Vic Morgan Blog: Where Does This M’Bargo Play Then..?

Vic Morgan 1

It’s Friday, so it must be time for the latest blog by BBC Devon’s Vic Morgan.

I know its an old joke but it sometimes needs repeating. I’ve no idea why the restriction on signing new players has been in force for so long. Remember since we last added to the squad, a Pope has resigned and a new one elected. So the Vatican at least has been able to fill the midfield general role.

The off the field situation at the County Ground has filled miles of Internet forum space. There’s never a day goes by when the words “could”, “might”, “possibly” or “maybe” don’t appear allied to that M’Bargo bloke.

Does it matter? On the evidence of Tuesday night at Yeovil, no.

The current pool of players seem capable of picking up results in the midst of adversity and that does them great credit. Credit also goes to Kevin MacDonald. Our new manager seems a “just get on with it” football man. No histrionics, just makes do with what he has. I’ve seen him criticised because he seems rather quiet on the touchline.

Does that matter as long as he can coach and make game changing substitutions?

What will be a challenge for the remaining games is how a smaller squad deals with fatigue over the last weeks of a challenging season. There’s no doubting the fitness installed by the previous regime and no doubt carefully managed now.

Rest and recovery will be vital with the busy run-in to the 27th of April. One thing we’ve seen much evidence of since KMac has been in charge is his willingness to give youth team players the chance to travel with the first team. Again being sensible with the resources he has at his disposal.

Who knows what will happen over the next five weeks. It’s another Swindon Town roller coaster.

As for silence from the Boardroom? Sometimes it can be just about people getting on with the task at hand. I don’t know the people involved and to be honest I’m not, with all due respect, interested in the politics of it.

All I care about is that the team many of us have poured years and thousands of pounds into supporting will carry on. That’s all that matters. Not interested in plans of three year or five year duration. None of this “We’ll be in the Premier League in five years” rubbish. Just a guarantee that Swindon Town is safe and well run. That’ll do for me and for my part I’ll carry on supporting at matches whenever I can.

You see its in our blood isn’t it this game of football and Swindon is OUR team. It’s about eleven blokes in red kicking a ball about. Not status or ego its football pure and simple.

Keep it loud keep it proud keep it SWINDON.


Yeovil Town 0 Swindon 2: Town back on track for promotion

Huish Park - Yeovil 4

Televised penalty specialist, Adam Rooney, and second half substitute, James Collins, scored crucial late goals to take Swindon back up to third in the League One table. Daniel Hunt gives his view from the sofa…

The 0-2 score line didn’t flatter a Swindon Town side who dominated the second half on a cut-up Huish Park pitch. Kevin MacDonald’s red and white army gave a poor Yeovil team far too much respect in a dire first period that failed to live up to the pre-match billing of being a promotion chasing clash.

Glovers’ manager, Gary Johnson, had the luxury of signing two new players on loan in advance of the match, while Town had to make do with handing places on the substitute’s bench to Youth Team scholars, Alex Ferguson and Connor Waldon. Luckily for the 546 travelling supporters, Swindon’s unchanged eleven from the Brentford game were still comfortably too strong for, now 7th placed, Yeovil.

The dangerous Paddy Madden and James Hayter aside, I was really disappointed with our west-country hosts. I suppose it’s another sign of how poor England’s third tier is this season and why it’s so important that the transfer embargo is removed soon to allow a strengthened push for automatic promotion. This may be an opportunity too good to pass up.

In a frantic first minute which saw man-of-the-match Nathan Thompson clattered by a high boot, Andy Williams passed up a good opportunity of his own – shooting tamely at Stech from a low Adam Rooney cross. Neither side could make an impression on the game as the half ticked by and Yeovil’s best chance fell to former Bournemouth striker, James Hayter, in the 17th minute. Hayter controlled a Madden cross with his head before volleying wildly over to the relief of an under worked Wes Foderingham, who kept his first clean sheet since February 5th.

Darren Ward will also be pleased with the return of a clean sheet but he should have been celebrating his second March goal, two minutes before the break. A deep free kick from the left wasn’t cleared properly by the Glovers’ defence and the 34 year old defender’s stabbed effort was deflected agonisingly wide for a corner.

The half-time whistle came as a relief to anyone watching at the ground or on television. I can’t help but feel that by playing a 4-5-1 formation, MacDonald showed far too little ambition in the opening period. I would love to see the return of two genuine wingers and two strikers to the line-up for Saturday’s tie with Notts County, if Town are to consolidate their position as a top two contender.

