One Magic Minute: Swindon Away

With ten minutes to go I was forming a half-decent blog post in my head about how unlucky we werimg_0206e and what went wrong during a slender defeat at Swindon, but then lightning struck twice and after waiting 83 minutes for a goal, our hosts gifted us 2 in 30 seconds to set up our first away win of the campaign. Happy Days! Out of the window went what I was planning to write as a flood of emotions overtook from overwhelming happiness to crippling nervousness at the five remaining minutes.

Whether you went or not last night your opinion simply has to be respected, everyone’s entitled to their own stance on events. Personally, I’m a mug and just want to support my team so begrudgingly coughed up the fee again. I will admit it was probably worth it considering what happened but fair play to everyone with the strength to stay away, you really did stick it to Lee Power on a night that could have been perfect, 9,000 under the lights would have been class. As good as it was when we did score, a part of me is still a little gutted that we didn’t have 2500 celebrating it on the bank behind the goal, although I heard somewhere that it was still drying out from that delightful August afternoon.

 

Darrell made four changes to the team ahead of the game, most notably with Gaffney replacing Harrison up top but within five minutes we found ourselves behind to the softest of soft goals. Had we lost to Jones’ early effort I would have been gutted because once Swindon scored we were the
better team. As frustrating as it is, it feels like we need to go behind to start playing at the moment and our defending leaves a lot to be desired. Noticeably both on Saturday and this evening is our preoccupation with defending the middle rather than getting out to wide men and preventing balls in. This was how Bradford scored on Saturday and bought about the corner from which Swindon took the lead.

 

We settled though and played some better football, link up out wide was good and our build up play was a lot faster than Saturday but we lacked cutting edge, often just a misplaced final ball, the crosses we were swinging in just weren’t dropping right but it was only going to be a matter of time. Lines hit the bar from a free kick and Gaffney forced a smart save but we couldn’t make our pressure tell and went in behind at half time. We carried on after the break in much the same way but were beginning to forge more clear-cut chances, Taylors effort was well saved by Vigouroux before the game really opened up as at one end Obika should have doubled the reds’ advantage but could only head the ball straight at Roos who started a quick break which saw Ollie Clarke agonizingly strike the inside of the post, the rebound falling to Gaffney who probably should have scored.

 

Clarke made a triple substitution with Colkett, Harrison and Easter replacing Sinclair, Bodin and Gaffney and we really began to up the tempo, Harrison was inches away from turning in a Leadbitter cross and Brown fired over from a corner. On 79 minutes Kelle Roos made another excellent save from Norris who should have put the game to bed. In the 83rd minute, Jermaine Easter was brought down in the box by Branco allowing Taylor to convert from 12 yards and sparking big celebrations in the Arkells stand before from the kick off Swindon gave the ball away leading to Easters’ cross being turned in by branco. Bedlam! The Swindon fans began streaming out of the County Ground and Rovers secured their first away win this season.

 

Upon reflection we were very good value for the win, although with ten minutes to go a draw would certainly have sufficed. We need to stop shipping goals as easily as we have been although at times we pressed Swindon well and forced them back to their central defenders and goalkeeper from attacking positions. I was glad to see Gaffney start and he played well, worked hard and won more than his fair share of headers but didn’t quite seem to be on the same wave length as the rest of the side at times. Roos, whilst still shaky at times made another excellent save late on which allowed us to kick on and win it and it was good to see Darrell being proactive and making the changes early to allow them to settle in and they did change the game in my opinion which is fantastic to see.I had a very bad feeling prior to the penalty but Matty buried it in true Taylor fashion and we were still celebrating the first when we stole the ball for the second!

Up next is Port Vale on Saturday who are in fifth place as it stands. They’re unbeaten at home but yet to win away and will doubtless be tricky customers during their visit to BS7. Lets do what we do best and get right behind the boys. As for Swindon, karma has been served! UTG

 

Gashead

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