Vic Morgan: Checking out of the Checkatrade

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

It’s over then. Swindon Town’s involvement in the controversial Checkatrade Trophy ended on Tuesday night. It was a game which featured five goals, some of them excellent, including a first for the club from Ellis Iandolo and a great finish from Luke Norris.

Now I know this competition has had it’s critics and indeed it’s boycotts, but to be fair it’s featured some of the most entertaining games of our season.

Yes I can hear you shouting as you read this. “How dare you say this about the tournament which threatened the existence of the Football League as we know it?” I know all the arguments but there were games in which Swindon played and so therefore I went to them.

Having sat through some real dross this season, I was glad I went to them too. A lot of youngsters who wouldn’t normally go to Town games were there and enjoyed them as well.

Anyway it’s over now and I doubt this format will be used again. Attendances were low and many clubs fielded weakened teams. I rather enjoyed the penalty shoot outs to decide the extra point though. It wouldn’t work in a league situation as it might lead to teams playing defensively, but they were fun.

As for Tuesday’s winners Luton? They were a side fined for playing a side without many first team regulars in a previous round. Well now they’re closer to the final. Maybe they’ll think it’s worthwhile now.

The match against the Hatters came after Swindon’s traditional FA Cup second round break. A weird Saturday every December when our team doesn’t play. Wouldn’t it be lovely next year to not only reach round two but also be involved in the third round. Fingers crossed maybe you can  include it in your letter to Father Christmas.

It’s a long journey this weekend to Sheffield a United. One of the great English clubs stuck in League One.

It seems every year we go there that they’re one of the favourites for promotion and every year they fall short. Most notably a couple of seasons back when we knocked them out of the play offs in that never to be forgotten semi final.

Can you still remember how you felt after that magnificent second leg at the County Ground? Still the best game I’ve ever seen. Breathtaking is the only word that comes close. Let’s hope the long journey is worthwhile at the weekend and has a similar result to the first leg. Swindon won you’ll no doubt recall.

It’s transfer speculation time of course. Former QPR man Christopher Samba is a name being linked to the Town. A player that cost millions in the past. Can we really be after players like that? Time will tell. If we are then, that’s ambition.

See you at Bramall Lane.

Keep it loud keep it proud keep it SWINDON!

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