The start of the second half was much much better from a Swindon perspective as Andy Williams, playing against his former employers, sparked the game into life with several piercing runs. That almost every surge he made was ended, by a callous Yeovil foul, showed the viewer how much respect his previous team mates still hold for him.

McCormack fired over from the edge of the box in the 51st minute before Gary Roberts was denied a goal by the Referee’s whistle three minutes later. A deep free kick from the right found its way to the left winger via Ward’s flick on but Referee Stroud adjudged Roberts to have shoulder barged his opponent before lashing home past Stech in the Yeovil goal.

Town were well on top at this point but were failing to convert pressure into goals. After 57 minutes, Andy Williams ran half the length of the field before attempting a cross that just eluded Adam Rooney six yards out. Just after the hour mark, Adam Rooney did manage to get on the end of a Gary Roberts cross, only to see his clever right foot flick smartly parried by the goal keeper. Replays suggested that his effort would have struck the left hand post but for Stech’s intervention.

In response, Yeovil’s best two openings of the half both fell to twenty goal striker, Paddy Madden, but Nathan Thompson displayed his fantastic powers of recovery each time to foil the Irishman. With neither Flint or Ward blessed with natural pace, it is crucial that Thompson covers from right-back as he did in the 61st minute to deny Madden being clean through on goal. The second block was even better defensive work as Thompson’s flying tackle stopped a certain goal in front of the home end when the scores were still level midway through the second period.

Thompson’s rise to important first team player has been so smooth it’s easy to forget that this is his breakthrough season in the Football League. If Paul Caddis hadn’t fallen out with Paolo Di Canio in pre-season, we may still be wondering about Thompson’s merits as a professional footballer… Instead, we are blessed with the best and most aggressive tackler I’ve ever seen at the County Ground. I bore my friends by saying it but Thompson just doesn’t miss. Almost every time, he wins the ball cleanly. It’s so refreshing to see defending in purest sense (i.e. see ball, win ball) in an era where so many players are afraid to tackle.

Eventually the Swindon pressure did tell, helped by the 70th minute introduction of top scorer, James Collins. The ex-Shrewsbury man looked sharp as he almost broke the deadlock four minutes after coming on with a left foot curler from 18 yards. An opportunist long ball forward by McCormack was seized upon by Roberts who duly took the contact from ‘keeper Stech before tumbling to the ground for the penalty. As the Sky Sports commentators touched on, it wasn’t the first time big Czech Republican got his judgement wrong in the match.

The ‘ginger assassin’, Adam Rooney, expertly placed the penalty in the corner and the Reds finally had the lead their play deserved. With the exception of a wasted Madden chance with nine minutes remaining, choosing to shoot immediately rather than take it on when well placed, Yeovil mustered very little by way of pressure in the closing stages. Town’s much vaunted defence, the best in League One by four goals, was looking back to its uncompromising best.

The five minutes added on time felt like an hour and as I was shouting at the Referee to blow-up (not literally), Alan McCormack burst clear on the counter-attack and fed James Collins on the right. Like all good selfish forwards should, the Villa graduate shot for goal himself and with the last kick of the game, made it 2-0 to Swindon. A lovely icing on the victory cake!

It was Collins’ seventh goal of the season from the bench – has a Swindon player ever scored more in a season after coming on? Get to work Trivia fans… I know the answer!

James Collins – impact substitute.

James Collins - Impact Sub

On the second half performance alone, Town fully deserved the three points. The only negative from the evening was the five yellow cards picked up by an already thin squad. Let’s hope this pleasing win puts Swindon Town back on track for League One promotion. I think Kevin MacDonald will be content with seven points from his first four games in charge but it could so easily have been twelve with stronger finishes to the Walsall and Brentford games.

With promotion rivals dropping points all over the place, can Swindon be the side who put that strong run together and force their way to the top? Two consecutive home games against Notts County and Oldham Athletic will be the acid test.

Match Preview: Yeovil Town vs Swindon Town

Yeovil Town 1

Form Guide…

5th placed Swindon are falling down the League One form table, now 13th, with a record of two wins, two draws and two defeats in six games.

Away from the County Ground, Town lost 1-2 at Brentford a week ago and have a record of three wins and two draws and one defeat in six League One games; putting Swindon 5th in the away form guide. Swindon haven’t failed to score on their travels for five games.

