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Luke Garbutt was the only Everton loan player involved in domestic action over the weekend as the international fixtures took over.
After agreeing to extend his stay at Colchester for a further month last week, the left-back completed another full game in League One against Walsall on Saturday afternoon.
The U’s were on course to record a clean sheet and, more importantly, three points - but they were denied what would have been their first win in 10 attempts by a late equaliser.
Freddie Sears’ early strike looked to have secured Colchester a priceless victory, however Andy Taylor salvaged a 1-1 draw for the mid-table Saddlers with a superb free-kick six minutes into stoppage time.
Despite the disappointment, it was another 90 minutes of competitive football under Garbutt’s belt. He produced an eye-catching performance too, with local paper the East Anglian Daily Times rating him as man of the match.
The 20-year-old has now featured five times for Colchester since joining in the middle of September and, speaking after the game, the England youth international acknowledged that his time in English football’s third tier is serving its purpose.
“It’s nice to know that Everton are monitoring my progress and keeping an eye out for me,” Garbutt said. “This [loan deal] is a development in my career, and hopefully one day I want to be playing in Everton’s first team. That’s my number one objective.
“But for now, whatever I can do to help Colchester United is in my best interests, as well as theirs.”
Elsewhere, Shane Duffy captained the Republic of Ireland Under-21s to a scoreless draw with Romania in a European Under-21s qualifier on Friday evening.
The Irish have made a mixed start to their qualification group after picking up four points from their first three matches – a set of results which sees them occupy third place in Group Six. Germany lead the way with nine points from nine.
Duffy signed a one-month loan deal with Championship outfit Yeovil Town in September and has so far played in three matches for the Glovers, against Bolton Wanderers, Leicester City and Middlesbrough.
Finally, it was a weekend off for Everton’s third loan player, Francisco Junior.
Like the majority of top divisions throughout Europe, domestic action in the Dutch Eredivise was put on hold because of the international fixtures, so there was no match for Vitesse Arnhem.
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