FYI Paolo: The Ten Greatest Swindon Town Performances

Paolo Di Canio believes the victory over Stoke City was one of the greatest Swindon Town performances, perhaps it is a contender, Ron Smith gives his view on the top ten.

After outclassing Premier League Stoke City in the League Cup 2nd Round tie, Paolo Di Canio said; “Today we have to put this game as one of the best games I think in this club’s history. I don’t know exactly because I don’t know all this club’s history but look at the football. The first half it looked like Stoke City against Barcelona!”

Well Paolo, here’s my look back to provide a view on the ten greatest Swindon Town performances…. discuss…

No.10 – Swindon 3 Leeds United 0 (x2) – League One 2009/2010

Cheating a little bit including two matches, but Town’s double 3-0 victories over Leeds United in January and April 2010 were astonishing for their equal completeness in routing ‘fallen giants’ Leeds United. Billy Paynter scored four and Charlie Austin twice in the demolition jobs without reply, leaving Leeds fans ‘marching on together’ out of the ground well before the final whistles.

No.9 – Swindon 2 Liverpool 0 – League Cup 3rd Round 6th October 1970

quick fire Don Rogers second half double send Bill Shankly’s emerging Liverpool side featuring Clemence, Smith, Hughes and Lloyd out of the League Cup. Our one and only victory over Liverpool.

No.8 – Swindon 2 Tottenham 1 – Premier League 22nd January 1994

The most complete performance of the Premier League season, Town came from behind after a Nicky Barnby goal after half an hour to secure a 2-1 victory. Jan Aage Fjortoft scored his first goal in the Premier League before a late Adrian Whitbread strike following an in-direct free kick in the box. Some fantastic footage here, enjoy the game…

No.7 – Stoke City 3 Swindon 4 AET – League Cup 2nd Round 28th August 2012

Town very nearly surrendered a 2-0 half time lead against Premier League opposition before eventually taking this tie in the depths of extra time. A last minute James Collins goal completed his hat trick in what was an astonishing performance, the finest yet under Di Canio to out gun top flight opponents on their own turf – a feat not done in the cups since a 2-0 victory at Carrow Road in the FA Cup in 1988.

No.6 – Bristol City 0 Swindon 4 – Division One 12th January 1991

Perhaps the most dominant performance in a local derby sees high-flying City overturned 4-0 at Ashton Gate. Goals from Mickey Hazard, Duncan Shearer and a double from Steve White tore City apart.

No.5 – Swindon 3 West Ham Utd 1 – FA Cup 3rd Round Replay 31st January 1967

Against a side featuring World Cup winners Martin Peters, Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and former international Johnny Byrne, Third Division Town progressed in this FA Cup replay following a 3-3 draw at Upton Park. Goals from Willie Penman, Ken Skeen and Don Rogers gave Town a 3-1 victory and a cup giant-killing over their illustrious First Division opponents.

No.4 – Swindon 4 Arsenal 3 AET – League Cup Quarter Final Replay 11th December 1979

It’s all 1969 all over again as Third Division Swindon beat First Division – and holders of the FA Cup – Arsenal. After drawing 1-1 at Highbury, Town then thrash hapless Bury 8-0 in the League before the replay at the County Ground. Town were 3-1 up before Arsenal took the tie to extra time. Andy Rowland poked the winner with minutes to go to send 4-3 victors Swindon to a Semi-Final with Wolves.

No.3 – Swindon 4 Leicester City 3 – Division One Play-Off Final 31st May 1993

Nail-biting. 3-0 to the good then all of a sudden Leicester find their scoring boots and level the score. Steve White will forever be the villain in Foxes eyes for ‘winning’ a penalty, but it still took Paul Bodin to hold his nerve to send Swindon back to where we belong…albeit for one season.

No.2 – Birmingham City 4 Swindon 6 – Division One 12th April 1993

The comeback of all comebacks. From 4-1 down, Swindon score 5 in the last 30 minutes to come away from St Andrews with a 2 goal margin of victory. Just watch the video!

No.1 – Swindon 3 Arsenal 1 AET – League Cup Final 15th March 1969

Obvious really. The most complete performance when it mattered the most against quality opposition on an awful pitch. Every player who wore the shirt and Danny Williams are legends because of what they did this day in March 1969.

Notable other contenders just missing out of the top ten include; Swindon 1-0 Sunderland Division One Play Off Final in 1990; Swindon 5-0 Fulham in 1977; Swindon 3-0 Chelsea in 1963; Charlton vs Swindon Play-Off Semi-Final 2nd Leg; Swindon 3-1 Tranmere Division One Play-Off Semi-Final 1st Leg in 1993; Swindon 8-0 Bury in 1979 and Swindon 2-1 Wigan Athletic in 2012.

19 comments

  • 4/2/11 v Arsenal and 10/1/14 v Manchester Utd made national headlnes. 11/1/30 v Manchester Utd warrants consideration as does the 18/12/68 semi v Burnley.

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    • Indeed, where would you put these in the ten and which would you replace?

