Rumours of a football match

It’s Friday, so it must be time for the latest weekly review by BBC Devon’s Vic Morgan

Apparently it’s true. Swindon Town are scheduled to play a game this Saturday.

Let me remind you. They play at the County Ground which is a stadium near to the Magic Roundabout.

It’s said that there are two teams who try to put a spherical object into a framed and netted space. It’ll be interesting to see what this “Football” is all about. It’s played in many parts of the world but has been lacking from Swindon in recent times.

It may well be that some who attend on Saturday may have been before, although that’s unlikely bearing in mind the time span since it last happened.

Living in Devon I was able to sample this strange sport last weekend. I watched a team called Exeter City meet another one from Morecombe. I must admit I found it rather entertaining and the Exeter side included Lee Holmes and Ryan Harley who once, it is said, played for Swindon. That of course, must have been some time ago.

I followed that up by watching England U20’s at Plymouth’s Home Park. The team included four members of the Swindon squad. Who knew? Rather good they were too. I was particularly impressed with Harry Toffolo who spent much of the game running tirelessly up and down the left hand side of what is called a pitch.

A pitch is a rectangular area of grass on which the spherical object is moved around by the feet of the players. Hence, I suppose, the name of the sport. The four Swindon players were all very impressive and look like they might do rather well.

So will you have a chance to watch this strange spectacle? Well yes. If you turn up at the aforementioned County Ground on Saturday morning, then you can. This odd sport even has a strange start time of 12-15 pm so best to get there in plenty of time to prepare for what is said to be quite an important game.

Another thing is that people who go tend to wear the colours of the team they support. Swindon play in red and white, in case you’d not heard from those who once went, so please feel free to don these particular shades.

I myself will be in attendance as I’ve been rather taken by the whole thing. Oh and you can shout very LOUDLY in support of your team. So let me finish with this keep it loud keep it proud keep it SWINDON!

Back to form then. After the Town’s recent blip it was comfortable enough against a Notts County side who offered little threat – except in the early minutes, when Wes Foderingham pulled off a double save that was crucial in settling early nerves.

With the memory of the home defeat by Gillingham fresh in supporters’ minds, a goal against in the opening stages would’ve tested everyone’s resolve. It was not to be though and a  welcome victory was achieved through some decent performances.

Much discussion before the game about playing only one striker at home. It was up to Andy Williams to plough the proverbial lone furrow. He was rewarded with a penalty which thank goodness was converted. Scoring from twelve yards has proved a little troublesome this season but this one was put away comfortably. The award of the spot kick was a little fortunate to say the least. The move as allowed Jonathan Swift the freedom to roam and that paid dividends with his goal and display. Credit also to Harry Toffolo with his first goal.

For the second time this term we were entertained by County goalkeeper Roy Carroll’s antics. If you went to Meadow Lane before Christmas you’ll be aware that he was somewhat grumpy throughout the game. Same here. Maybe he had good reason over the penalty decision.

It was one of many made by a referee who decided to entertain us with some of his actions. The sending off of the Notts player in the second half was hilarious. If at first you don’t get dismissed try and try again and there you go.

So still in touch with the automatic place. I say place because it’s fair to say that those from Ashton Gate pretty much have the title wrapped up. You may remember that painful day a few years ago when relegation was confirmed there. Maybe in April something more pleasant may be in the offing.

That’s a long way off though. One other thing about last weekend: the Magpies’ away kit. Difficult to know where pitch ended and player began. Nott one of County’s best. I know I’ve put two t’s there.

So to Port Vale. A team in some form and another test at the cavernous Vale Park. The so-called Wembley of the North provides plenty of space for Swindon’s passing game. Hopefully a big following and three more points. Given a choice most fans would prefer to go up automatically rather than endure the play offs. It’s still within our reach.

It’s unlikely that we’ll see Louis Thompson in a Town shirt again this season. It may be that his shoulder injury prevents him playing for us before the end of the campaign. We should all wish him well for his future at Norwich. A midfielder who’s set for great things and very welcome back to the County Ground anytime.

Keep it loud keep it proud keep it SWINDON!

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