LINES FROM LONDON: SWINDON V SUNDERLAND



It seems like ages since we played, doesn't it? I don't like international breaks especially when they result in a serious injury to one of our players. The Carlisle game was an entertaining sideshow but the Charlton match left us all feeling disappointed as we really should have won it. Will we try playing with two upfront? Should Kimpioka be given a go? Will Diamond get a start? I hope all three of these will happen as the strike force against Charlton was clearly not worthy of that name. Swindon have lost three of their five games so far so if we can keep on creating chances as we have been doing and get a few of them converted, I think we'll win today. I just saw that SAFC began on 17th October 1879 and that's an anniversary worth celebrating. It's also a year today since Phil Parkinson took over. I don't see anyone celebrating that but maybe moods will improve by 5 o'clock this afternoon. I'll be watching the match on SAFSEE and my match prediction is a 2-0 win for us.

When I got the team-news, I was disappointed not to see Kimpioka anywhere and for Diamond to just be on the bench. Hume was out with a knee injury and Flanagan was suspended so McLaughlin was back in. We started brightly and won the first corner of the game in the second minute. It was cleared but we were soon back to win another. Swindon's defence were labouring to get the ball away and we were harrying them well. Swindon started to pass it around well and by the tenth minute the game was much more even.

A good lob into the box by Leadbitter was almost met by Wyke but why didn't he try jumping for it? Willis was injured, which was something we could definitely do without, but after some treatment he managed to continue. On the quarter hour Donohue was yellow-carded for a foul on Maguire, who'd already shown he was a dangerman. From the resultant free-kick Leadbitter tried a long distance effort and he nearly caught Kovar in goal on the hop and it went for another corner. Next thing Willis was forced to retire and he was replaced by Diamond. I was glad to see Jack on but not in those circumstances. Leadbitter had another long-distance shot diverted for a corner and he was certainly having a go. As the half-hour mark passed a bubble-member uttered, “Not this shit again!” as we took ages to pass the ball backwards instead of moving it in the opposite direction. It had all got decidedly stodgy. So stodgy that I decided to show my fellow-bubblees a photo of a new addition to my family and as I did so we scored. A cross from the left was met in the box by Wyke and in acres of space he side-footed it into the net from close range. We continued to create chances while Swindon produced very little threat and deep into stoppage-time a Maguire free-kick from the left of their box hit the side-netting. The half ended 1-0 and we were well on top but we needed another goal quickly to put the game to bed.

As we kicked off again Swindon had made a couple of changes but I couldn't see us making any for a good while. We started out looking decidely wobbly and Swindon enjoyed a period of domination. Thankfully it didn't last long and eleven minutes in Maguire was clearly fouled in their box so he got up, dusted himself down and smashed the resutlant penalty into the net to put us 2-0 up. Time passed quickly and Swindon hadn't offered much up front after their mini purple patch and the next real action was a good strike from Scowen a.k.a. The Rat in the sixty-eighth minute that Kovar did well to stop. Time really zipped away and the result seemed to be in no doubt so with ten minutes to go I wondered if we'd bring a sub or two on just for a bit of experience. Swindon won what I suspected was their first corner with five minutes to go and Johnny Smith looked like a handy player with his speedy runs. We finally made a change with just over a minute to go when O'Brien replaced Maguire and there were three minutes of stoppage-time during which Burge made a good stop before it ended 2-0.

Another three points, another clean sheet. Not a great performance but a comfortable win.


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