Vic Morgan: Mixed Emotions

Former BBC Wiltshire match commentator Vic Morgan writes his weekly blog…

Two long journeys, two completely different performances, two different sets of feelings amongst the fans. You couldn’t really get more of a contrast from one day to the next.

On Saturday, Swindon capitulated, not too strong a word, at Rochdale. Three days later at Southend, they battled to keep the home side at bay.

All the spirit and pride that was missing at Spotland at the weekend, returned at Roots Hall. So much so that a draw felt like a win. Instead of gloom and doom on the way home, it was a feeling of a job well done by our team.

Okay it might be a slight exaggeration to say any corner had been turned but maybe the slowing down into the bend may have begun. Maybe the deserved thrashing at Rochdale hit home to the players that the supporters were well and truly fed up with what they’d seen.

At the end of Saturday’s game Rafael Rossi-Branco showed real spirit in coming over to accept the performance was, well, unacceptable and received a round of applause for doing so. Perhaps that feeling of being let down by the team’s efforts was taken back to the dressing room by the Brazilian because there was a completely different attitude on display at Roots Hall.

Yes they went behind early on and yes had to rely on some great goalkeeping at the death to stay in the game, but there was a willingness to throw bodies on the line which was missing in the north at the weekend.

There was real fear on the way to Tuesday’s game that Southend may hit five or six and after their goal on eleven minutes, that seemed a real possibility. A slight change in formation in the second half though brought about a Town revival and a deserved equaliser by the fit again Jon Obika. That goal was celebrated with relief, joy and any other emotion you can mention.

Emotions were high amongst the travelling one hundred and sixty six Swindon fans. Those are the moments that keep you going in even the darkest of days supporting a football team, the last fifteen minutes seemed like an hour before the final whistle and a much valued point.

Let’s not over egg the pudding, a relegation dog fight is still very much a possibility and a Rochdale display is just as likely as a Southend one. However, things didn’t feel quite so bleak on the M25, M4, and M5 returning home.

All that will count for nothing unless the home crowd see a decent display against Bradford on Saturday. As a fan who travels away as well as to home games, I realise that it’s the performances at the County Ground that draw the crowds that pay the bills. It’s at home you get most people watching you and it’s at home you want to impress.

Let’s hope we get a Charlton rather than an Eastleigh on Saturday. Show half the spirit you showed at Southend and a decent result at the weekend is possible. Show what you showed at Rochdale and you’ll be sunk. Now is the time to show how good you can be before mid season struggles turn to late season disaster.

As always keep it loud keep it proud keep it SWINDON!

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