Yeovil Town are the division’s surprise package under Gary Johnson. The Glovers are level on 63 points with Swindon, but behind on goal difference. In their previous six outings, Yeovil are unbeaten in three games with two wins, three draws and one defeat in six.

As hosts, Yeovil are unbeaten in nine League One games in a run stretching back to mid-November and the visit of Carlisle United who traveled back to Cumbria with a 3-1 win. Yeovil drew their last game at Huish Park 2-2 with Crawley, before that they won seven in a row. Head-to-Head…

In all League, FA Cup and Football League competitions, Town have faced Yeovil on 14 occasions, winning 8, drawing 2 and suffering 4 defeats, scoring 28 goals and conceding 13.

At Huish Park, Town have 4 wins, 2 draws and 1 defeat, with 11 scored and 4 conceded.

Swindon drew 3-3 in our previous visit to Yeovil in October 2010 with goals from Charlie Austin, Sean Morrison and JP McGovern.

Yeovil’s 4 goals scored as hosts versus Swindon have only come in two games.

Swindon have scored in 5 of 7 trips to Somerset.

The Stats…

Defence Attack
Yeo (Hosts) r STFC (Away) r Yeo (Hosts) r STFC (Away) r
Shots Against Per Game 7.5 3 7.9 1 Shots For Per Game 11.1 15 12.4 1
% Shots Against on Target 49.7% 12 52.5% 19 % Shots For on Target 47.6% 17 59.2% 2
% Save Rate 73.2% 14 78.7% 8 % Strike Rate 15.7% 3 11.2% 15
Corners Against Per Game 4.6 8 5 3 Corners Won Per Game 4.8 22 8.1 1
Possession Conceded 47.9% 9 47.2% 2 Possession Won 52.1% 9 52.8% 2
R = rank: The ranking shown for each measure indicates the efficiency of the sides against the rest of the division as either hosts or the away side | 1 equals the best and 24 is the worst |

There is little to separate the sides in defensive terms, with only Wes Foderingham’s save rate significantly outscoring Yeovil.

Yeovil’s attacking efficiency does highlight their high quality finishing as hosts with 15.7% of all shots have been scored, ranked 3rd best in League One. This contrasts with Swindon’s very high average shots per game, % of shots on target, corners won and possession won, but for an average 11.2% strike rate.

SCORED 1-15 16-30 31-45 45+ 46-60 61-75 76-90 90+
Yeo (as hosts) 3 5 7 0 3 6 8 1
STFC (away) 2 4 6 0 5 3 4 1

Yeovil are slow out of the blocks and progress to be an effective attacking force as each half progresses.

Swindon have been more dangerous in attack during the two 15 minute periods either side of half time away from home.

CONCEDED 1-15 16-30 31-45 45+ 46-60 61-75 76-90 90+
Yeo (as hosts) 4 3 2 0 4 4 2 1
STFC (away) 4 5 2 0 0 2 2 1

Two goals conceded at Brentford in the second half added a signification proportion to the tally.

Yeovil’s goals against as hosts are spread about, with only a marginal improvement towards the end of each half, which is interesting considering their lethal finishing in those periods. Clearly Yeovil haven’t allowed their attacking endeavours to come at the expense of the defence.

My prediction…

As much as I’d want a Swindon win, this game has a score draw written all over it…

2-2 final score.

Come on You Reds!

A guide to the League One playoff race

2011-12 League One Play Off Winners - Huddersfield Town 1

In the second edition of our look into the League One promotion race, Adam Johnson continues his guide to Swindon’s promotion rivals. In this blog, we focus on those fighting for a play off spot and to follow Huddersfield as League One play off winners…

With 19-22 games left in the League One season, we’re now into the business end for sides that have hopes for promotion or saving themselves from relegation.

Luckily, Swindon gets to look down on most of the division in 5th place but they have plenty of challengers who could possibly pick up on any slip in form. We’re going to look through those already in the playoffs and on the outskirts who could steal a last minute place.

2011-12 League One Play Off Winners - Huddersfield Town

We start with Brentford, a side who have had an outstanding season and currently lie 3rd in League One. Led by Uwe Rosler, who has recently signed a new contract, The Bees have been a surprise package in the league but with names such as former Town Captain Jonathan Douglas along with striker Clayton Donaldson who has 14 goals, it’s not the biggest shock in League One.