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      • Certainly 6 and 8 , and probably 5,7, and 10. Bringing in the Fulham rout. 2 would be lower and replaced by 4. In terms of performances rather than acheivements it is difficult to judge the ancient games.

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        • Hi, I can judge the performances of the “ancient” games pretty well, thank you and they were damned good. Players may be fitter now but I’d back the sides that beat West Ham, Arsenal and that won the Anglo-Italian club against almost any other side, taking different ages into account (i.e. new techniques, balls, boots, pitches, fitness).

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  • JOKERS! picking 2 game v LEEDS UTD!

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  • The Leeds games were fantastic, tbf

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  • Great list…but I would have included the play-off final match V Sunderland at Wembley. Such a great game and the first Wembley game of my lifetime. I recently re-watched the highlights again and boy, did we play them off the park. I also would have included the two semi-final matches V Tranmere from the 1993 play-offs. The atmosphere and excitement in those games were incredible, and the game away at Blackburn in the 1990 play-off semi-final. That game had me on my toes from start to finish. These choices are just my own from personal experience,ones that hold great memories from great games.

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    • Totally agree about Tranmere, Blackburn and Sunderland Matt – I was right behind that rocket from Steve Foley away at Blackburn. In terms of performance, you won’t get much better than the game against Sunderland – we were all over them. Steve White’s still wondering how he didn’t score that day.

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  • What about Swindon 4 Juventus 0, Swindon 4 Roma 1 (or was it the other way round?)? And the away game at West Ham, 3-3? I’d have put the 2-0 Liverpool game a bit higher and for sheer drama the 3-2 extra time win in the League Cup semi final replay vs Burnley.

    I’d remove the Leeds games – it was only Leeds, after all, and the Bristol City game for the same reason.

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  • HaveIGotMuseForYou

    I don’t know the exact results but when we were the last non-league side to reach the semis of the FA Cup over a century ago now. Also Anglo-Italian Cup matches deserve a mention, as too the United draw in the Premiership. Nonetheless pretty good list, good to look back on the great history of our club 🙂

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  • Lucky to have seen 8 of the 10 on the list. Only missed Liverpool and West ham at home. Would also liked to see the Sunderland and Tranmere away play off matches included

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  • Interesting list. But if you’re going to compile a list by asking people to send in their favourite memories, it stands to reason that the list is going to be skewed towards more recent history. If the 11 games listed, all but 4 were from the last 20 years or so – which for a club that traces its history back to 1879 (or 1881, depending on who you talk to) cannot really be a fair reflection. There were many, many exploits that the club could be proud of prior to 1967! Dick Mattick’s book is full anecdotes and details of earlier cup wins that were making major headlines in their day.

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  • The 4-3 win over Arsenal was one of my fondest memories. that would be no 3 for me and the 4-3 playoff final no 2.

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  • if leeds were still a top of prem side then yeah but in leauge one i wouldnt call it great would you fair play to the nutter who still rates us as a big team tho cheers ;D

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  • p.s love the way swindon are playing bet they get promoted this season i could see them doing well in championship let alone leauge one ran rings around stoke tother night haha

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  • For total drama what about Swindon 2 gillinghham 2 county ground division 3 play off 1987.
    The words of the great bard Morgan says it best
    As town come back from 2.0 down. I can’t remember the hymns at my wedding but I can remember this
    “charlie Henry a blistering shot from the edge of that gillingham penalty area and Swindon town are back from the dead.
    We were 1.0 down from the first leg and Quinn had been crocked in that game so was out. Disaster struck in the 2nd leg at the county ground as gillingham scored to make it 2.0 on aggregate. For gillingham it was like rourkes drift. As wave after wave of town attacks were stopped. Then when another season in D3 was looking more and more likely, Peter coyne scuffed one in 2.1 game on.
    Then I think with 10 or 15 minutes to go, makeshift striker Henry volleys from outside 18 yard box. In the words of mr kamara playing for town that night, unbelievable.
    I was on the bank, standing ,there was probably at least 5000 or the bank that night. I was in line with the shot and watched it all the way in.
    There is a moment when you know a shot will be a goal. You could feel the relief first and then celebration. I hugged so many people at that moment and the bank was like a stormy sea.

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  • Pingback: Vic Morgan Blog: The Greatest Ever..? – The Washbag

  • I remember Bill Shankly dismissed Don Rogers’ performance, when he got his double against Liverpool in that 1970 match at the County Ground. Sour grapes. Imagine if Don was playing today. I rate him as one of England’s greatest ever players………joke he wasn’t picked for England. I especially enjoyed that match, as I was with a pal who was a staunch Liverpool supporter. Don’s 2 goals were the usual sublime in quality, but one of his attempts on goal, particularly showed his class ball control and electric speed……..Don was in the centre of the Liverpool goal and a shot from a Town player volleyed in from the left wing at waist height.He stopped the ball dead, with his right foot and immediately rocketed a left foot shot at the Liverpool goal…….goalie saved, but that was taste of things to come. The crowd were in awe of this piece of sublime skill.

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