STOKE CITY Academy scholar James Alabi made an instant impression at Scunthorpe United on Saturday… by coming off the bench to score in the Iron’s 2-1 loss at home to Hartlepool United.
The 18-year-old joined Brian Laws’ side on a one-month loan deal last week, and headed in within ten minutes of replacing Akpo Sodje in the second-half, although his goal wasn’t enough to prevent defeat at Glanford Park.
Earlier goals from James Poole and Jonathan Franks had given Hartlepool the advantage in the League One basement battle.
In the Championship, Matthew Upson again played 90 minutes for in-form Brighton & Hove Albion as they saw off Burnley 1-0 at the American Express Community Stadium.
David Lopez’s goal proved to be enough to earn the Seagulls their third win in four and consolidate their place in the play-off positions.
Barnsley weren’t as fortunate as their six-match undefeated league sequence came to a shuddering halt as they conceded five at fellow strugglers Bristol City, with Rory Delap playing the full match.
David Flitcroft’s side, who face an FA Cup quarter-final against Manchester City, scored three of their own but ultimately were left to rue their leaky back-line.
Jack Butland kept another cleansheet for Birmingham City as goals from Nikola Zigic and Chris Burke helped them to a 2-0 win at Peterborough United.
Mamady Sidibe made his debut for Tranmere Rovers after moving to Prenton Park on loan until the end of the season, and he proved a lucky charm as they romped to a 5-1 win at Colchester United.
The forward didn’t get on the scoresheet himself, but was influential in the 69 minutes he played before being replaced by Cole Stockton.
Finally, Matthew Lund came off the bench in the 77th minute as Southend United grabbed a vital win in their chase for promotion in League Two, triumphing 2-1 at Wycombe Wanderers thanks to Britt Assombalonga’s late goal.