The table again doesn’t lie as Brentford have only suffered three defeats all season, the last of which was in late October versus joint leaders Doncaster. If it wasn’t for 7 draws away from home in their 13 games, they could easily be top rather than 4 points away.

The stats, provided again by Ben Mayhew’s experimental361, show Brentford are an attacking team. They have the second highest average for shots on goal per game but do need 8-9 chances to score which is more than desirable if you wish to be a top two side. The defensive statistics then show they face the 5th joint least amount of shots per game which is handy and it takes their opponents 9-10 shots to score.

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This backs up their impressive season so far and with the capability of picking up draws when they could lose, that could be the difference in them taking a playoff place. They do however have the joint fewest amount of wins out of any of the top 6 so turn some draws into wins and the top two is possible but playoffs is the likely bet.

Up next are the pantomime villains and 6th place MK Dons. Karl Robinson has done a steady job at MK Dons and the playoffs are probably the club’s minimum expectation. They haven’t shouted as loud as others and have quietly gone about their business. After an average start to the season and an awful October, they really came to life in November with 5 wins out of 9, including a 1-0 win over table toppers Tranmere.

The basis for MK Dons success is hard to distinguish as neither defence nor attack has flourished but both have done enough of a job. They create a good amount of shots with an average of 12 and score with an average of 8 of those chances. However, they have Ryan Lowe as top scorer with 7 then midfielder Luke Chadwick on 6 just behind him which isn’t enough and will need more goals from their players in the coming months.

The defence is kind of opposite to the attack. They don’t do a bad job as they limit their opponents, 3rd best in the league, but they conceded more frequently than any of the others in the top six, which seems to be the difference between them and the rest of the top sides. It’s a small difference but the title and playoffs will be decided by small margins.

The Dons will be expecting a playoff place but with the form of other sides and the stand out players that MK Dons lack, a 6th place finish seems like the best they can hope for as they face a battle till the end.

Now that we’ve covered the obvious choices in the top 7 over these two blogs, who could be an outside bet for a late push?

Firstly a mention for Yeovil Town as they continue to defy the odds in 8th place. They’ve racked up an impressive 13 wins, holding more wins than their weekend opponents Sheffield United after a 2-0 win at Bramall Lane, but lose too many games, 11 out of 27, to consider a playoff spot. The Glovers have scored more than four of the top six but have conceded exactly double the amount of Swindon in 5th.

Crawley Town have gone quiet this season and the stats tell a tale of disappointment. Firstly, it’s a bad thing to concede more than you score and Crawley are 9th with a -3 GD.

With the striking options of Gary Alexander, Billy Clarke and John Akinde they don’t score enough goals even though they create just as many as others. The defence is also a tale of what could be as they don’t allow many shots on goal but concede regularly. They are a similar tale to Yeovil, won enough games with 12 out of 27 but lose too many, 10 out of 27, for a coveted playoff spot.

2013.01 def-eff-l1

My shout for a last minute push, but still unlikely to make the top six, is Coventry City. This may seem obvious with them being one of the bigger clubs but the stats show they’re an improving side.

This has mostly been down to them, if you combined shots on goal with shots taken per goal, taking the award for best attacking threat and that was down to the form of top goalscorer with 16 goals David McGoldrick but he’s now ended his loan and gone to Ipswich Town. They’ve signed Leon Clarke to try and replace the hole left by McGoldrick and he did get his first goal for the club in their 1-0 win v Tranmere last night. The Sky Blues will have to wait and see whether it’ll pay off as he’ll get goals but his attitude may become a factor.

They do allow a lot of shots on goal with an average of 11-12 per game and concede every 8-9 shots which leaves them amongst the mid table sides in the stats and unsurprisingly is therefore where they currently find themselves. I expect them to have a good finish but without McGoldrick they’ll fall short.

To wrap up, this League One promotion race is going to be a fight till the end. Any club in the top seven could win the league as many teams are on form but some will have to settle for the playoffs.

I don’t see Tranmere keeping up their good form and even though we thought they’d drop away by now, I think it’s just a matter of time. Bournemouth look strong across the pitch for 5th and Sheffield United look set for the playoffs again without that killer instinct. Brentford in 3rd is cheeky as they are the form side but I just see them tripping up. It’s going to be dramatic folks…


3rd Brentford

4th Sheffield United

5th Bournemouth

6th Tranmere Rovers

To see more stats and information about League One, visit Ben Mayhew’s Experimental 361 page:

Vic Morgan Blog: Wake up its a Chelsea morning…

Vic Morgan

It’s Friday, so it must be time for the latest blog by BBC Devon’s Vic Morgan.

