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Roundup: Striker makes his debut as Djilobodji continues to impress & Ndong forms his own club

Monday’s odds and sods from around the Mackem world.

Danny Roberts @ Roker Report

LoanWatch: Nelson handed Harrogate debut

Sunderland U23 striker Andrew Nelson was handed his first start for Harrogate Town on Saturday following last week's loan move to the North Yorkshire side.

The 20-year-old got ninety minutes under his belt lining up alongside ce centre-forward Jordan Thewlis in a 4-4-2.

The Conference North table toppers were held to a 2-2 draw with Leamington Spa in an entertaining match.

Nelson will spend an initial month with Harrogate with a view to extending the deal and had a couple of chances to get himself on the score sheet in his first outing. Former Sunderland midfielder Liam Agnew joined Town in January and has been a regular in the middle of the park.

Elsewhere, defender Michael Ledger returned to the Hartlepool side for his first league outing in over a month after suffering an injury.

The Consett-born Sunderland player, who is on loan at Victoria Park this season, lined up at the heart of the ‘Pools defence alongside former Black Cats prospect Lois Laing.

Michael Ledger playing for Hartlepool

Hartlepool were held at home by Sutton United who bagged a late equaliser to snatch a goal a-piece draw. Ledger slotted back in at centre-half after featuring at right-back in the FA Cup tie against South Shields.

Goalkeeper Max Stryjek was on the bench as Accrington Stanley were beaten by Crewe in League Two.

Meanwhile in France, Papy Djilobodji’s Dijon moved level with the pack above them at the foot of Ligue 1 with a 2-1 win over bottom side Metz.

The much-maligned Sunderland-owned defender continues to earn good reviews for his performances in the French league and easily marshalled former Newcastle striker Emmanuel Riviere throughout Saturday’s game. Check out this cool-as-you-like tackle:

The Mustards are now on nine points, third-bottom of France’s top tier, with the same tally as Wahbi Khazri’s Rennes who are three places higher.

Khazri's Stade Rennais won against Lille in the absence of the Sunderland midfielder who was suspended following his red card the previous week.

Jeremain Lens will be in action this evening as Beskitas take on Istanbul Basaksehir in the Super Lig.

The Turkish champions are finding things hard going in the domestic competition this year despite impressing in the Champions League. Besiktas are currently in seventh place and are now a point behind Fenerbahce, - the club Lens was at last year - in the table.


Ndong FC

Sunderland record signing Didier Ndong has formed his own football club. The Gabonese midfielder has launched a new team in his home country.

The Sports Club Libreville will play in the third division of Gabon’s domestic football league. With a dozen first team players lined up, including some former pros, the side aims to progress into the country’s top tier and turn professional.

Ndong has a loyal following in Gabon and is active in the country’s social and political landscape.