Joe Willock and Ainsley Maitland-Niles battle it out in loan derby

Ainsley Maitland-Niles just about edged the Hale End derby against Joe Willock on Sunday, but neither will be too pleased with a draw for their loan clubs

With West Bromwich Albion at huge risk of relegation and Newcastle United being sucked into the battle by Fulham’s recent upturn in form, both teams would’ve been hoping for a positive result on Sunday.

They each selected their Arsenal loanee in midfield, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles playing for the hosts and Joe Willock starting for the away side.

Maitland-Niles had a particularly good day with his dribbling, completing five of his six attempted take-ons, whilst Willock was dribbled past five times, though not all of them were by his Hale End teammate.

Yet Willock was the only one of the two to have a shot on target, or to create a chance. Maitland-Niles had the superior pass accuracy, but at just 76%, it’s clear neither were particularly accurate.

In the end, neither could get their team the goal they needed, and both showed areas to work on. That’s what these loans are for after all. But they each did quite well on the day and will likely continue to earn themselves starts in the coming weeks.

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