Gillingham 2-0 Swindon Town: Just miserable…

Vic Morgan spares few words in describing another miserable away performance; as Swindon Town were defeated at our Kent rivals Gillingham.

After Swindon’s dismal Tuesday defeat at Stevenage, over 300 Town fans travelled to Kent hoping for better against their old rivals. History wasn’t on the Wiltshire team’s side. It was 1986 when the Town last won at the Priestfield Stadium. With three centre backs and two full backs set to go forward, Swindon manager Mark Cooper seemed to have attacking intent. However it was the 41st minute which saw the first real effort on goal when Ryan Mason’s effort was saved by Nelson in the Gills goal.

By then Swindon were a goal down. Leon Legge had the freedom of the Town penalty area when heading home Joe Martin’s free kick on just 18 minutes. The rather pedestrian build up by the Town allowed the Gillingham defence to set themselves up and that proved difficult for Swindon to break down. On a cold Kent afternoon, the game was again turning into a chastening experience for the visiting supporters.

Things started brighter in the second half. The rather frosty reception for the players as they went to the half time break perhaps spurred them on. It didn’t last long though. Again the ponderous passing game allowed Gills to cover easily. Alex Pritchard did get the ball into the home net, only for the effort to be ruled out for an obvious use of the hand. Pritchard was rightly booked for the offence. It rather summed up the afternoon. There was precious little attacking threat from the largely anonymous Nile Ranger and most Swindon efforts were from midfield. There was something inevitable about a second from the home side. Michael Harrison’s first league goal sealed Swindon’s fate.

It was another away day defeat in a season which has seen precious little reward on the road for the loyal Town fans who put in the miles. It’s okay winning at home, that’s where the majority of the supporters see the team play, but the continued use of a slow build up brings scant reward away from the County Ground. Jay McEveley and Raphael Rossi Branco both deserve credit for their performance and would get a joint men of the match from me. Sadly though a familiar story pointing to a lower mid table finish. Optimism turning to feelings of pessimism on the way home. Cure these away problems and quickly. Otherwise thoughts may turn to those below rather than above us in the league table.

Swindon Town: Foderingham, Thompson, Ward, Branco, Hall, McEveley, Kasim, Luongo, Mason, Pritchard, Ranger Subs: Byrne for Thompson 73, Barker for Hall 53, N’Guessan for Mason 79 Not Used: Belford, Thompson L, Harley, Storey. 5-3-1-1

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