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Matches of Yesteryear - Swindon v U's 13/11/10
Written by wessex_exile on Friday, 16th Aug 2019 12:41

[b]Swindon Town v Colchester United

Saturday 13th November 2010

League 1 (3rd tier)

Attendance 7,679[/b]

For match #4 we dip into the John Ward era, and at a time when the U’s were riding high in the league – before kick-off, we were 3rd behind Brighton and Huddersfield, with Peterborough, Charlton, Southampton and Bournemouth close behind. Quite remarkable really, when you stop and think about what pretty much all of them (apart from the U’s) went on to achieve – heyho. Swindon were managed at the time by Danny Wilson – someone I’ve never really warmed to if I’m honest.

This was the weekend before my then partner Emma’s 40th birthday, so she had headed over to Bristol for a boozy overnighter with her mates, whilst I took the train to the match with my youngest. Without the constraints of driving, this also included some pre-match beers in the Merlin – another excellent football pub, usually very welcoming to away fans, and with a good atmosphere as a result. Alfie enjoyed some sausage and chips, whilst I had a liquid lunch.

The U’s lined up:

1….Ben Williams

4….Magnus Okuonghae

6….Paul Reid

20..Brian Wilson

23..Marc Tierney

10..Kem Izzet (Anthony Wordsworth 61’)

14..Andy Bond

17..David Perkins (Ian Henderson 70’)

7….Ashley Vincent (Liam Henderson ’84)

15..Kayode Odejayi

19..David Mooney

As usual, we were housed at the far end of the Arkells Stand, next to the empty open terrace, but with the U’s riding high in the league, there was a decent turn out, with nearly 300 of the faithful in attendance, and in good voice too. They needed to be, because the U’s were very slow out of the blocks, Magnus in particular, who gave the ball away on the edge of the box with his first touch, requiring an excellent save from Ben Williams to prevent an immediate first goal for the Robins.

Nevertheless, the U’s looked ragged, and definitely lacking match fitness, and were under the cosh for most of the first half, with Swindon taking a deserved lead with a shot from Dosseni that Williams’ despairing dive couldn’t quite reach. However, very much against the run of play, on the stroke of half-time Mooney put an excellent cross into the box, and Vincent stealed in for a point blank headed conversion (though he nearly missed that!) – and all with the home crowd incensed that it wasn’t called offside. I couldn’t tell from my viewpoint, but heyho, the goal stood, that was what counted.

Always an excellent time to score, so the half-time refreshments tasted all the better for it, and it filled us all with hope that the U’s would push on and win the game, or at the very least hold on for the point. Sadly, Swindon hadn’t read the script, and continued to press the U’s in the second half, and barely 10 minutes later had restored their lead after an excellent through ball from Douglas converted by the goal machine that was Charlie Austin, though it could be argued that Williams might have actually kept it out.

…and that’s how it stayed through to full-time.

The U’s did certainly put more effort in in the final quarter to try and get something from the game, but it was very much one of those huffing and puffing performances, that never looked that likely to unlock a resolute Swindon defence. Magnus particularly just didn’t look fit, nor Tierney, and the midfield were outfought and outthought for most of the match. Special mention for Odejayi though, he at least battled throughout, his pace and strength clearly a constant worry to the Swindon defence.

[b]Swindon Town 2 (Dossevi 29’; Austin 54’) Colchester United 1 (Vincent 45’[/b]

To put this match into context, at the end of the season Swindon were relegated, finishing bottom of the league, with Danny Wilson leaving for Sheffield United. Pretty much all of those around as at the top in November were still there in May, with Brighton and Southampton promoted, and Peterborough via the play-offs – we finished 10th. This was John Ward’s first season as manager, following Aidy Boothroyd’s departure to Coventry City. Although Ward was much maligned, with the benefit of hindsight finishing 10th two seasons running in League 1 (we did it again in 2011/12) really wasn’t too shabby, given our gradual slip down the leagues to where we are now. Charlie Austin went on to play in the Premier League, for both QPR and Southampton, is currently playing for Championship WBA, and scored on his debut last Tuesday night.

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