Jody Morris’ first game in charge of Swindon Town sadly ended in defeat at Rodney Parade on Saturday, as the plans for his debut as a Head Coach went up in smoke inside the first 15 minutes.
After making an impressive start, Rushian Hepburn-Murphy lashed out after coming together with the Newport full-back, costing himself and his team dearly.
He’s enjoyed a good start to his time at SN1, looking lively in appearances from the bench and his first start for the club against Grimsby Town, his first league goal won’t be too far behind, but he may find it hard to regain his spot after his rash actions in South Wales.
After making it to the break-all square, the wheels came off in the second half with the home side pressing their man advantage, also helped by some poor defending from the away side for both goals.
Substitute Tomi Adeloye scored his first goal for the club in added-on time, but it turned out to be a consolation goal as the 10 men from Wiltshire dropped out of the playoff places.
After enduring a torrid time so far at the County Ground, it will do the 26-year-old striker good to get off the mark, I don’t see him as someone who can challenge for a starting place over Hepburn-Murphy, Charlie Austin, Luke Jephcott or Jacob Wakeling, but he could prove useful from the bench in the second half of the season.
New loan signing Dylan Kadji was thrown straight into the first team in midfield and enjoyed an impressive debut, as he was willing to put himself about and bring the ball forward when given the chance.
Going by his first 68 minutes for the club, he can turn into a regular in Morris’ side.
Sadly, it wasn’t an impressive afternoon from the Town backline, apart from Frazer Blake-Tracey who put in a solid performance, and was determined to make things happen, venturing forward with the ball on numerical occasions.
We need another centre-back as the decision to release Angus MacDonald from his two-year contract after just six months an puzzling choice.
The former Rotherham defender certainly didn’t pull up any trees during his time at SN1, and never hit the heights expected when joining from the Championship, but he was a decent option at the heart of the defence.
I’m sure those in power were happy to get his wage out of the club to free up some space, but when a deal for Tottenham defender Malachi Fagan-Walcott to replace MacDonald falls through, people end up with egg on their faces.
Hopefully, Tom Clayton will be back up to full match fitness soon and builds a partnership with Blake-Tracey, with Brennen coming in if the new Head Coach decides to go three at the back, or he fancies the former Burton Albion man in his natural position at full-back.
It promises to be a superb occasion this coming weekend as Jody Morris takes charge in his first home game, with Doncaster Rovers as the visitors.
After falling out of the playoff spots on goal difference over the weekend, Town needs to find themselves back inside the top seven, as we know it can be easy to drift away if you let bad results become a habit.
But I’m sure after a week with the new Head Coach, Town will be back to winning ways this weekend and pilling the pressure on those above them in League Two.