Town Live on TV
With the live televised home game against Exeter on Monday fast approaching, I’ve tried to come up with a list of all previous Town games shown live on TV. I’ve covered most of the major and recent matches but I know there are some missing, perhaps some ITV matches in the 1990s? If anyone can remember any other Town games on TV or memories of our TV performances, please feel free to comment.
- 2-4 v Derby County (H) (Championship) 06.12.1992 – ITV Big Match
Town were 3-0 down, I left with 5 minutes to go and missed Hazard and Maskell get two back and Derby get their 4th. Following this I’ve learnt my lesson and only left a match early once more, a 3-1 home defeat by Huddersfield in October 2008 and also missed a Town goal!
- 1-2 v Aston Villa (H) (FA Cup 5th Round) 16.02.1992 – BBC Match of the Day
Our first live match on the BBC forever remembered for the throwing of stones at the BBC Portacabin studio perched above the Stratton Bank.
- 4-3 v Leicester City (N) (Championship Play-Off Final) 31.05.1993 – ITV Big Match
Needs no introduction.
- 0-5 v Liverpool (H) (Premier League) 22.08.1993 – Sky Sports Super Sunday
Town are soundly beaten and embarrassed in front of the Sky TV Cameras.
- 1-1 v Coventry City (A) (Premier League) 03.01.1994 – Sky Sports Monday Night Football
Sky cameras are switched to Highfield Road to cover Town’s game following the postponement of the scheduled TV game at Anfield. Problems with the live feed mean Sky miss Andy Mutch’s 90th minute equaliser.
- 0-1 v Sheffield Wednesday (H) (Premier League) 04.04.1994 – Sky Sports
Town lose in front of the Sky TV cameras again which effectively ended hopes of avoiding relegation, although mathematically Town were relegated after losing 4-2 at home to Wimbledon on the 23rd April.
- 2-0 v Port Vale (H) (Championship) 14.08.1994 – ITV Big Match
First game of the season following our relegation from the Premier League. A routine 2-0 victory over Port Vale gives a false impression of how the season unfolded.
- 2-1 v Middlesbrough (H) (Championship) 15.01.1995 – ITV
Steve McMahon’s third victory for Town with goals from Fjortoft and Horlock sealing the victory after Boro went down to 10 men.
- 2-1 v Bolton Wanderers (H) (League Cup Semi Final 1st Leg) 12.02.1995 – ITV Big Match
The first cup semi-final since games against Wolves in 1980 pits Swindon against fellow Division One team Bolton Wanderers. A sell-out at the County Ground saw Town go behind to an early goal from Alan Stubbs. Just before the break, recent signing Peter Thorne headed in a 38th min equaliser, then slotted home the winner from a Fjortoft shot saved by Branagan.
The second leg was not shown live on the TV. Eventually Town lost 4-3 on aggregate after on 88th third goal from John McGinlay.
- 5-2 v W.B.A. (A) (Championship) 19.03.1995 – ITV Big Match
A resounding win for Town which sees Fjortoft score for the last time in a Swindon shirt. Rumours that Jan was to leave were confirmed by his less than exuberant celebration.
- 2-0 v Wolverhampton Wanderers (H) (League Cup 1st Round 1st Leg) 20.08.1996 – Sky Sports
Wayne Allison and Scott Leitch give Town a 2-0 lead going into the 2nd leg at Molineux.
- 0-1 v Wolverhampton Wanderers (H) (League Cup 1st Round 2nd Leg) 03.09.1996 – Sky Sports
Despite conceding an early goal from Simon Osbourn Town hold on to win 2-1 on aggregate.
After Swindon beat QPR in the second round we were drawn against Manchester United at Old Trafford in the 3rd round. Town played magnificently and were unlucky to be beaten 2-1 with Poborsky scoring in the first half, Thorne equalised and Scholes scored the winner for United.
- 1-2 v Wolverhampton Wanderers (H) (Championship) 27.09.1996 – Sky Sports
The Sky cameras are again at a Swindon v Wolves game. This time Wolves beat Town at home in the League thanks to a late Dominic Foley winner.
- 0-1 v Portsmouth (A) (Championship) 31.10.1997 – Sky Sports
Town were riding high in Division One and this televised win away at Portsmouth, thanks to a Chris Hay winner, puts Town briefly on top of the table. Afterwards it all went dramatically downhill with 3 wins in the remaining 26 games to finish in 18th place.
The game is best remembered for keeper Steve Mildenhall’s injury. Mildenhall made his full league debut after a pre-match injury to Fraser Digby. Steve was injured in a collision with Robbie Pethick and was in severe pain. It later emerged he had suffered a gash to his balls, but managed to play on for the whole 90 mins before heading to the hospital after the game. Steve achieved cult status for his display playing through the pain and was the man of the match.
- 0-1 v Oxford United (A) (FA Cup 2nd Round) – 08.12.2002 – BBC Match of the Day
This game was on the box whilst I was at Uni. In my excitement that a Town game was on terrestrial TV and against Oxford United in the FA Cup, I’d assembled a crowd in my living room with promises of a battering of our great rivals. I wish I wouldn’t have bothered and I looked a fool, alike all Town fans following our insepid display in front of the nation.
If you can bare to put yourself through it again here are some highlights.
- 0-1 v Brighton (H) (League One Play-Off Semi) – Sky Sports
Luck was on the side of Brighton who take the early advantage in the play-off semi-final 1st leg with a 1-0 win at The County Ground.
- 2-1 v Brighton (A) (League One Play-Off Semi) – Sky Sports
Brighton were unbeaten at The Withdean since November. Town needed to win by a clear goal on aggregate as away goals do not count in the play-offs.
Town leave it late to send the game into extra time with a Sam Parkin goal to level the tie. With Town on the ascendancy Rory Fallon scored to take the lead in the tie and Town fans were starting to plan their trip to Cardiff. As for what happened next, I’ll let the video below tell the story….
- 0-2 v Notts County (A) (FA Cup 2nd Round Replay) 15.12.2004 – Sky Sports
I didn’t have Sky so I invited myself around my mate’s house to watch the game for this FA Cup 2nd Round Replay. I have to say that this was the worst Swindon performance I have ever seen and no-wonder Mark never forgets to remind me of this game and the worst 90 minutes of his life.
Fortunately I can’t find any video footage of this game.
- 2-1 v Bristol City (H) (League One) 11.11.2005 – Sky Sports
A Friday evening game at the County Ground sees a local derby with Bristol City. Goals from Fallon and McDermott end Town’s winless run under Iffy Onoura as Town had failed to win in the league since August. The season never really improves and Town drop into the forth tier for the first time in 20 years following the reverse fixture in April at Ashton Gate.
- 3-2 v Lincoln City (A) (League Two) 25.03.2007 – Sky Sports
A surprising game for Sky to cover. At least Town gave a decent performance for the camera with goals from Christian Roberts, Barry Corr and Lee Peacock sealing a 3-2 victory.
- 0-1 v Yeovil (H) (League One) 09.09.2007 – Sky Sports
Our last match on TV was over 3 years ago. Much of the pre-match talk was about the planned takeover by BEST Holdings. The American would-be chairman Jim Little appeared in front of the camera to tell the world of his ambition for the club. Soon Jim and the awful Portuguese players were off, but the damage was done, Paul Sturrock left and the rest is history.
As for the match itself, it was a far from convincing performance from either team but in the end Lloyd Owusu headed past Phil Smith to give Yeovil the lead in the 77th minute and their first ever win at the County Ground.
Those are the most memorable TV games I can recall, but I’m sure there are some more?