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Report: Town 2-1 Plymouth

8 October 2013

NICKY Ajose’s second-half strike sealed Swindon’s place in the next round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy. 

After falling behind early on, Jack Barthram’s header levelled matters before Ajose struck seconds after the break. 

Mark Cooper made five changes to the starting line-up. In came Jack Barthram, Raphael Rossi-Branco, Nicky Ajose, Mohammed Elgabas and Louis Thompson. There was also a late change in goal where Wes Foderingham, who was suffering with illness, was replaced by Tyrell Belford.

The young goalkeeper was in action early on as the hosts took the lead after just six minutes. Andre Blackman advanced on goal and saw his shot deflect off a red shirt before travelling past Belford and into the net. 

Spurred on by the set-back, the Town set about searching for a way back into the game. Massimo Luongo fired wide and Elgabas’s shot clattered back off the upright.

Just short of the 20-minute mark, Grant Hall’s flighted diagonal ball picked out the advancing Jack Barthram who rose to plant a header beyond the reach of Jake Cole to draw Town level. 

Cole was on hand to divert Elgabas’s goalbound header while Pritchard and Ajose both failed to hit the target. 

Before the half was over, Barthram found himself in a good position once more but this time could only hit the crossbar with his effort. 

The second forty-five was less than a minute old when Swindon took the lead. Nicky Ajose picked his spot from the edge of the area and curled the ball into the corner of the net. 

Five minutes later, Alex Pritchard’s teasing delivery from a corner picked out Darren Ward in the box. The Town skipper moved onto the cross and powered a header narrowly wide of goal. 

Elgabas fired wide on two occasions, both times after being picked out by Ajose. 

As the visitors began to pour forward in search of an equaliser, Belford did well to punch clear Reuben Reid’s shot after the striker had galloped forward and created a shooting opportunity. Despite Belford being called in to action once more, the Town held on to secure their place in the area quarter-final.

Swindon Town: Belford, Branco, Ward (C), Hall, Barthram, Byrne, Pritchard, Elgabas, Ajose, Luongo, Thompson L

Substitutes: Kasim, Waldon, Cox, Ranger, N'Guessan

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