Revealed: The 9 best STFC points returns after 20 League games
After 20 League games Swindon Town sit second in League One with a return of 41 points, a fantastic tally considering Mark Cooper’s side were ‘relegation favourites’. However how does this total rank against our best point returns after 20 games..?
=No.9 – 2006/07 League Two – 37 points
Pld 20 | Pos 3 | Won 11 | Dwn 4 | Lst 5 | For 26 | Agg 17 | Pts 37
After Dennis Wise got off to a storming start after winning the first six games, he soon became the score-draw specialist – with four successive 1-1 results. Wise resigned in late October to join Leeds United and then Paul Sturrock and secured 6 points from 3 games to put Town 3rd with 37 points after 20 games. Town would be promoted on the final day, versus champions Walsall, with a tally of 85 points.
=No.9 – 1985/86 Division Four – 37 points
Pld 20 | Pos 2 | Won 12 | Dwn 1 | Lst 7 | For 27 | Agg 22 | Pts 37
Given Town went onto secure a then Football League record of 102 points (2.2 per game) it seems strange that after 20 games Town had yet to break the 40 point barrier. This was down to Town starting slowly and losing five of the first eight games of that season. Lou Macari secured the Division Four title following a blitz through the second half of the season, winning 20, drawing 5 and losing only once in the remaining 26 games.
=No.7 – 1978/79 Division Three – 38 points
Pld 20 | Pos 4 | Won 12 | Dwn 2 | Lst 6 | For 27 | Agg 19 | Pts 26 (38 three Pts / Win)
With Bobby Smith at the helm, Town’s new strikeforce of Andy Rowland and Alan Mayes fire Town to 4th position after 20 games; in-touch with leaders Watford. As the season progresses Town stay within the top three, however two defeats in their final two games, at Sheffield Wednesday and Blackpool, sees them slip down to fifth place.
=No.7 – 1927/28 Division Three South – 38 points
Pld 20 | Pos 5 | Won 11 | Dwn 5 | Lst 4 | For 37 | Agg 27 | Pts 27 (38 three Pts / Win)
Just two wins in Town’s opening eight games sets the scene for an inconsistent season. When Swindon were good they were good, winning 6-0 against Coventry (with Harry Morris scoring four) and 5-2 at Watford, however only weeks later Town were hammered at Merthyr 8-2 in October, before they beat Walsall 5-0 on the following Saturday. After just one win and two draws in their last eight games, the Town finish sixth, with Morris scoring 38 goals.
=No.5 – 2014/15 League One – 41 points
Pld 20 | Pos 2 | Won 12 | Dwn 5 | Lst 3 | For 39 | Agg 20 | Pts 41
So Mark Cooper’s side make it into this illustrious list of strongest starts to a League season. The recent five wins in succession ensure Town have beaten four fellow promotion contenders to move within a single point of leaders Bristol City. With 26 games remaining it’s too early to tell whether promotion to the Championship after a 15-year break will be achieved, however these pre-season relegation favourites are certain to beat-the-drop.
=No.5 – 1982/83 Division Four – 41 points
Pld 20 | Pos 2 | Won 12 | Dwn 5 | Lst 3 | For 30 | Agg 13 | Pts 41
A season when Town’s early season form couldn’t be continued. Following Town’s relegation to the fourth tier for the first time, John Trollope had guided Swindon to 2nd at Christmas courtesy of Paul Rideout’s goals. However, in the new year suddenly things take a turn for the worse – a run of six defeats and a draw triggers a demonstration by the fans – and John Trollope is relieved of his duties, returning to his previous youth team role. A player, Ken Beamish, is given the chance to take over, and he steadies the ship – consolidating an eighth place finish for the Town, some 15 points behind Scunthorpe United in the final promotion places.
=No.3 – 1995/96 Division Two – 42 points
Pld 20 | Pos 1 | Won 13 | Dwn 6 | Lst 2 | For 36 | Agg 15 | Pts 42
After successive relegations Steve McMahon’s side lived up to their high expectations and set several club records. The first 20-games set the scene for the season with only two defeats and the best away record from an opening 10-game period. As Town romped to the Division Two title they lost only two more games to finish on 92 points.
=No.3 – 1968/69 Division Three – 42 points
Pld 20 | Pos 3 | Won 13 | Dwn 3 | Lst 4 | For 32 | Agg 15 | Pts 29 (42 three Pts / Win)
Danny Williams’ golden season at the County Ground got off to a perfect start with a victory and then not conceding a goal in their first six League games. Steady progress in the League was the result of narrow victories (8 of the 13 by a single goal) and a stable defence (11 clean sheets from 20 games). The progress in the League Cup wasn’t a distraction for Williams as Town went into the Christmas fixtures in third and one point behind leaders Watford. 1969 would see cup success and promotion…
No.1 – 1926/27 Division Three South – 46 points
Pld 20 | Pos 1 | Won 14 | Dwn 4 | Lst 2 | For 58 | Agg 34 | Pts 32 (46 three Pts / Win)
With four wins in their opening five games, Town are firing their way to victories courtesy of new signing Harry Morris (who joined from Swansea Town for £110). Thereafter flowed plenty of goals, with Town not failing to score in their opening 20 games, hitting the net 58 times and top of Division Three South by two points. Town’s 6-2 victory over QPR saw Morris become the first Town player to score five in a game. Town’s early season form wasn’t to continue, with just six wins in the new year, and though they score 100 goals, they concede 85, and finish fifth – 11 points adrift of Bristol City.
All statistics courtesy of Swindon-Town-FC.co.uk
Some salutary lessons there for those counting their promotion chickens too early. Particularly remember how what looked like a nigh on certain immediate return to division 3 under John Trollope disintegrated and saw Town fans demonstrating outside the main stand to get him sacked only a couple of months later.