‘Wake up it’s a Chelsea morning’ As the great Joni Mitchell once sang about Chelsea in New York City.

The mad mad world of football reached new insane levels on Wednesday morning with the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo. A man who won an FA Cup and the ultimate club prize, the Champions League, defeat in Turin put the Brakes on his Stamford Bridge career.

While we were feeling a bit depressed by a loss to Brentford, the Blues owner was sharpening his rather blunt axe ready to swing it again.

Do you know what… I wasn’t surprised. I always got the feeling Di Matteo put Abramovich in a difficult situation last May by winning Ol’ Big Lugs, the European Cup, and that he really didn’t want to appoint the former player in the first place.

Now he’s given him the bullet and the whole sorry story starts again. It’s a Chelsea fans business to love their club obviously but I don’t think many outside of that group have a great deal of respect for the Blues and the way they do their business.

Still I wait with interest to see whether the new man in charge stays more than three days beyond next seasons West Brom away game. That always seems to be the tipping point.

Anyhoo, back to our first love STFC.

A mixed week because obviously things are never set in stone where the Town are concerned. Against a tough well set up Yeovil we were tremendous. Some great football in a difficult game and a great result.

The two centre halves were just fantastic, everything you expect from a defensive partnership. Joe Devera deservedly won man of the match but I would have given it to Joe and Darren Ward who also got his first Town goal. It was tremendous for an old fashioned bloke like me to watch. Ward reminds me of the great Frank Burrows. Raw boned and relishing a tackle.

Then of course something we ought to have expected. The fall after the lift. A dull encounter against Brentford. A wet miserable Tuesday and nothing to get too excited about. To be honest I’d been more thrilled looking at the new Led Zeppelin CDs in a well known record store. Didn’t buy it got a birthday soon, hint hint.

Afterwards the realisation that we won’t beat everybody easily. We knew that anyway. Thought Brentford were well set up and played a very good away game. I think we’ll remember Jonathon Douglas’s effort for a while. Brought back memories of his hapless efforts on goal while with us.

And Bradley, thanks for your comedy moment while trying to retrieve the ball at the Town End. “She fell over” would have embarrassed you and thrilled you at the same time. Highlight of the game for me.

So then I write this enjoying a coffee in a shop with Zep on the sound system. Do you know what despite the weather things ain’t so bad.

On to Notts County for the mighty Reds and lets hope the tremendous away form continues.

Keep it loud keep it proud keep it SWINDON


Swindon 4 Yeovil Town 1: Williams strikes against former club

Yeovil Town 1

Yeovil were meant to be Swindon’s ‘bogey team’ after three defeats in the previous four home games against the Glovers. But as Matt Davies reports, Yeovil offered little in a convincing 4-1 victory for Swindon.

It has been an active week at SN1, a weekend win away at Walsall, a departure and two new arrivals but we are used to this now aren’t we?

Swindon made one change to the team, club captain Alan McCormack making his return to the first team after injury, playing at right back – talk about being versatile. Kick off was upon us and the teams emerged from the tunnel Swindon wearing red and Yeovil seemingly out to prove that fluorescent can be fashionable.

Yeovil defender Dan Burn, who has an uncanny resemblance to Aden Flint, looked enormous in comparison to his own teammates and the Swindon players. This prompted me to calculate a pointless statistic, Swindon’s out-field players had an average height of 182cm and the visitors had an average height 183cm, so Swindon were still the smaller side, just.

The game was underway and Swindon made a good start, they were keeping the ball well and getting a feel for the game. Town were looking to take an early lead and their persistent pressure was building on the away side. Winger Gary Roberts was involved from the off when he burst down the left hand side before passing to fellow midfielder Simon Ferry, but his lay off was intercepted by a backtracking defender.

The game was gathering speed and the momentum was with Swindon, the home side had a flurry of half chances to take the lead with Andy Williams and Matt Ritchie both shooting over and Roberts having a shot blocked for a corner. The next few minutes were quieter as both teams battled to get on top. The away side won their first of many free kicks but the ball was gathered well before a fast break involving Roberts resulted in nothing.

The visitors were then dealt a yellow card when defender Burn gets into the referee’s book after an illegal challenge of James Collins. The Robins continued to probe, Ferry came close with a scissor kick after latching onto a loose ball from the penalty area.

