2013 is nearly over and it has truly been an eventful and unforgettable year at Swindon Town. Brendan Hobbs jumped at the chance of writing our review of 2013, which has turned into an epic feature of writing; you’ve now made it to part three. Well done…
A new month and a new managerial appointment. The announcement of Kevin McDonald’s installation as manager was just barely audible against the background screams of angst from kneejerking supporters disappointed by the lack of vision shown by the board. No Mourinho, Zemen, Giggs or Carragher? A disgrace!
In fact this to me seemed the most visionary appointment of recent times, a coach who had an amazing track record of nurturing young talent was being drafted in with the aim to produce quality players to sell on and make us self-sufficient. But what the fans wanted was another rookie who’s could lurch us close to financial oblivion and provide no legacy whatsoever.
Anyway, McDonald or KMAC as he was now being dubbed got off to the perfect start with an away win at Coventry City, a Wes Foderingham inspired performance which saw us come from behind to nick all three points at the death. With Darren Ward, free from the shackles of management grabbing the winner.
A defeat away to promotion rivals Brentford followed a disappointing draw at home to Walsall, the only remarkable thing that came from these two encounters were back-to-back Simon Ferry goals. The forums were full of chatter concerning the fact that now the wee Scot was free from the tyranny of PDC obviously KMAC was getting the best out of him. He wasn’t to register another strike in a Swindon shirt.
A good win at fellow playoff hopefuls Yeovil Town raised spirits briefly, but two uninspiring back-to-back home draws against Notts County and Oldham well and truly steered our ship onto an unavoidable course for the iceberg.
In an effort to get the good ship Swindon back on track McDonald raided Tottenham’s reserve squad and borrowed Dean Parrett, Massimo Luongo and Nathan Byrne. All were drafted in on loan deadline day as a previously embargoed Town had been stymied right up to the final minutes in any efforts to bring in reinforcements.
April was a grim month, Town were outclassed by a strong Doncaster team hell bent on the Championship. A totally listless display, which left Town floundering around like a landed fish on the riverbank – we sort of knew we needed to be in the water but didn’t have the skills or the know how to achieve it. The one nil reverse was the first in a three game losing streak which couldn’t have happened at a worse possible time. Defeats away to Milton Keynes and Sheffield United pretty much condemned us to the playoffs and our automatic promotion chances were finally holed below the waterline, cue Celine Dion, cue Kate and Leo.
At least we finished the home league programme on a high, with thumping wins against Crewe and Stevenage, 4-1 and 3-0 respectively.
Our final league game, away at the soon-to-be relegated Scunthorpe, provided a perfect allegory for the entire season. Through hard work and effort we finally took the lead late on with a James Collins strike, but then immediately after that soaring high, we totally and without warning, capitulated – and conceded three in the final moments – to a relegated team no less. Soul destroying.