It was another successful night for loaned-out pair Andrew Nelson and Tom Beadling in Scotland yesterday, with both men playing important roles for their respective clubs ahead of a derby meeting between Falkirk and Dunfermline this weekend.
Nelson - who was allowed to leave the club in January in a bid to earn some experience playing first team football - got his second goal in as many games for the Bairns as he opened the scoring in the fifth minute of their clash away at Queen of the South.
After some poor defending from the Doonhamers gifted Nelson an early opportunity, he raced through on goal before placing his shot beyond the goalkeeper from 20-yards to give his side the lead.
The Durham-born forward has been a regular feature since arriving in Scotland three months ago and is doing himself plenty of favours ahead of next season, with it looking likely that Sunderland could be playing third tier football for only the second time in our history.
This will undoubtedly mean that Nelson will likely play some part in Sunderland’s first team plans going forward, particularly since he signed a new contract before being allow to depart the club at the start of the last transfer window.
Elsewhere in the Scottish Championship, Dunfermline beat 2nd-place Livingston 1-0, putting pressure on their rivals who sit just one spot above them in the table.
Lee Ashcroft got the goal on eleven minutes but was ably set up with a move started by Sunderland’s Thomas Beadling, who has been enjoying a new lease of life since being allowed to leave on loan in January.
The 22-year old almost made in two with just four minutes left on the clock, cannoning a header off the post after latching onto a deep free-kick.
86: Close!!!! Beadling header hits the post from Higgy's free kick— Dunfermline Athletic (@officialdafc) April 3, 2018
Operating as a central midfielder, Beadling has played almost every minute since arriving to join up with Allan Johnston’s side and has, as we reported last month, been attracting attention from a host of suitors in the SPL who are fully aware that the Cumbrian’s contract runs out upon the culmination of the current season.
The former U23s captain has became a real fan favourite with the Pars fans and his performance yesterday evening earned him rave reviews on social media after the game, with the resounding opinion seeming to be that he was ‘outstanding’.
With both men in incredibly decent form it’ll make for interesting viewing when the two meet for the first time on opposing sides this Saturday at the Falkirk Stadium (3pm KO).
Whilst Dunfermline are sat in third place and are looking to solidify their place in the play-off positions, Falkirk’s form recently has been fantastic and they’re unbeaten in their last seven league fixtures.
The added spice, of course, comes from the fact that this is a derby game.
Just 13 miles and the River Forth separate the two sides, and over recent years they’ve battled it out in countless promotion and relegation fights - which has only further strengthened the animosity between the two sets of fans.
Whilst Sunderland have a fairly important game away at Leeds United to take in this weekend it may be worth keeping one eye on proceedings over in Falkirk to see which of our two academy talents comes out on top in this important clash between two huge rivals.