Football Is Back…

Former BBC Wiltshire commentator Vic Morgan writes his latest blog for TheWashbag.com…

I know it’s been less than two weeks but it seems an age since Swindon last played. The back to back wins over Walsall and Chesterfield feel like they were months ago.

Thankfully that break is now coming to an end and our favourite team is back in action this weekend. Those two wins have helped new boss Martin Ling get a nomination for manager of the month. Quite a turn around in the space of a short time. The victories have also lifted Swindon out of the relegation zone and restored some of last seasons swagger.

Ironically it’s Rochdale who visit this Saturday, the same team which saw the beginning of Lingy’s reign. It was that game of course which led to our mid season break. That FA Cup defeat was disappointing to say the least. Hopefully, now, that will be put right when ‘Dale come visiting.

So what do you do when there’s no football to watch? Well you watch football obviously. I took the opportunity to take in some local action from the Devon and Exeter league. I went across the Exe estuary for the local derby between Topsham Town and Heavitree. It was an excellent match, keenly fought and ending in a draw. A fair result in an even contest.

Game at Topsham

Game at Topsham

Sometimes if you watch professional football all the time you can forget how good the grass roots game is. We read, hear and see about millions of pounds floating around at the top level, while not paying tribute to those who play for the love of it. They’re aided by volunteers who give up their time to support their local club. The main thing I got from the game was that it was fun, yes fun, to watch. If you haven’t visited your nearest sports ground to watch an amateur game recently, do it. You won’t regret it.

Twenty four hours later I was at St.James’ Park to watch Exeter City take on Port Vale in something called the second round of the FA Cup. Who knew? Again it was a pleasure to be there.

Happy Grecians Fans

Happy Grecians Fans

Former Swindon loanee Lee Holmes was man of the match for City. He simply tore at the Vale defence causing them all sorts of problems. It was a terrific performance by the Grecians who were worthy 2-0 winners. Their reward? A home tie with Liverpool. Not bad for an early Christmas present. Nice to see Paul Bodin on the Vale coaching staff. One of our great players and back working in the game he loves. Top bloke Zippy.

Back to the County Ground at last on Saturday and hopefully another three points. Nice perhaps to be looking up rather than down. Not getting carried away though, don’t think anyone is. Long way to go, anything’s possible.

Keep it loud keep it proud keep it SWINDON!

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