Swindon 1 Swans 1

Saturday, 17 March 2001, 0:00
3 mins read
Swindon 1 Swansea City 1
County Ground
Nationwide League Division Two
Att: 6,724
Reds – 1
Jack Army – 1
O’Halloran 81mins pen
Roberts 75mins
For the Swindon View :Oatcake.co.uk

Today’s game was played in a bitterly cold wind after some overnight snow, which had cleared by mid-morning. O’Leary failed a fitness test and was replaced by Todd.

Missed last minute sitter!
Swans Lineup

Roger Freestone Jason Price Michael Howard Mathew Todd Mathew Bound Nick Cusack Stu RobertsDamian LaceyMatthias Verschave Steve WatkinDavid RomoSubsGiovani Savarese for Matthias Verschave (45) Lee Jenkins for David Romo (75) Alex Davis Jonathon Coates Walter Boyd

Swindon Lineup

Steve Mildenhall Mark Robinson Sol Davis Matthew Heywood Alan Reeves Steve Robinson Matt Hewlett Ian Woan Keith O’Halloran Michael Reddy Gary Alexander Subs Antoine van der Linden for Sol Davis (66) Danny Invincible for Mark Robinson (74) Bart Griemink Giuliano Grazioli Paul McAreavey

Boyd was again on the bench, with talk of him on a 900 pound appearance bonus and that he is on 2,000 per week which after 1 more game doubles to 4,000.

With ten minutes to go to kick off it seemed the away following was going to be low, but a last minute rush brought us up to the near capacity 750 allocation, any more would have seen the open seats behind the goal being used.

We started brightly and in the first minute their number 3 was rightly booked for clattering Romo on the touchline. First blood nearly to the Swans when a deep cross from the right found Howard coming in from the left, his header beating the keeper only to rebound off the post.

The first half was entertaining with the game flowing from end to end without any real clear cut chances, with Swindon passing neatly in midfield but not taking advantage near goal.

There was a real score not long before half-time, when after a period of pressure the ball dropped outside our penalty area mid goal, and a volley seemed to have goal written on it all the way until Wales’ No 1 flung himself to his left, just getting the slightest finger tip save, sending it into the woodwork. On the whole a satisfying display with chances equal 1-1 against the woodwork.

One other chance of note in the first half was when Verschave was through on goal but the ball would just not come down quick enough and was cleared. The second half was much the same with only half chances for both teams. Saverese had replaced the injured Verschave at half time but this did not affect the pattern of the team. With our current injury record there was a scare when Rog came out to clear and was floored by an attacker and Todd and lay motionless for a couple of minutes.

The threat of the ice-cold sponge was enough and he continued in goal and pulled off a couple of very good saves to keep the score goal less. The game seemed to be heading for a 0-0 draw, with the thought that 1 goal would decide the game, on 75 mins a couple of chances were blocked with the ball falling to Roberts centre goal on the edge of the box, he sent it low into the net.

The stand erupted was our season still to have meaning. As he turned to celebrate with the fans he started to take his shirt off with the referee giving a warning, he took no notice and continued with the ref shaking his head, the result off course was a booking. We can understand his joy but rightly or wrongly the ref was left with no decision to make. We can do without silly bookings. Jenkins replaced Romo.

With the fans in full voice and returning the chant of ‘Your going down with the Oxford’, the match turned again. On 81 Todd was running back towards goal inside the penalty area, put in a last gasp stretch of the leg, the ball ran away the Swindon player went down………penalty. It was at the far end but judging by the reaction of all the players it seemed debatable.

After what seemed an age Todd was booked and Swindon scored. Swindon upped the tempo but the only real chance came to the Swans.

In the dying minutes with the 3min extra already in progress, we attacked down the right a pass across field seemed to have taken their goalie and defence out of the game. The ball dropped to Lacey who with Savarese free to his right decided to go it alone, the shot was blocked with Gio screaming at him for not passing. Did our last hopes go in those seconds when we were all ready to scream Goal.

If this had again not been a must win game, we would have come away pleased with a draw, but came away as if we had lost. Two points, even excluding his miss at the end Lacey had a bad game and gave the ball away regularly. Watkin must learn to take chances, as today he waited for things to happen instead of gambling on where the ball might be played. As we mentioned in previous reports, we can accept relegation if we go down showing some passion.

Today we again showed it. We are still missing the backbone of the defence in Smith & Jones and also had Todd covering for stand in O’Leary. Who knows if this had happened in Oct/Nov we could have picked up enough points to be in with a shout.

Good support by the fans and a very heavy police presence, which was paraded when there was a threat of problems between a small group and a few Swindon fans across the segregated area. We are left praying for a miracle……….. they do happen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Images courtesy of Getty Images, Athena Picture Agency and Swansea City Football Club.

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