year-old.

Curtis Young halved the arrears for the Magpies after 36 minutes but they were unable to find an equaliser against the high-flying Generals.

SERIE A

Asmir Begovic’s full Serie A debut was put on hold after AC Milan’s clash against Genoa, scheduled for yesterday, was postponed due to the coronavirus.

The San Siro showdown was one of five games which was initially going to be played behind closed doors but Serie A took the decision to call them off on Saturday.

Cameron Plain picture courtesy of Marc Harris.

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