Four days after a convincing, dominant display against Walsall at the County Ground, Ben Garner’s side sadly suffered a bump in the road on Saturday as fellow playoff-chasing side Salford City and their 94 fans left Wiltshire with a gift-wrapped three points.
It had started so well after a fairly even first 45 Swindon incredibly scored from a corner as Harry McKirdy added his name to the scoresheet again this season.
I expected Town to go and build on our opener, but McKirdy seemed to pick up an injury scoring his goal, and his exit just after the visitors’ equaliser seemed a turning point.
With Jonny Williams, his replacement, Williams seemed convinced he needed to drop deep and collect the ball, which is the role he would normally play, but he should’ve been further forward, this minimised his effect on the game.
Then more calamity defending saw Salford take the lead from a corner, and Town never looked like salvaging a draw.
After picking up three clean sheets in a row, no one would’ve seen this performance at the back coming as with both goals, the goalscorer was left unmarked and gladly accepted his gift.
You could argue the Salford goalscorer for the first goal arrived late in the box and it was more good play from them if you’re being generous, but there was no excuse for the second as he was allowed time unchallenged to put his header past Jojo Wollacott.
We all know as football fans these annoying results reveal their ugly head sometimes, it’s part of the game, but it’s no reason to panic as we all know what this Town side has in their locker.
We certainly don’t need a change at the back for the next game, I’d keep faith with Brandon Cooper, Jake O’Brien, Rob Hunt, and Joe Tomlinson. It’s good to hear Dion Conroy is back and available as he will have a part to play, along with Akin Odimayo, but it’s important to keep some stability at the back moving forwards.
Trying to look at the positives from the 90 minutes, Josh Davison again showed his talent up top as he held the ball up well, allowing McKirdy and Barry to influence the game, he looks to have got stronger in the short time he’s been with the club, let’s hope his development continues as the season enters the business stage very soon.
Looking ahead to this coming Saturday, we must get back to winning ways straight away at Valley Parade as Town makes the long trip to face Mark Hughes’ Bradford City side.
After losing his opening game in charge on Saturday, the former Wales boss will be desperate to put his stamp on the club, but Town can’t allow Saturday’s game to be the beginning of a downward spiral and get back to winning ways at the first opportunity.