It has been an eventful last few weeks for Preston North End goalkeeper Connor Ripley who has been getting some first-team action during an emergency loan spell with League Two Salford City.
Ripley has spent much of his time at Deepdale as a backup option after arriving from Middlesbrough in January 2019 on a three-year-and-a-half year deal.
The 28-year-old has managed to make just three Championship appearances for the Lilywhites during that time and has found himself behind both Daniel Iversen and Declan Rudd this term.
However, Ripley was signed on an initial emergency week-long loan deal by Salford City back in the middle of October following the League Two side suffering injury issues between the sticks to their existing options.
The keeper managed to keep a clean sheet on his debut for Gary Bowyer’s side as they secured a 2-0 win against Hartlepool United, although it was a quiet afternoon for him as he made just one save.
That was the sort of start that Ripley would have been needing having not played a game for the Lilywhites since an FA Cup tie with Wycombe Wanderers back in January.
The following game for Ripley came against Rochdale and he was able to record a second successive clean sheet and this time he made more of an impact on the game with him making four saves. That was enough to help Bowyer’s side secure another vital point in a goalless draw.
Ripley’s loan deal was extended to Salford in time for him to feature in their next League Two match against Forest Green Rovers, but despite making three important saves he conceded three times as Salford fell to a 3-1 defeat.
The 28-year-old endured a nightmare moment in his last league game for Salford with him scoring a freaky own goal as Exeter City secured a 2-1 win at Bowyer’s side.
It was not a good moment for the Preston loanee and somewhat undid the three saves that he had made prior to that during the contest.
The keeper would have headed into Salford’s FA Cup tie with Dagenham and Redbridge on Monday night aiming to make up for that error.
He did just that with an inspired performance as he made as many as nine saves, some of which were fine stops, to avoid Salford suffering a shock exit to their National League opponents.
That performance has showcased what Ripley can be like when he is at his best. It is maybe something that reminded Preston that he will have the quality to come back into the fold if ever required at Deepdale.