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Loan watch: Trio on target

Written by Rory Mitchinson

Aleksandar Mitrović and Adam Armstrong both bagged a brace while Ivan Toney also got his name on the scoresheet as several of Newcastle United’s loan players enjoyed a fine weekend.

Mitrović’s double – including a 90th-minute winner – saw off Preston North End at Deepdale and kept Fulham firmly in the race for automatic promotion from the Championship. The Serbian frontman has now found the net six times in four appearances against Preston, having proved a thorn in the side of the Lilywhites for Newcastle last season.

In League One, Armstrong scored two second-half goals as Blackburn Rovers cruised to victory against Blackpool at Ewood Park. The division’s player of the month lined up against another Magpies loanee, Sean Longstaff, who played all 90 minutes for the Seasiders.

Toney’s strike was the frontman’s third since his temporary switch back to Scunthorpe United in January. It came against the club with whom he spent the first half of the campaign, Wigan Athletic, as the two sides played out an entertaining 3-3 draw at the DW Stadium.

In Scotland, defender Stuart Findlay started and finished Kilmarnock’s 3-2 win over Ross County as Killie continued their fine run of form. Killie – unbeaten in the Scottish Premiership since January – look well-placed for a first top-six finish since the 2010/11 campaign.

Ahead of Sunday’s Old Firm meeting, Freddie Woodman’s Aberdeen missed the chance to close the gap on the top two after being held by Partick Thistle at Firhill. It was, at least, a first clean sheet in six outings for the young ‘keeper.

Elsewhere, Jack Colback got another full game under his belt as Nottingham Forest drew 0-0 with East Midlands rivals Derby County. Kyle Cameron and Rolando Aarons both got off the bench late on in victories for their respective clubs, while Matz Sels helped Anderlecht to a 2-1 win over Royal Antwerp in the Belgian First Division A.

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