JPT Southern Area Final Preview: Swindon vs Barnet

Swindon face Barnet tonight in the Second Leg of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Southern Area Semi-Final at the County Ground. Kick-off is at 7.45 and the match is also live on Sky Sports 1.

The sides head into the tie level following a 1-1 draw at Underhill on the 10th January, when – now Town injury casualty – Aden Flint gave Swindon a first half lead until Mark Hughes’ leveler.

Swindon make it to the Southern Area Final thanks to victories against Exeter (2-1), AFC Wimbledon (1-1 pens) and Southend United (2-1).

Barnet’s run has seen the Bees beat Colchester United (3-1), Gillingham (3-1) and Cheltenham Town (2-0).

The winner sets up a Final with Chesterfield at Wembley on the 25th March 2012.

Swindon-town-fc.co.uk Head to Head

A relatively new league club, Barnet first won promotion from the Conference in 1991, then again in 2005 after losing their league status in 2001. Barnet visited the County Ground for the first time in 2006, taking an early lead before the Town came back in the second half, winning the game 2-1 with an injury time super strike from debutant Royce Brownlie.

Since that debut meeting the sides have met on six occasions, with Swindon winning two, drawing three and suffering one defeat; scoring nine goals and conceding five.

Swindon have won two and drawn one of the games held at the County Ground, including a 4-0 first half demolition of the Bees back in September.

Swindon Record in the JPT

Originally the Associate Members’ Cup, now the Football League Trophy, the JPT started life back in the 1983-84 season when Swindon made it to the Southern Area Quarter Final. Town have played 42 matches in the competition, winning 16, drawing 12 and defeated 14 times, over 16 seasons.

Swindon have never made it to the Area Final before, however our previous best was the Area Semi Finals on three previous occasions; falling to Aldershot in 1986/87, Southend United in 2000/01 and Southend United again in 2004/05.

Prediction

After comprehensively beating Barnet earlier this season, the first leg at Underhill showed we are unlikely to see a similar 4-0 drubbing this time around.

Barnet have improved with four successive victories in League Two pulling the Bees clear of the relegation zone.

Swindon are strongest as hosts and with a Wembley appearance the prize for Di Canio, I’m expecting Town to rise to the occasion (for once) and secure the victory…. 2-0 to STFC.

Come on You Reds!

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