Town’s ever-improving season kicked into a new gear on Saturday as they produced their best performance of the season, making it seven wins in their last ten games in League Two.
After earning a point at Valley Parade, Town recalled Luke Jephcott and Ronan Darcy into the starting eleven, replacing Ricky Aguiar and the injured Frazer Blake-Tracy, with Elis Iandolo moving to left-back, and Darcy fitting into a 4-4-2 system with a diamond midfield.
Town made the worst start possible and found themselves behind after 40 seconds, but Scott Lindsey’s side responded well and was level after seven minutes as Jonny Williams put away the rebound on Jephcott’s header being saved by Christy Pym in the Mansfield goal.
But all the credit needs to head towards Jacob Wakeling, whose superb run from midfield set up the chance which led to the goal.
It was great to see Wakeling playing back as a centre forward, as he’s not been anywhere near as effective playing on the left-hand side, having him in a partnership with Jephcott looks to be the way forward after such a dominant display.
Thirty minutes into the game and the hosts retook the lead after Town gave the ball away in the middle of the park, and the ball found its way to Swan who gladly accepted the gift he’d been presented.
Crucially, Town didn’t sit back and was level again just five minutes later, as Remeao Hutton’s one-two with Ben Gladwin saw the defender in with a chance on goal, his effort struck the post, but he picked up the loose ball, found Williams and he scored his second of the afternoon.
Over the past month, Jonny Williams’ form has again left me, and many fans baffled how we have such a talented midfielder playing in League Two.
Within the next two weeks, we’ll know whether Williams will be on his way to the World Cup with Wales, with the official squad announcement happening before the 14th of November.
We don’t know for certain, and there could be a twist in the tale, but Williams will likely be heading to Qatar. The first Swindon Town player to make a World Cup squad since Massimo Luongo in 2014.
It’ll be great to see a Town player playing on the biggest stage in our game, but it does leave us down an incredibly talented player.
But that will open the door for someone else in the side. If the same formation is used when Williams is away, I can see Darcy being pushed forward and playing behind the strikers, with Louis Reed finally making his way back into the starting eleven.
When the second half got underway at Field Mill nobody would’ve predicted what was to unfold, as Town steamrolled the opposition, just six minutes after the break more superb play from Wakeling lead to him finding his strike partner who slotted the ball past the keeper to give Town the lead.
Town’s task was made easier, as The Stags were reduced to 10 men when Boateng was shown a second yellow card for bringing down the brilliant Saidou Khan.
Swindon would put the game to bed, as just before the 70th minute, as Wakeling’s shot was saved by Pym, Darcy picked up the loose ball and smashed his effort into the top corner of the net, from the edge of the box, to give Town the three points.
The cherry was nicely placed on top of the result when Jephcott was fouled by Pym, handing Town a penalty, Gladwin would complete the scoring with a very nonchalant spot kick to send the 734 Town fans back to Wiltshire with a spring in their step.
It’s clear our last two results against Bradford and Mansfield have firmly announced Scott Lindsey’s side to the rest of League Two, with the Head Coach now fully settled into his new role, and a real sense of confidence again surrounding the club, I can finally see this team making it a season to remember for the Town Faithful.
We now take a break from League Two and focus on our F.A Cup campaign, as we visit Stockport County, a trip we’ve already made this season.
With Blake-Tracy putting Town ahead it looked like we were heading to three points before the home side level with five minutes left of the contest.
Dave Challinor’s side came into the season with high hopes after an impressive promotion campaign from the National League, but failed to live up to the hype, until now, and have been on an impressive run of results, winning their last three, scoring seven goals without reply.
Promotion from League Two is Swindon’s number one priority this season, but we all saw last season how a cup run can galvanise supporters, and see us test ourselves against the greats of the game, hopefully, this coming Saturday will see us take out the first step on another memorable cup run.