Vic Morgan: Early promise
Former BBC Wiltshire match commentator Vic Morgan returns for the 2016/17 season…
This time last week I wrote that if you believed much of the comment that had been said about the new season, then Swindon were certs to have a disaster of a campaign. I also wrote that I didn’t feel pessimistic and the early signs are that it’s optimism rather than the opposite feeling that you hear from Town fans at the moment.
A decent enough display against Coventry brought three points through a late Kasim goal. The first half was early season rustiness, the second showed signs of gears clicking into place. There was no doubt that the win was deserved. Okay if Coventry’s strikers had been able to take advantage of opening day blunders, the result would surely have been different. They didn’t and it wasn’t.
A crowd of over nine thousand was a healthy one for the first match and, apart from those wearing sky blue, most of the fans would have left feeling pretty good. James Brophy typified the Town’s day. Looking nervous early on, he grew into the game and was rightly, in my opinion, given the Man of the Match award. All good then and a win in your first fixture without conceding is all you can ask for. Allied to that a couple of signings the day before in Lloyd Jones and Luke Norris, added to the feelgood factor.
Those two players made their Town debuts at Loftus Road against Queen’s Park Rangers in the EFL Cup, or the League Cup as most of us call it. A difficult tie at a Championship club. The two sides are, of course, indelibly linked in this competition. QPR won in in 1967 as a Third Division side and that feat was repeated by our club two years later. Great goals from the likes of Rodney Marsh and Don Rogers beneath the twin towers are part of the League Cup’s folklore.
This game too will be well remembered by the nine hundred Swindon fans who traveled to the nation’s capital. The Town played some great football and looked more than a match for their higher league opposition. It wasn’t just that though. It was the tremendous spirit shown by a side that had a sprinkling of young players. Brophy again starred with a tremendous addition to the scoresheet, Norris and Jones looked excellent signings and when called upon Jordan Stewart came up with an absolute cracker of a goal.
It was a night to feel proud of your sides display. Okay the penalty shoot out was a disappointing ending but after one hundred and twenty minutes, including half an hour with ten men because of injury, it must have been like kicking a ball from twelve yards with lead in your boots.
The Town didn’t deserve to go out and there wasn’t one Swindon fan who would have left feeling disappointed with the teams efforts. In short they were excellent, giving more cause for optimism. Twenty four hours earlier I’d watched Exeter knock out another Championship side in Brentford. I wasn’t terribly impressed by the Bees and QPR weren’t brilliant either. Not sure what that says about the standard of our second tier, suffice it to say the gap between that league and ours may not be as great as we think it is.
A word about the EFL Trophy and a proposed boycott. This may not make me very popular, but I can’t see any point in staying away from any Swindon game. You see I support my team. You could argue the competition has been boycotted for years with low crowds. If people had felt that strongly about it then they would have turned up to watch the early rounds. I just wonder how many of those who want us to boycott the games went to them all before. You have a choice go or don’t go. I respect your decision if you don’t and I would hope you would respect those who do.
Off we go to Chesterfield on Saturday, the scene of a great four nil win last season. Having watched Swindon’s first two games, I’m hoping for good things.
As always keep it loud keep it proud keep it SWINDON!