Well deserved narrow win

Well we went into todays local derby not really knowing what side we would see based on recent games it was difficult to say whether our home form or our away form is a true representation of where we are. Following 4 signings so far in this window all being defensive it is clear to see where DC sees our problems and I think most supporters would agree with him. It was therefore a bit of a disappointment when the team sheet came out and only the keeper and Sweeney were playing and yet again it seemed a team set up to counter act the opposition rather than let Swindon do the worrying.

As it turned out I need not have worried as Swindon did little and the only surprise at half time was that we were only one up thanks to a fantastic strike from Billy Bodin who really is on fire again after a poor start to the season. Missed chances , good goalkeeping and bad luck were all that stopped us coming off 3 or 4 up at half time. Some of the football played was a joy to watch as we passed the ball with confidence and when not in possession we harried the opposition to the extent that they looked a very poor side and their supporters thought so too as Swindon came off to choruses of “What a load of rubbish” from their travelling fans.

They did improve in the second half but how much that was due to them improving or unusually DC’s substitutions making us worse I don’t know but when the final whistle went it was a bit of a relief because you always know that at 1-0 although by far the better team overall there is always the chance of a late equaliser.

Lumley 7 I am not going to say that the goalkeeping position is sorted because I thought that when Roos came in with his early displays however based on todays confident performance
it certainly bodes well as he handled the ball well and distributed the ball well but overall didn’t have a great deal to do. So far he has done nothing wrong in his two displays.

Leadbitter 7 Was involved a lot today both attacking and defensively however his crossing did let him down and he did at times give his winger too much room but thankfully his tremendous pace meant that he had a good game overall.It is his brilliant recovery rate which makes him a real asset but his final ball is why he is an attacking full back rather than a wing back or winger as some would have him play.

Lockyer 7 Back to his best with a tall commanding centre half alongside him but the extent of his improvement will be more closely examined in the coming matches rather than up against Swindon forwards who really struggled. Can only rate him on the opposition they are playing against and this was one of Toms best performances this season.

Sweeney 8.5 Looked just what we need – a physically strong centre half who wins the majority, if not all of the aerial tussles and certainly is quicker than any of the previous central defenders this season. He will be a great asset in the coming weeks and certainly looked quality today. How good he is will be easier to say in a months time but the signs are that we have a veruy good defender on our hands and only a goalline clearance stopped him opening his goal scoring account with a great header in the first half and he looked a danger at every set piece. Silly booking.

Brown 5.5 Really feel that Lee is going through a tough time. Crossing was very poor and gave his winger too much room. Has no competition for his place and I can’t picture another defender coming in now so hope that Lee can regain his form of last season.

Sinclair 7.5 I was expecting him to be playing wide left but playing all over the place but he actually almost played in the hole and spent the entire ninety minutes chasing the Swindon back line and not giving them time to settle on the ball. For me his best performance for some time and great tactics by the Manager.

Lines 7.5 Unlucky with another free kick and drove forward at every opportunity. His quality shines through at times but now he seems to be in a competition with Ollie Clarke as they push each other when in possession,an aspect which Chris has always had but Ollie is at last showing in his repertoire.

O Clarke 8.5 MOM For me this man is a revelation and put in so many challenges and rarely wasted the ball as well as putting in a cracking shot that deserved a goal hands down but unfortunately crashed against the crossbar with the keeper beaten.

Bodin 7.5 Brilliant goal but aren’t all Billy’s goals masterpieces? Looked dangerous whenever he was on the ball and from his expression when he went off
he was not injured but perhaps it was good management to protect him for the next game.

Harrison 6.5 Better first half than second.Not everything he did came off but could not fault his efforts but looked to be tiring and it was probably the right decision to take him off. First half he showed some very good flicks and touches but like most players whenever they got the better of their opponents down they went.

Taylor 7 Showed some wonderfull control of the ball under pressure and twisted and turned to try to get shooting opportunities. Would prefer to see him more central and really hope that today was not his last performance because his goals will continue soon and I very much want it to be us. For those who suggest he may go to the darkside that may not be advisable if he wants to retain a c–k fort the cup!!

Substitutes

Moore 5 Did little right other than a lovely set up that should have seen Gaffney score and I can’t really see why he has nosed in front of Montano.
James 5 Couple of nice touches and runs but not sure he is really good enough to be playing. Maybe it is just a confidence thing with lack of opportunities.

Gaffney 6 Like James some good touches and chest control but also seems to have a lack of confidence and should really have scored a goal. Spends too much time out wide for my liking where he should be leading the attack.

Ref 7 For me one of the better referees we have had. Got most decisions right except for bookings where he let Swindon get away with far too many fouls. I must say that I prefer referees who don’t ruin the game by stopping and starting the game all the time but there is a limit to which they can do this and he probably exceeded the limits.

Swindon 4 The worst I have seen them this season and really should have been killed off. Lacked quality all over the pitch and experience as well. A mixture of good goalkeeping, poor finishing by us and good luck on their part saw them stay in the game until the end.

DC Did pretty well everything right but substitutions did not have their usual effect and made us worse. Sweeney looks like another great signing and we now look much better in terms of defensive strength other than no ready made replacement or competition for Lee Brown. Has said one or two more likely additions before the deadline and I look forward to see who they are and what positions.

Crowd8 Another cracking attendance ( nearly 10,600) and was very noisy at times.

So we move on to another tough away assignment to a ground where we never do well. I personally hope that we can get four more wins as soon as possible and with safety ensured then see just what we can do.

Competition for places will hot up again if DC manages to get the two players in but already I would say we have enough defensive cover to see us through the season and who knows what will happen if these new defenders solve those particular problems. Roll on next week. I really can’t wait to find out if DC has solved the away defending with the signings. UTG

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