- On September 12, 2018
Globe Arena, Saturday 08.09.18, 3pm, League 2.
Att: 1559 with 292 away fans.
Roche c Mills Conlan Yarney Old Fleming Wildig Mandeville Oates Leitch-Smith Oliver subs used Piggott for Oates 68, Ellison for Leitch-Smith 76, Oswell for Fleming 82.
Robins – McCormick Knoyle Nelson Woolfenden Taylor Alzate Doughty McCourt Anderson Richards Adebayo subs used Lancashire f0r Anderson 36, Iandolo for Alzate 80, McGlashan for Richards 71.
Ref – Paul Marsden, Used to ref in the Conference, sending off was a no brainer, however, seemed to want to even it up and gave every marginal decision to the Robins, I may be paranoid but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t out to get us!!
Weather – was tipping it down all morning but eased up and was sunny with a light breeze, pitch was superb and is holding up so far.
An open encounter again, with Swindon coming to keep the ball on the ground and play football. the only fly in the ointment was Mr Marsden allowing the colour clash, both teams predominantly black and red or red and black. One looked like a negative of the other. After the usual posturing in the first ten minutes, the Robins settled into a rhythm quicker than the home side without really troubling us. Oliver headed over after neat move on 14, a minute later AJay caught Woolfenden in possession and scampered clear, there was an oppoereynuity to shoot but she chose to square it to Oliver, played it slightly behind him and as he changed id stride pattern the chance had gone. as the half wore on, AJay snatched at a chance. then, typically of our season, the classy Richards was given time to turn and play in Adebayo who strode on, perhaps with a touch of offside, to slip under the advancing Baz to give the Robins the lead on 26. Immediately, Old had a header cleared away off the line at the other end. After a scrappy tussle in the midfield Knoyle piled in late on Wildig and saw red as he had gone in studs up, so quickly Woolfenden went to right back and Lancashire replaced the dangerous Anderson. Down to ten, the Shrimps smelt blood and immediately stepped up gear. Corners followed, with Yarney being penalised for pushing when he was well placed. Oates and Conlan created space, Mandeville played a one two with Conlan and looked odds on to equalise but McCormick reacted brilliantly to paw away for another corner as half time approached.
We trotted out, sensibly attired in the blue away shirts, but our play became stifled and nervy. The passing was poor and the crossing in the final third was sloppy allowing McCormick to claim crosses with ease. A couple of corners resulted in mysterious infringements allowing Swindon to slow the play down further. Midfield were guilty of talking too many touches and allowing the Robins to recover space quickly, not moving the ball fast enough. Subs were made and slowly a more direct approach was adopted. However our sloppiness was creeping into the back four and Old was robbed by McGlashan who thankfully shot straight at Baz, and Adebayo had header saved as the Robins caught us asleep. Wildig had two long range efforts find McCormick in goal awaiting them, frustratingly. As injury time appeared, Oswell rose highest bringing a great double save from McCormick, as he clawed away the rebound from the toes of the approaching forwards.
Swindon celebrated as if they had won the cup, and a frustrated and disappointed home crowd applauded the work rate if not the finishing of the home side.
Another frustrating day, another defeat, more chances created and missed and another keeper has a good day. However, Baz did make three great saves himself in the second half to keep it to one nil, so we didn’t cover ourselves in glory. One goal scored at home all season is a concern, however its not for the want of trying. The football in the first half was good, we looked like a rabbit in car headlights and the pressure got to us in the second half, they had nothing to lose so chased and hurried, we looked nervy and lacking in confidence, as we are. Nothing seems to be falling for us in the box and when it does, the shot stopping from the opposition has been first class.
For me, after seeing us as devoid of attacking ideas at the back end of last season, some of the stuff we have played this term is far superior, the issue, now we have settled on a 4-4-2, is that there is no improvement in results. Our once tight defence has gone porous, perhaps as we have Oates and Mandeville as wide men who are not yet clued up on tracking back. The up side is we are creating and missing a myriad of chances, which if we start taking, will make games far more interesting and competitive. The down side is this attacking intent is leaving us open particularly in wide areas, and as a result we are leaking goals.
Who’d be a manager? The personnel are too good to not score goals from what I have seen, They just need tweaking to be a tighter unit going forward and defending, oh and scoring would help. Oswell has done enough to be given an extended run for me, Piggott needs game time but looks a unit, as for Vadaine, while his intent and heart is good, has had his chance for me, and too many times this season he has missed clear opportunities, but then what do I know?