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Report: Gillingham 2-2 Town

20 August 2014

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A late own goal from Gillingham goalkeeper, Stephen Bywater, secured a 2-2 draw and a point for Swindon at the Priestfield Stadium.

Town twice came from behind to earn a share of the spoils in Kent scoring at the end of either half.

Manager Mark Cooper made two changes to the side that had been beaten at Crawley the previous Saturday. Andy Williams replaced the suspended Louis Thompson while there was a recall for the previously injured Brad Smith on the left hand side. Jack Barthram dropped to the bench.

Swindon set the tone early on, dominating the ball as they had done in all their previous encounters so far this term. Rapha Branco headed over from Luongo’s free-kick delivery and Nathan Byrne fired a shot in from the angle of the box that was well held by the hosts’ Stephen Bywater.

Just before the ten minute mark however, Swindon found themselves a goal down. Wes Foderingham raced off his line to clear a ball forward but his clearance clattered back off the lurking Danny Kedwell. The ball looped over the stranded Foderingham and landed at the feet of Kedwell who calmly turned the ball into the empty net.

Much like their performance at Crawley, the visitors set about laying siege to the home side’s goal and found the Gills’ goalkeeper in fine form. Bywater was on hand to deny Michael Smith, Andy Williams and Ben Gladwin with some fine goalkeeping.

Just before the break, Swindon levelled with a neatly taken goal. Andy Williams was set free by Michael Smith on the break. He raced into the box and cut back onto his right foot before slotting home into the bottom corner.

Town started the second half as they had begun the first. Kortney Hause found himself free on the left after Gillingham had snaffled back possession in midfield. With the accuracy of a seasoned striker, the Gills defender rifled the ball high into the roof of the net to restore the home side’s lead.

As Swindon battled to find a way back into the match, Brad Smith’s low cross evaded everyone in red while Michael Smith found himself in a goalscoring position, only to be denied by the offside flag. Yaser Kasim also went into the book for simulation after going down in the box.

The home side still looked dangerous on the break and Brennan Dickenson rattled the Town crossbar after being picked out in the box.

As the clocked moved into the 90th minute of play, Swindon were camped on the edge of the Gills box. The ball was worked out to Rapha Branco in an advanced position on the right. Striking through the ball, his cross was fired at Bywater who proceeded to fumble the effort over the goal-line and earn Swindon an away point.

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