Loan watch: Everton academy sensation nets second hat-trick in thrilling promotion battle
By Matt Farr
Everton loanee Conor McAleny scored his second hat-trick of the season during Oxford’s emphatic 5-1 win over Bury on Tuesday night.
The 24-year-old played the full 90 minutes as Oxford kept their League One promotion hopes alive with a comfortable victory at the Kassam Stadium.
McAleny, who has made three senior appearances for Everton, joined the third tier side in January on loan until the end of the season.
He has been in electric form during his loan spell, netting nine goals from 14 appearances, including an earlier hat-trick against Chesterfield in February.
The centre forward has spent much of his Everton career to date on loan in England’s lower leagues, but his current spell at Oxford has been his most fruitful.
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His latest efforts come on the back of an encouraging spell with Wigan during the second half of last season, where he scored four goals from 13 appearances.
Marvin Johnson and Joe Rothwell had fired the home side into an early lead, before McAleny opened his own account shortly before half-time.
McAleny added his second almost immediately after the restart, smashing into the far corner with a pinpoint strike from 18 yards.
James Vaughan scored a consolation goal for the visitors with half an hour left on the clock, before McAleny added even further to their misery by completing his hat trick haul.
The goalscorer’s efforts in front of goal has kept Oxford in contention for a play-off place, as they victory sends them within four points of sixth place.
However, his contract with Everton is due to expire at the end of the season, and it remains to be seen what the future holds for him at the club.
In other Everton news, a senior man at Goodison Park has reportedly quit the club under mysterious circumstances.