The break through finally came in the 24th minute when ex-Yeovil man, Andy Williams flicked the ball past the defender with his back to goal before chasing it down, he was through on goal and provided a cool left footed finish that went through the goalkeeper’s legs, 1-0.

It took just four more minutes before the home side had doubled their advantage when defender Joe Devera found he had both time and space. Devera started a surging run down the left hand side before crossing to an incoming James Collins for him to steer past the goalkeeper.

Williams was nearly in again when an complacent back pass left the keeper with a lot to do, the striker stretched for the ball before the incoming goalie clattered into him, picking up a substantial injury which resulted in him eventually being substituted for new arrival Chris Martin (44 mins).

41 minutes had gone and Yeovil had pulled one back when a header hit the bar before bouncing over the line, the goal had come against the run of play but Swindon restored their two goal cushion just moments later when a free kick taken by Ferry was met by Devera, his effort was saved but loanee Darren Ward was on hand to thump home the rebound and score his first goal for the Robins since his arrival. The break would have been welcomed by Yeovil as Swindon were in the ascendancy a good shift and clinical finishing saw them have a comfortable lead.

The second half had begun and long periods had passed with no real moments of significance, the game had evolved into a scrappy affair, free kicks were given left, right and centre none of which resulted in anything. Town winger Roberts was booked for kicking the ball away when a free kick was given, a minor offense in comparison to some that went unpunished.

The Glovers made a few chances as the game grew, striker Madden headed over when he should of really tested Wes. During another feisty exchange defender Webster received a yellow card after appearing to kick striker Martin while he was down injured. Frustration was growing both on and off the pitch winger Matt Ritchie felt cheated when a foul wasn’t given only for captain McCormack to bark “Matty, shut up!” to ensure he didn’t talk his way into trouble.

Swindon burst back into life in injury time when substitute Rafa De Vita swept the ball towards striker Collins before he ran towards the goal and curling his shot towards the far post, 4-1.

This was an impressive performance as both newbies made their debuts and Town played well. Defensive duo Ward and Devera were dominant in the air and worked well together. Di Canio will now look forward to Tuesday’s fixture that sees the return of former captain Jonathan Douglas.

Vic Morgan Blog: Loan Arranger…

Vic Morgan 2

It’s Friday, so it must be time for the latest blog by BBC Devon’s Vic Morgan.

Well the well it started quietly didn’t it?

A great win at Walsall and talk of a couple of loan signings in the air. Then a touch of silence and suddenly a flurry of activity. I’m not one who usually gets too excited about loanees after seeing some good some bad over the years. But I must admit the new influx seem to be rather good.

I’ll get back to those later.

First though to the Bescott or the Banks or whatever it is these days. A great start by our new in form striker Simon Ferry.

The second time this season that the Town have scored inside the first minute. Unlike at Bury where we rather huffed and puffed, there was never any doubt that the three points would go back to Wiltshire. Matt Ritchie’s super strike settled matters and put us comfortably in the top six with two home games to come.

As for Simon Ferry? Well his goalscoring has been one of the areas he needs to improve on. The winner at Shrewsbury before Saturday the only reward for his endeavours in midfield. The crowd shouting “shoot” when he gets the ball near the box is a sign that they’d love him to find the net. A genuine fans favourite and a total one hundred per center. So It was great to see his effort fizz past the Saddlers custodian.

My only other comment on Saturday is this. While I understand the wanting safe standing areas, at the moment stadia like the Banks’s are all SEATER. That means SEATING.

Turning round and abusing people because you’re standing and obstructing their view is just plain ignorant. Just remember some people might be a little older than you and don’t want to stand for two hours. When you grow up you’ll understand although I doubt that will happen.

Great week for the youth department of course. A win in the FA Youth Cup and a player in the England Under-19 squad. Terrific news and congratulations to Paul Bodin and his staff for their hard work which is now paying off with several making it into the first team squad. Long may it continue.

So to the new loanees.

At the time of writing it appears Danny Hollands and Chris Martin are joining the club till January. These are quality signings and terrific that we’re able to attract players like this. As I mentioned, we’re handily placed for a terrific second half of the season. Players like this can only help make the next few months exciting. Two home games to come and it would be great to pick up maximum points.

