JPT Final Match Preview: Swindon Town vs Chesterfield
A new name will be engraved into the Football League Trophy on Sunday as winning Area Finalists Swindon Town and Chesterfield meet at Wembley. This will be the 29th final of the Football League Trophy, which started in the 1983/84 season when Bournemouth beat Hull City.
Neither side has previously made it to the final of this competition. Town have played 43 matches in the competition, winning 17, drawing 12 and defeated 14 times, over 16 seasons. Swindon’s best performance prior to this season was making 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.
Chesterfield have also never made the Final. I would like to tell you what their previous best performance in this competition is but I can’t find it anywhere, so if anyone can comment I’d be grateful.
Swindon have made it to Wembley courtesy of a 2-1 2nd Round win at Exeter City, a 3-1 win on penalties after a 1-1 draw with AFC Wimbledon in the Quarter Fina, a 2-1 win at Southend in the Area Semi-Final and a 2-1 aggregate win over Barnet in the Southern Area Final.
Chesterfield secured their berth in the Final following a 3-1 win at Notts County in the 2nd Round, a 4-3 Quarter FInal win over Tranmere, a 4-2 win on penalties at Preston following a 1-1 draw in the Semi-Final and a 3-1 aggregate win over Oldham Athletic in the Northern Area Final.
Swindon-town-fc.co.uk Head to Head…
The two sides have met on 42 occasions with the Town winning 20, drawing 7 and suffering 15 defeats, scoring 61 and conceding 49.
Swindon haven’t lost to Chesterfield in three attempts. The last defeat with a 0-1 loss at Saltergate in November 2004.
Football League Trophy Final Facts…
Of the 28 previous finals Carlisle United, Bristol City, Port Vale, Birmingham City, Blackpool, Stoke City, Swansea City and Wigan Athletic have been the most successful with two wins each. Carlisle United have made the final the most on six occasions, the last being their victory in 2011, which followed a 1-4 defeat to Southampton a year before.
Of those 28 finals, 42 of the total 56 teams have represented the third tier of English football – now League One. League Two has only been represented in 11 of the 28 finals.
Only four League Two sides have ever won the Football League Trophy; Wolves in 1988, Carlisle in 1997, MK Dons in 2008 and Luton Town in 2009.
Interestingly as three of those four League Two winning sides played a League Two opponent in the final that year, the only fourth tier side to beat higher division opponents was Luton Town’s 3-2 victory over Scunthorpe in 2009 – which was the same season they were relegated from the Football League and denied entry the next season to defend their title.
Of the 28 winners, five also followed up their cup win with a League promotion. Wolves in 1988, Birmingham in 1995 and MK Dons in 2008 all secured their respective division title, while Carlisle also won automatic promotion from Division Three in 1997 and Grimsby won the Division Two play-off in 1998.
Only two teams have won and suffered relegation. In addition to the Luton relegation already mentioned, Wrexham were relegated from League One after their 2005 victory.
I’m going with a narrow 1-0 win for Swindon. Even though Chesterfield are propping up League One, Wembley brings the best out of teams, but I’m confident that a strong Swindon side will have enough for the Spireites.