Monday, August 15, 2011

Match Review- Cheltenham Town vs Swindon Town

Swindon fans who made the trip to Gloucestershire must have been wishing the game was postponed as was originally planned as Town went down 1-0. Whaddon Road has never been an happy hunting ground for Swindon and their woes continued with a mediocre performance.

Swindon made a bright start to the game; dominating the first 20 minutes as Oliver Risser looked to better his superb debut goal last week. The away fans, including myself, thought Raffaele De Vita scored as we jumped to celebrate. However, the Italian placed wide proving our celebrations were premature.

Alan McCormack replaced Jonathan Smith and showed just why Paolo Di Canio was so keen to bring him to the County Ground. McCormack got stuck into every tackle and an over-zealous challenge earned him a yellow. The combative midfielder also looked to make things happen forward and saw a long-distance shot hit the post.

Nathan Thompson also made his first start of the season; playing from right midfield in front of Paul Caddis. Thompson is a great prospect, but was bemused as to why he was played out of position. Although he made some good tackles, he looked uncomfortable out there and was  often find out of position.

Although it's still early days, Joe Devera looked poor once again in defence and his starting place must be in doubt with Alberto Comazzi ready to takeover. Devera has predominately spent his career at right-back and questions are arising as to if he is more natural at full-back.  However, Joe Devera's partner Aden Flint  did impress once again. Seen as back-up prior to the opening game but has really captailised on Alberto Comazzi's suspension.

Billy Bodin looked like he was to win his side another penalty after he was once again pushed down. It looked more clear-cut than the one that was given in our opening day victory over Crewe. On evident of the two games thus far, Bodin's flair is likely to see similar situations arise throughout this campaign.

Clear-cut chances were few and far between and the match was further evidence of our need for striker. Both Billy Bodin and Raffaele De Vita worked themselves to the ground; they are too similar with neither able to offer an aerial threat to an experienced defence. Alan Connell looked a more complete player and I fully expect him to start against Dagenham & Redbridge.

The game proved my fear that I made in last week's match review as to how Swindon would manage facing more physical sides. Crewe's style of play, passing the ball around and looking to play football is a fairly unique style in League Two and not too different from Town's philosophy.

It is still early days and it is obvious to see that the squad does possess quality throughout. Our main problem is that with so many arrivals, the team is still not gelled as others in the league are. Concern should only arise if we are still stuttering in a month or so. That said, I couldn't bear not to beat arch-rivals Oxford United this week; not that I am forgetting an important game away to Dagenham & Redbridge first.

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