It also appears that Paul Benson is on his way to Pompey. “Benno” is a wonderful player. Like Simon Ferry prepared to run himself into the ground for his team. I will never forget the last minute at Morecombe last season when he chased down a ball which was obviously on its way out just in case he might get to it. Whatever the future brings we should salute players like Paul Benson and he will always be applauded by me.

So to the visit of the Glovers on Saturday. Its a day I’ll get confused. On the M5 I’ll see lots of green and white hooped shirts and wonder why there are so many Celtic fans in the area around Sedgemoor and then the penny will drop. You see some of us are a little older.

Keep it loud keep it proud keep it SWINDON


A Yeovil Town view on Andy Williams

Andy Williams 3

Yeovil Town fan Paul Stewart answers our questions on new Swindon Town signing Andy Williams…

With 17 goals in all competitions for Yeovil in 2011/12, Williams is surely going to be missed at Huish Park. How important was Andy to surviving the drop?

Andy’s purple patch coincided with the much heralded return of Sir Gary Johnson. Both factors were critical to propelling us to 2nd in the 6-game form table and easing the spectre of relegation.

After playing for Hereford, Rovers, Yeovil and now Swindon, he does like to keep it close to home. So Swindon was always the straight-forward option and next step when his contract ended seeing that we’re the biggest club in the area ;)…

If you somehow finish below us, I’ll remind you of that ;)

Willo is definitely a local boy. We all knew deep down he was going to the County Ground.

Williams sporting the green and white Yeovil Town cardigan

What type of player is he, and what can Swindon fans expect from Andy Williams?

A direct high energy line-leading striker with a serious engine and work rate.

He’ll run at defences all day both with and without the ball. Pair him with a good support striker and you’re sorted. I had an early season glimpse of him and Rory Fallon together. That would have worked fantastically.

He’s played both on the wing and upfront. Which is his best role; support, out wide or as a main striker?

To use FM parlance, SC, Advanced Forward. Give him a good supply and the goals will come.

He’s capable enough as a winger but in the same way that Robin van Persie is. You can play him there but it’s a bit of a waste.

During his time at Yeovil how often has he played in each position and how successful has he been?

Under Skiverton he played a lot as a wide striker/winger which wasn’t great. GJ brought him in up top consistently from January and bingo.

Was 17 goals this season a fluke, can he repeat or better it under Di Canio?

I don’t think it was a fluke, he has the capability to be prolific at this level without doubt. Use him right and the goals will come.

Does Andy have any particular strengths or weaknesses?

For me, his main strength is his energy and directness. He’s going to make weaker defenders really suffer.

A big weakness is his greed in front of goal but the flip side of that is that he’s a striker who’s not afraid to shoot.

Overall how has Andy progressed in his two seasons in Yeovil?

He progressed from an unwanted, unloved player at The Gas to a free-scoring striker and if we’re honest, a very big loss for us. Let’s see if Reuben Reid can fill his boots!

How will Andy be remembered?

Andy who?

Depends who you speak to. Either a disloyal money-grabbing scumbag or if we’re more honest, a good striker who we’d far rather have kept!

Follow Paul on Twitter @keeper9

Swindon Town: Running out of time to avoid relegation

Here’s one for you…so how many points do Swindon Town need to avoid relegation to League Two?

After updating my usual predicted League One home / away form table (see below), I now find Yeovil Town predicted to finish 20th with 50.15 points and Swindon, unsurprisingly predicted, to finish bottom with a meagre 41.6 points.

So with 11 games remaining for Town, 18.15 points are needed to at least draw level with Yeovil and for it to go down to goal difference. 19 points are really needed if the table predictions are right.

Fortunately, we narrowly beat Yeovil by a single goal as the form predictions estimate Town would finish on -23 and Yeovil -24 goal difference. A very close finish if we can claw back the points difference…

But where do we make up these 18.15 points? That’s 1.65 per game required (to draw level), when we’ve only secured 0.91 points per game so far this season?

We’ve also not even averaged 1.65 points per game at any time so far this season. The highest being 1.5 points per game following the victory over Huddersfield back in September (12 points after 8 games).

Even if you pick the ‘easier games’, as if any are easy in our current position, i.e. winning the four remaining home games, this still leaves at least 7 points to win on our travels to Huddersfield, Brighton, Exeter, Brentford, Sheffield Wednesday and Tranmere. We must win at least 1 of the away games…

I don’t want to be unnecessarily down, but we need to start winning now. We’ve all been saying this for weeks…we’re running out of time…now it’s getting desperate!

