Swindon Too Strong For Hatters
The County Ground
Tuesday 23rd February '10/7:45pm
An improved second-half performance from The Hatters was not good enough to get anything from the game against a strong Swindon side who look good for promotion this season.
Goals from Bolton loanee Daniel Ward, Billy Paynter, and second half strikes from Simon Ferry and Paynter again were enough to see off County, who had fought their way back into the match with a Greg Tansey free-kick.
Within five minutes, Town were ahead when a short corner was played to ex-Leeds man Jon Douglas, and his shot was deflected to the back post where Ward was left unmarked to lift his shot high beyond fon Williams into the net. Danny Swailes began the enquiries as to where the County defence was as Ward celebrated.
Straight away County could have been level, as Jabo Ibehre - constantly a thorn in Swindon's side over the years - swivelled past his man, but a rush of blood to the head followed and he absolutely spanked an effort miles over the bar.
County were holding their own against a good side who've got a lot of work to do to throw away a play-off place now, but it was 2-0 to The Robins just before half-time.
New winger Matt Ritchie came on for the injured Ward for his debut, and his cross to the back stick was met by Alan Sheehan, who walked through County's defence before giving Williams some work to do with a fine right-handed save. But, just as our luck's been this season, the rebound fell straight to that man Billy Paynter who simply rolled the ball into the net.
And just as I flicked the radio off and flicked Sky Sports News on the box, up popped Greg Tansey with a curling free-kick to bring us back into it on the stroke of half-time.
Swindon must have realised they were in for a game as the second-half kicked off, but as always with the top teams, they were able to step it up a gear and kill us off on the break.
We started positively with Jabo again causing problems, again turning his man and, again, blazing a shot miles wide.
The anxiety amongst the Town fans was building as County piled on some early second-half pressure, and hard work by George Donnelly forced 'keeper David Lucas into picking up a backpass and giving us an indirect free-kick.
Jemal Johnson, hero on Saturday, could only blast his shot into the on-rushing wall of Robins defenders.
And almost instantly, they went up to the other end and ended the game through Simon Ferry.
Former MK Dons man Jon-Paul McGovern ferried the ball to the back-post for Ferry to run onto and bullet a header past fon Williams. See what I did there?!...Yeah. Depression through football brings out the worst in me as well.
Before County could even attempt to rebuild, the brilliant Paynter had curled a delicious effort into the top far corner past Williams who could only wave it into the net.
Game over, but to be fair we had them rattled for a while, and battling hard for the majority with a top side is no disgrace.
I think most of us are resigned to relegation now, but hey...possibly Tranmere, Oldham, Rochdale, Bury, Accrington, Macc, Bradford etc all in League 2 with us, whose to say we can't go there and enjoy our football again?
I think County coming out next season with fixtures against the likes of those sides is a lot better than no fixtures at all, which is still a possibility as we all know.
Animo Et Fide.
t sounds like Jabo terrorised their defence for a while to be fair.