Town’s improving home form picked up more momentum as Ben Garner’s side took apart in-form Northampton Town with goals from Tyreece Simpson and an incredible four-goal haul from Harry McKirdy lifting Town into fifth in League Two
After the disappointment of last Wednesday Town was out the blocks fast and looked a far more dangerous side in front of goal and deservedly took the lead before the Cobblers scored against the run of play to set up an intriguing second half.
Not even the most positive Swindon fan would’ve predicted what was to come after finding themselves behind soon after the break McKirdy’s superb turn and shot into the bottom corner sparked a superb comeback, as just four minutes later our football maverick completed his hat-trick.
Before Simpson put the game to bed as he took the ball down and used his strength to get his shot away to put the game to bed before McKirdy scored his fourth and Town’s fifth after picking up the rebound from Louis Reed’s free-kick.
After enduring such a disappointing 2021 at the County Ground amazingly the club still managing to pull in over 8,000 fans per game, hopefully, this might temp back even more fans who have wandered away in recent years and convince them Swindon Town is a far better place than when they last visited.
One of the reasons for our turnaround and the entertaining football on display, was spearheaded by our number eleven Harry McKirdy.
The 24-year-old attacking midfielder turned striker enjoyed the perfect afternoon on Saturday as he continues to gain a reputation across League Two, but this time for his talent with the ball at his feet and not talking himself into trouble.
As he mentioned himself in his post-match interview, he’s been trying to improve his discipline on the pitch which will result in fewer suspensions, we need him available for the rest of the season as he’ll be essential if we wanted to achieve anything in this campaign.
As witnessed-on Saturday if his head is completely focused on his game, he can become a key player alongside the ever-improving Tyreece Simpson up top.
The on-loan Ipswich man again showed why fans are slightly nervous his parent club might be tempted to recall their striker after scoring six goals in his last ten games for Town, but hopefully new Ipswich boss Kieran McKenna will see his development is much bettered suited to staying in Wiltshire for the rest of the season.
Another player who impressed on Saturday was forgotten midfield man Jordan Lyden who enjoyed his first League Two start of the season and showed why he should be considered for a more permanent role in Garner’s first team.
The manager’s post-match comments on the Australian ball-winning midfielder were eye-opening as he felt the former Aston Villa man had been brought back from numerous injuries far too quickly in the past, resulting in him never staying injury-free for very long.
Now he’s enjoyed a long break from first-team football he’ll be ideally placed to become a regular again in Town’s midfield, as having the same in-form Jordan Lyden we saw a couple of years ago in Richie Wellens’ title-winning Town side would be a huge boost for the rest of the season.
Saturday’s emphatic win has set Town up perfectly for this Friday’s dream F.A Cup tie, as Swindon welcomes current Premier League Champions Manchester City to a sold-out County Ground.
Whatever the outcome on the pitch it’s already created a buzz with supporters and the club, with the thought of some of the best players in the world taking to the County Ground pitch.
We all know Pep Guardiola isn’t likely to field his strongest eleven with the Citizens having an abundance of players available, but I predict we’ll see the likes of Phil Foden and Jack Grealish after a lack of Premier League starts, also several squad players take to the pitch on Friday night.
Whoever the visitors decide to play, the occasion will be wonderful for the club, with national TV coverage and the chance to show everyone how the uncertainly we experience last year is a thing of the past, Swindon Town is on a stable path looking to climb the Football League once again.