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Blues loan watch

Posted: Tue 29 Apr 2014
Author: Peter Lewis

Amari'i Bell in action during his loan spell at Kidderminster Harriers

Image by: Adrian Hoskins/KHFC

A round-up of the latest news of Blues players plying their trade around the lower leagues and abroad

Wade Elliott clocked up his 18th appearance for Bristol City at the weekend as the Robins maintained their strong end to the League One season.

Steve Cotterill's side only managed a goalless draw with struggling Crewe Alexandra but a top-ten finish is still within their grasp, which would represent a remarkable turnaround in fortunes. The Ashton Gate club were sitting second-from-bottom of the table when Elliott joined them three months ago.

Staying in the third tier, Notts County must conclude their campaign without Hayden Mullins after he was recalled to St. Andrew's. The former Crystal Palace man had played a pivotal role in hauling the Magpies out of the drop-zone, but they still need a point from Saturday's trip to Oldham Athletic to be sure of safety.

Notts chief executive Jim Rodwell was full of praise for Mullins: “Since arriving at the club, Hayden has shown what a model professional he is both on and off the pitch and there is no doubt that his experience and attitude have played a major part in the club’s improved form of late."

Darren Ambrose completes the trio of senior professionals that have spent recent months out on loan, although he travelled somewhat further afield than his two club colleagues, to play for Greek side Apollon Smyrni. Whilst the ex-Crystal Palace midfielder did well personally, with six goals in 11 outings, it wasn't enough to save his team from relegation after they finished in the penultimate berth in the Superleague. Ambrose's temporary deal with the Athens-based club runs until the end of June, when his current Blues contract also expires.

Back on these shores and into the Skrill Premier, Amari'i Bell helped Kidderminster Harriers to a 1-1 draw at play-off contenders FC Halifax in their final game of the season. The Harriers lost just once in the 13 outings since Bell arrived in early March. The 19-year-old operating in an more advanced position than he's accustomed to but his midfield role allowed him to get forward and chip in with two goals from 10 games for the Worcestershire club. You can read an interview with Bell talking about his time at Aggborough in tonight's final programme of the season for the visit of Wigan Athletic.

Also in the top tier of non-league football, young goalkeeper Nick Townsend has been an ever-present for Lincoln City since signing for the Imps in mid-February, clocking up a total of 14 appearances. Gary Simpson's side lost just twice during that run to finish in 14th spot.

Charlee Adams notched up the same number of games for the Sincil Bank outfit having joined them a fortnight before Townsend. He was a regular in Simpson's side until a wrist injury forced him to miss the last two games of the season. Fellow Blues midfielder Koby Arthur came off the bench in those last two fixtures to take his total tally of Lincoln appearances to six - four as a substitute. Lincoln's season finished in rather bizarre fashion after a meaningless pitch invasion held up play for several minutes. It ended up proving rather costly as visiting Barnet snatched an equaliser in the sixth minute of added-on time to earn a 3-3 draw.

Moving a rung down the football ladder, Ryan Higgins almost signed off in style from his loan stint at Skrill North side Leamington. The right-back embarked on a mazy second-half run that finished with a shot which crashed back off the base of the post. The Brakes didn't need the extra goal though as they secured a 2-1 home win over Colwyn Bay to complete a nine-match unbeaten end to the season. 

Finally, winger Viv Solomon-Otabor didn't feature in Oxford City's 16-man matchday squad as they ended their Skrill North season with 1-1 home draw against Bradford Park Avenue. Mike Ford's side finished third from bottom but were saved from the drop by Vauxhall Motors’ resignation from the league.