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Loan watch: Watts returns for Stevenage

Written by Dan King

Kell Watts went straight back into the Stevenage starting XI on Saturday after recovering from a knee injury.

The 20-year-old, who signed a new three-year contract with the Magpies earlier this season, was hurt while playing for the Boro in an FA Cup tie against Peterborough in November, returning to Newcastle for some of his rehabilitation period.

He trained with United last week before heading back to the Lamex Stadium, and went straight back into the side for a 0-0 draw with Colchester. Stevenage recently appointed Graham Westley for his fourth spell as manager; he is the third manager that Watts has played for during his loan spell, following Dino Maamria and Mark Sampson.

Stevenage are 23rd in League Two after their draw, which was achieved despite having Tom Soares sent off after 19 minutes. Watts came off after 57 minutes. He is due to stay with Stevenage for the rest of the season.

Elsewhere, Jacob Murphy helped Sheffield Wednesday progress to the fourth round of the FA Cup. He started in Saturday's 1-0 win over Premier League Brighton & Hove Albion, playing for the opening 71 minutes at the Amex Stadium.

Daniel Barlaser played the full game for Rotherham as they lost 3-2 to Hull City in the same competition. League One Rotherham led 2-1 at half time, but the Championship side eventually came out on top.

Freddie Woodman was rested as Swansea took on Queens Park Rangers in the cup - and therefore played no part in a 5-1 defeat for the Swans.

In League Two, Liam Gibson played for 80 minutes as Grimsby Town beat Mansfield Town in Ian Holloway's first game in charge of the Mariners. The Newcastle man was booked and set up the only goal of the game, with a dangerous low cross which was turned into his own net by Mal Benning. 

Saturday's game was the final match of the left-back's six-month loan spell and it now remains to be seen whether Gibson, who has made 24 appearances in all competitions, remains at Blundell Park for the second half of the campaign.

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