With the current season over 1/3 of the way through, the League Two table is starting to take shape, and Town finds themselves sitting pretty in sixth place after earning a point away at Bradford City.
We know it’s still early in the season, and things can certainly change in the blink of an eye, but after our uninspiring start, we now look like a side that can beat anyone on our day.
As games come thick and fast, the Head Coach made three changes to his starting eleven.
Ellis Iandolo replacing Luke Jephcott, resulting in Jacob Wakeling moving to a central role, Ciaran Brennan replacing Mathieu Baudry, and Ricky Aguiar in for Ronan Darcy.
All three replacements enjoyed a decent evening in Yorkshire, especially our Sheffield Wednesday loanee Brennan who hasn’t enjoyed a good start to life in Wiltshire.
When the 22-year-old arrived in the summer, he was being hailed by those at Hillsborough as someone with a big future in the game after playing nearly half a dozen games for them last season.
But after a poor debut away at Harrogate Town and suffering a concussion at home to Salford, he hasn’t shown what he’s about, and the potential he was supposed to bring with him to SN1.
Another nightmare away at Bristol Rovers followed, where he was back in the away team dressing room just after the half-hour mark, lots of people thought his time at Swindon was done, but after being given a chance last night, he and Tom Clayton put on a good display against a very good Bradford City front line.
Moving forwards, Baudry will likely come back into the side, and Angus MacDonald, but it’s hugely important that the loanee finally enjoyed a good game in the Town shirt, he’s someone we can call upon in future matches.
It wasn’t only the backline who impressed against the Bantams as Town dominated the second half, Ben Gladwin again impressing in midfield, with Saidou Khan also showing his credentials in the middle of the park.
Khan’s good form over the past four matches has seen last season’s Player of the Season Louis Reed making do with a place on the bench.
When asked about Reed’s absence again from the starting line-up, our Head Coach explained Khan couldn’t be dropped with him being an important part of the side, and I agree the former Chesterfield man is playing well, despite this, there is a way Reed could be added to our three-man midfield.
Ricky Aguiar is a great talent and has potential, but last night he shouldn’t be coming into the side ahead of Louis Reed. The Head Coach could have easily moved Khan into Darcy’s position, with him able to play further up the pitch, and played Reed in the holding role.
I accept Reed had a bad start to the campaign, he looked like a shadow of the player we enjoyed watching last season, after witnessing what he’s capable of, he shouldn’t be on the bench, the Head Coach needs to rotate his midfield, or we will lose the 25-year-old in January, which would be a big blow to our chances of promotion, and there certainly won’t be a lack of clubs interested.
Thankfully after all our hard work last night, Town didn’t leave empty-handed, as Bradford conceded a late penalty, substitute Luke Jephcott initially missing his spot kick, but was there to put away the rebound.
This point feels like a huge moment in our season, as Town showed they can not only play attractive football, but can back it up with good results, and this must continue, as this weekend we visit Field Mill, and another promotion-chasing side in Mansfield Town.
Coming off the back of a disappointing draw at home to struggling Newport County, Nigel Clough’s side will be desperate to get back on track, but if we perform at the same level as last night, our impressive run will continue, moving us closer to the top three in League Two.