Swindon Town’s remarkable start to the season suffered its first setback on Tuesday evening, as Michael Flynn’s side were taught a lesson by former Head Coach Luke Williams and his Notts County side.
Some dreadful defending from Town allowed the hosts free range to put away the first and third goals with ease, the second coming from the penalty spot after Tariq Uwakwe fouled Aaron Nemane.
The performances from left-wing back Tariq Uwakwe since his arrival in the summer on a free transfer from Crewe Alexandra have been below par this season, with Tuesday night being his lowest ebb as a Town player.
You can see there’s a talented player in there, as he’s put on some decent displays at home, but it’s obvious to see who the opposition targets when bringing the ball forward.
He’s still learning how the manager wants him to play and adjusting to life in Wiltshire, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Tyreece Shade or Brooklyn Genesini start this Saturday’s game away at Bradford City.
But the defensive failures weren’t all down to Uwakwe, as none of the back three shined throughout the night, with Saidou Khan and George McEachran also failing to stamp their authority on proceedings.
The biggest horror show was the third County goal, as Dan Crowley was in so much space, he could’ve done a few keepie uppies if he wanted before smashing the ball past Murphy.
With a sickness bug currently making its way through the squad, we know some players couldn’t have been fully fit with Benn Ward not available and Harrison Minturn still in the infancy of his career, the three centre-backs know they have no competition for their place in the side.
This has to change soon but it’s not for a lack of trying from the manager, who had Ryan Edwards lined up before he changed his mind at the last minute, but after that setback, we need someone signed on the dotted line soon.
Thankfully, Town came out of the traps well in the second half and immediately got back into the game thanks to substitute Tyreece Shade, whose header from a Remeao Hutton cross gave Town some hope despite having nineteen shots on the night and coming close to a couple of times, it was the home side celebrating at full-time.
Despite Town coming away from Nottingham with no points, the evening serves as a great lesson moving forward.
The fact we’ve scored the most goals in League Two shows we deserved to be in the top three in League Two last weekend, as our attacking play has been some of the best witnessed in many years.
So far this season I’ve loved the Kevin Keegan approach from the mid-nineties with his Newcastle side on display, that if you score three, we will score four, but we know in the fourth tier, we’ll be found wanting at times.
With Jake Young on the bench due to illness, and his replacement Rushian Hepburn-Murphy not enjoying his best outing, we didn’t look the same outfit up front on Tuesday night.
If you ask anyone who’s seen the mighty Town this season, they’ll tell you we’ve lived on the edge more than once and been fortunate not to concede on several occasions.
We’ve lived too dangerously at the back and after being put to the sword by the best side in the division and not having the goals to fall back on, that should serve as a real blessing in disguise and show we need to improve as a whole if we want to be serious promotion contenders this season.