Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Match Review- Swindon Supermarine vs Swindon Town

Town's pre-season continued today with a game against local minnows Swindon Supermarine. Having started pre-season with a tour to Italy, this was my first opportunity to judge the new look squad for myself and to cure my withdrawal symptoms.

Town continued their good pre-season form going with a convincing 4-0 victory with two goals in each half. Jonathan Smith opened the scoring with a long range effort whilst De Vita doubled the lead with a tap in. Trialist Etienne Esajas scored our third whilst Callum Kennedy completed the rout with a piledriver.

The scoreline somewhat flatters Supermarine after their keeper made a string of fine saves. I am beginning to love Paolo Di Canio more and more, he is an incredibly vocal manager; not like those we watched last season with their arms folded waiting for a magic wand moment.

Paul Caddis was made captain in the absence of Oliver Risser, although I see what Di Canio meant when he said there is more than one leader out there. Alberto Comazzi played the full 90 game and was vocal throughout; this was particularly true when the ref wouldn't stop play for the injury of Allesandro Cibocchi.

As a result of the injury to Cibocchi, it was somewhat impossible to judge his ability. On the other hand, the performance of Callum Kennedy was good which was nicely topped off by his goal. On the other side of defence Caddis made some nice runs forward before being substituted for Amankwaah. By the time Kevin Amankwaah joined play, Town were cruising so was hard to comment on his fitness.

Matt Ritchie was played on the right but the most noticeable change was his physique. It looks as if snubbing the deckchair for the dumbbell has paid off with Ritchie looking incredibly strong and hard to push off the ball. His passion was clearly to see with some colourful language as a result of a debatable decision.

Trialist Etienne Ejasas appeared to be a tricky winger who likes to cut in. His performance was slightly Jekyll and Hyde; a good goal alongside some awful passes. The likely hood is we will sign him although the jury is still out. Ibrahim Atiku's performance was uneventful although he looks as if he has some pace.

New signing Jonathan Smith had a very good performance which was was capped with a long distance goal. Smith is a committed player and clearly enjoyed a sliding challenge. Simon Ferry is another one of the old boys who has benefited from the intensive training; he has clearly trimmed down and had less scotch pies. It showed in his performance with him first to most balls and looking more like the player we saw whilst he was on loan during the play-off season.

New signing Alan Connell looked a yard off the pace but showed some nice touches and control. Raffaele De Vita impressed me with his lovely control and clever link up play with others around him. De Vita deserved his goal and I hope to see more of the same. Kerrouche, much like Connell also looked off the pace although I expect both to score next week against Cirencester.

Aside from the scoreline, what impressed me most was the team spirit that was so badly lacking last season. After each goal, all the outfield players rushed to congratulate the goalscorer without a hesitance. It was a far cry from last season and what a relief it was to see.

It is hard to make judgements on how the season will fare for Swindon based on games like these. The game against Reading will give as a real indication as to if Town are good enough to make a straight return to League One.

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