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Club News

Report: Town 2-4 Brighton (AET)

26 August 2014

SWINDON TOWN lost by four goals to two and finished with nine players after extra time against Championship side Brighton and Hove Albion, writes Adrian Smith.

The visitors went ahead through a superb shot by Rohan Ince in the first half but the Robins equalised at the start of the second half through Louis Thompson. Brighton stretched their lead in extra time thanks to a tap in by Colunga and a penalty scored by Forster-Caskey but Yaser Kasim pegged them back with his second goal in as many games. However another late penalty for Forster-Caskey sealed Town’s exit from the Capital One Cup for this season. Mark Cooper’s side finished with nine players having lost Barker to injury early in extra time and Nathan Thompson’s red card when conceding the second penalty.

Mark Cooper made one change to his starting line up with Massimo Luongo replacing Ben Gladwin after being rested in the win over Crewe.

Brighton kicked off playing towards the Town End but soon lost possession and Swindon then kept possession in midfield for almost two minutes knocking the ball around without getting a shot on goal.

The first shot of the game saw Kazenga Lualua fire in a weak effort wide of the Town goal in the 6th minute. Yaser Kasim was presented with an opportunity shortly afterwards when

Town were awarded a free kick 25 yards out but his curling effort went wide.

The visitors took the lead in the 10th minute with a superb 25 yard effort by Rohan Ince who gave Foderingham no chance and the goalscorer celebrated wildly but was shown a yellow card for his efforts.

Shortly afterwards Michael Smith did well to get on the end of a cross from Byrne but his headed effort flew high over the bar without troubling the keeper.  Smith was presented with another chance in the 17th minute when Luongo crossed from the right into the 6 yard box but Smith’s first time flick struck a defender and Brighton keeper Casper Ankengren was able to collect the ball easily.

Andy Williams tried his luck in the 20th minute from 20 yards with a smart turn and shot on the move but his effort flew over the bar.

Two minutes later Swindon were awarded a free kick for a foul 25 yards from goal and up stepped Yaser Kasim to fire in another curling effort which fizzed past the right hand upright.
The visitors were enjoying plenty of possession as the half wore on but a good cross by Jordan Turnbull had the visitors defence scrambling to clear in the 29th minute.

Brighton’s Jake Forster-Caskey intercepted a goalbound shot from Byrne in  the 32nd minute and the ball flew out for a corner.

Shortly afterwards the same Brighton player stopped a goalbound shot by Rossi-Branco on the line although the ball pinged about before being put out for a corner to Town and that led to Williams firing in a looping effort which was caught by the keeper.

Louis Thompson tried his luck in the 37th minute with a powerful shot from 20 yards but the keeper caught his effort cleanly.

Adrian Colunga outmuscled the Town defence in the 39th minute after being put through by Lewis Dunk but his powerful effort from 12 yards flew wide of the upright.

Yaser Kasim was shown a yellow card in the 41st minute for a trip on Lualua who was charging through midfield but the Town defence cleared the resulting free kick downfield.

Town had halfhearted appeals for a penalty turned down by the referee Andrew Madley just before the match entered the one minute of added time.

The last chance of the half saw Town awarded a free kick just outside the left hand side of the penalty area which led to the Brighton keeper flapping at the ball before dropping it but his blushes were saved when the referee blew his whistle to end the half.

Swindon kicked off the second half and went straight on the attack and their efforts were rewarded

When Louis Thompson fired home to equalise in the 46th minute after latching onto a pass from midfield.

Town were on fire and Michael Smith went agonisingly close with a powerful shot from 20 yards which went narrowly wide of the goal and shortly afterwards Kasim’s excellent free kick struck a defender and went out for a corner.

Brighton responded strongly and were denied a second goal when Lewis Dunk rose highest from a cross to head against the crossbar and although Colunga collected the loose ball, he was denied by Nathan Thompson who turned the ball out for a corner.

Kazenga Lualua was fouled on the left wing by Nathan Thompson who was shown the yellow card in the 59th minute and Thompson did well shortly afterwards to stop Lualua on the edge of the penalty area after he had charged towards goal.

Brighton turned up the pressure on the Town defence who were forced into some hurried defending but eventually regained their composure to launch an attack which saw both Michael Smith and Louis Thompson fire high and wide over the bar.

There was a break in play in the 69th minute while Lualua received treatment after a heavy challenge in front of the dugouts which saw protests from the visiting officials but the referee was satisfied that no offence had occurred and play eventually restarted with a throw in to Brighton.

Gary Gardner replaced Andrew Crofts and Paddy McCourt replaced Lualua in the 72nd minute. 

Town earned a corner in the 76th minute which was taken short and eventually led to Williams firing in a long range shot which was caught by Ankergren.

Ben Gladwin replaced Luongo in the 77th minute and the Australian midfielder left the field to good applause.

Brighton had a corner in the 79th minute which was taken long and eventually led to a couple of scrambles in the penalty area before the ball was cleared. The visitors continued to push for a second goal and earned another corner which was cleared for a throw in which gave Mark Cooper chance to replace Andy Williams with former Brighton player George Barker.

Connor Waldon replaced Ben Gladwin in the 90th minute during a break in play after Barker received treatment after tumbling heavily when tackled in the penalt y area but he was able to continue.

There was little action in front of goal during the 6 minutes of added time and so the match entered 30 minutes of extra time.

Joao Texeira replaced Chris O’Grady at the start of extra time but it was Town who had the first attack with George Barker firing in a powerful shot just wide of goal. However Barker did not last much longer and had to leave the field clutching his shoulder which was apparently injured when he tumbled near the end of the second half so Town were now playing with ten men having used all their substitutes.

Brighton took the lead in the 95th minute when Chicksen crossed from the left wing for Colunga to tap home from close range. There was worse to follow in the 100th minute later when the visitors were awarded a penalty for a foul by Turnbull on Colunga who was shown a yellow card. Jake Forster-Caskey then stepped up to fire in a powerful shot to the left of Foderingham to put Brighton ahead by two goals.

The Robins continued to try and get back in the game despite being hampered by having only ten players and inevitably there were gaps in defence as they pushed forward but they managed to get to half time in extra time without conceding further.

Connor Waldon showed some nice skill in the penalty area before firing in a powerful low shot which was gathered by Ankergren.

There was a little more for Town fans to cheer in the 118th minute when he picked up the loose ball near the edge of the area and charged forward before unleashing a powerful shot which gave Ankergren no chance and the Iraqi midfielder understandably looked delighted with his second goal in as many games.

The goal had ignited the atmosphere around the County Ground with the Robins faithful in the crowd of 5414 roaring on the 10 Town players.

Louis Thompson did well to advance into the penalty area before firing a teasing cross into the 6 yard box which was hoofed away for a corner but that was cleared by the defence.
Town continued to push for the elusive third goal in the two minutes of added time but a Brighton breakaway led to Nathan Thompson being shown the red card for hauling down Forster-Caskey in the penalty area.  Forster-Caskey  then stepped up to score his second penalty of the night and put the game beyond Town’s reach and there was no time for any other action before the final whistle.

The Town players left the pitch to good applause from the County Ground faithful for their superb efforts having played with 10 players against Championship side Brighton for the majority of extra time and finishing with 9 players due to Nathan Thompson’s late sending off.

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