Town - 1 (Rooney PEN '59)
TOWN drew 1-1 at Crawley Town in front of the Sky television cameras.
After falling behind to a first half penalty, Adam Rooney’s penalty on the hour mark secured a point for the visitors.
With injuries and illness causing problems with the Town’s playing personnel, manager Paolo Di Canio could only name six substitutes on the bench. There were three enforced changes in the starting XI: In came Gary Roberts for the departed Matt Ritchie and Aden Flint replaced the injured Joe Devera. Jay McEveley was restored to left back with skipper Alan McCormack switching to right back in place of Nathan Thompson who dropped to the bench after suffering with a virus earlier in the week.
Despite Town having the majority of possession in the opening 20 minutes, the home side took the lead in the 22nd minute from the penalty spot. Alan McCormack brought down Nicky Adams in the box and Billy Clarke took responsibility for the kick, slamming it hard and high beyond Foderingham into the back of the net.
It would prove to be a frustrating forty five minutes in front of the Sky cameras for the Town. Chances were few and far between for both sides and for Town in particular. The hosts did manage to hit the side netting shortly after netting the opener.
At the other end, Town’s only real chance of note came courtesy of Andy Williams who planted a header straight at Jones in the Crawley goal.
On the stroke of half time, Wes Foderingham made a fine save from debutant Jamie Proctor. Town’s offside trap was found wanting, Proctor gathered the ball and found himself one-on-one with Foderingham. The Town stopper would win the battle of wits and got a strong left arm to the striker’s effort.
With 59 minutes on the clock, Town drew level thanks to second half substitute Adam Rooney. The Irishman was shoved in the back inside the box and the referee had no hesitation in pointing for the second spot kick of the game. Rooney dusted himself off, set himself for the kick and rifled the ball low and hard into the corner of the net.
Swindon now appeared to be in the ascendancy and Jones had to be very alert to keep out Rooney’s clever near-post flick that was heading for the back of the net.
Andy Williams directed a header wide before Town’s dominance seemed to fade and with neither side able to take their chances, they both had to settle for a hard-earned point.
Swindon Town: Wes Foderingham; Alan McCormack (Capt), Aden Flint, Darren Ward, Jay McEveley; Gary Roberts, Tommy Miller, Simon Ferry, Raffaele De Vita; Andy Williams, James Collins
Substitutes: Leight Bedwell, Alan Navarro, Nathan Thompson, Chris Martin, Adam Rooney, Aaron Oakley
Crawley Town: Paul Jones, Mustapha Dumbuya, Mat Sadler, Mark Connolly, Billy Clarke, Matt Sparrow, Josh Simpson (Capt), Joe Walsh, Jamie Proctor, Nicky Adams, Mike Jones
Substitutes: Connor Essam, Sergio Torres, David Hunt, Dannie Bulman, Lateef Elford-Alliyu, Jonte Smith, Johnny Maddison