Whilst there are still points to play for (currently 33) anything is possible.

As for the reasons why we are in this position, it’s all down to goals. If you don’t score you can’t win. 6 goals in the 13 games since the win at Charlton shows why we’re relegation favourites.

So 19 points to avoid relegation, starting with 3 against Dagenham & Redbridge tomorrow.

Predicted Table
Team Home Away Total P Req P/G G/D
1 Brighton 57.50 37.88 95.38 -17.85 -1.37 50.99
2 Southampton 46.00 34.50 80.50 -7.85 -0.60 41.35
3 Bournemouth 51.11 28.41 79.52 -10.85 -0.99 30.52
4 Peterborough 49.83 28.75 78.58 -8.85 -0.74 20.28
5 Huddersfield 44.72 33.82 78.55 -9.85 -0.90 22.02
6 MK Dons 47.28 26.83 74.11 -7.85 -0.78 5.11
7 Leyton O 47.53 25.71 73.24 0.15 0.01 20.65
8 Charlton 37.88 28.75 66.63 2.15 0.17 1.61
9 Rochdale 36.80 28.41 65.21 5.15 0.37 6.13
10 Colchester 40.59 23.00 63.59 2.15 0.20 -4.89
11 Hartlepool 33.82 28.11 61.93 3.15 0.29 -15.41
12 Sheff Wed 35.27 25.56 60.82 7.15 0.55 4.34
13 Exeter 35.18 25.56 60.73 4.15 0.38 -9.92
14 Carlisle 34.50 25.88 60.38 5.15 0.43 10.38
15 Oldham 34.50 25.71 60.21 4.15 0.38 -6.76
16 Brentford 33.82 24.35 58.18 7.15 0.60 -9.47
17 Notts C 37.88 18.07 55.95 11.15 0.74 -4.74
18 Tranmere 29.76 23.00 52.76 11.15 0.93 -9.47
19 Dag & Red 28.75 21.56 50.31 15.15 1.08 -14.38
20 Yeovil 25.88 24.28 50.15 13.15 1.10 -23.96
21 Plymouth 31.94 23.00 44.94 18.15 1.65 -20.07
22 Walsall 25.56 19.17 44.72 15.15 1.52 -24.28
23 Bristol R 25.71 17.89 43.59 17.15 1.56 -40.29
24 Swindon 28.11 13.53 41.64 18.15 1.65 -22.77

P Req = Points required to draw level with predicted 20th place points total

P/G = Points per game required to draw level with predicted 20th place points total

Town v Yeovil: Wilson’s wrong call

Town fell further behind in their deluded race for a top six finish following Yeovil Town’s 1-0 victory at the County Ground, after Dean Bowditch reacted quickest to nod the loose ball home in the six yard box.

The game turned on one incident and Wilson’s tactical reactions.

With the score standing at 0-0, Town were reduced to ten men, with Michael Rose given his marching orders after 57 minutes. Rose had broken excellently, moving forward before tangling with Luke Ayling, who lay injured on the ground with the Glovers claiming a stamp. After consulting with his linesman, referee Swarbrick showed Rose the red card.

Whether or not the decision was right is debatable given the player’s reactions. As I didn’t get a clear view of the incident, I’ll keenly await the highlights later.

What was more telling of our plight was Wilson’s reaction to this incident.

Vincent Pericard had replaced Thomas Dossevi, to yet again another poor reaction, just a few minutes before Town went down to ten men.

A man down and a gap down the left side it was inevitable that Alan Sheehan would be brought on, but in place of JP McGovern??

If Pericard hadn’t been brought on a few minutes before I’m certain Dossevi off and Sheehan on would’ve been the logical substitution as I’m never in favour of playing 2 upfront when down a man.

I appreciate Pericard had only been on the field for 2 minutes, but why should this change anything? He should have retaken his place on the bench and given us better shape going into the final half hour as neither he nor Austin can drop back into midfield to cover.

With two upfront and man down in midfield we were awful. The midfield was too narrow, was easily dominated and yet again we resorted to aimless balls up to Pericard, who’s first touch is getting worse week after week.

The weakening of the midfield was further compounded with Timlin replacing Ritchie, further narrowing the space, leaving Caddis and Sheehan to try to control the flanks, leaving the inevitable gaps at the back.

To Wilson and the squad… we’re in a relegation battle and the sooner you realise this the better.