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Club News

Report: Town 3-1 Scunthorpe

9 August 2014

SWINDON TOWN started the new season by beating newly promoted Scunthorpe 3-1 thanks to Michael Smith’s first half brace following Massimo Luongo’s early opener, writes Adrian Smith.

Paddy Madden had scored for the Iron in the first half but the visitors ended the match with ten players after Marcus Williams had been sent off for a push in the 80th minute.

Swindon had kicked off their 2014/15 campaign with Nathan Thompson having been named as Club Captain and with new signings Bradley Smith, Joshua Lelan and Jordan Turnbull included in the starting line-up.

Mark Cooper had been forced into changing his matchday squad due to an injury sustained by Anton Rodgers in the pre-match warm up and he was replaced by first year academy player Tom Smith.

Massimo Luongo opened the scoring for Town in the 4th minute after Ben Gladwin had advanced to the edge of the penalty area before laying the ball off to Nathan Byrne and his cross was flicked in from 6 yards by the Australian midfielder to raise the roof around the County Ground.

There was a break in play shortly afterwards when Scunthorpe’s Syers collided with Nathan Thompson and although Thompson left the pitch briefly, Syers stayed down for almost two minutes with both side’s physios in close attendance before he was able to eventually get to his feet and rejoin play.

The referee Stuart Attwell waved away strong claims for a penalty when Byrne fell under a challenge in the penalty area much to the Town fans disgust.

Syers had to leave the field in the 11th minute to be replaced by Deon Burton

Swindon doubled their lead in the 13th minute when Louis Thompson picked up the ball on the left wing and advanced to the angle of the penalty area before sending an angled cross to Michael Smith who opened his account for the season with a first time shot from 10 yards which beat visiting keeper Sam Slocombe.  Cries of ‘we are top of the League’ rang out from the joyous Town End as Mark Cooper’s side continued to pile on the pressure.

Wes Foderingham made a superb save from a point blank header by Myrie-Williams when he managed to flick the ball over the bar for a corner despite stumbling.

The visitors snatched their opening goal through Paddy Madden when he outpaced the Town defence in the 20th minute before sliding the ball past Foderingham.

Two minutes later the Town keeper needed treatment for a late challenge by Bishop but he was able to continue after treatment.

Swindon earned a corner in the 30th minute when Byrne’s cross was deflected behind but the visiting defence cleared. However the Robins continued to apply more pressure with some smart passing in midfield before the ball only just evaded Michael Smith in front of goal and ran out for a goal kick.

Madden was denied his second goal of the game when a defensive mix up gifted him the ball but he somehow managed to Jordan Turnbull’s backside with his shot as Foderingham lay on the ground.

Gary McSheffrey contrived to miss a golden opportunity when he latched onto a cross in front of goal but his flicked effort went wide of the upright with Foderingham beaten.

The 4th official indicated that seven minutes  of added time would be played and there was a scare for the Robins when Burton almost equalised with an audacious 20 yard lob which saw Foderingham furiously backpedalling but the ball went narrowly wide.

Louis Thompson made a superb blocking tackle on Madden on the edge of the Town penalty area before launching a Town attack

Swindon added a 3rd goal deep in added time when Michael Smith instinctively flicked out a boot to divert the ball into the goal after it had cannoned off the upright from Gladwin’s angled cross following some good work down the right hand flank.

The Robins left the field to good applause from the County Ground faithful in the crowd of 7060 after a highly entertaining first half in which they made the best of their chances in front of goal.

Town’s first serious attack of the second half saw Michael Smith fire into the side netting from the right hand side of the penalty area after collecting the ball from Luongo.

The visitors were showing plenty of urgency in an effort to get back in the game but Town were easily containing their attacks and getting plenty of possession in their opponents  half.

Nathan Byrne went close for Town when he tricked his way into the penalty area before sending in a low goalbound shot which the keeper pushed out for a corner but that was cleared.

Lyle Taylor replaced Jennison Myrie-Williams in the 64th minute and he almost scored straight away  with a close range header which Foderingham did well to push away and the ball was cleared.

Andy Williams replaced Michael Smith in the 70th minute and received tremendous applause for his two goals and Raphael Rossi-Branco replaced Josh Lelan who also received good applause for a solid League debut for Town.

Town were denied a deserved 4th goal in the 72nd minute following a superb move involving Kasim, Byrne and Luongo with Kasim only just failing to connect with the ball in front of goal. Shortly afterwards Andy Williams was denied by a goal line clearance made by Nolan after another superb move.

There was a major flashpoint in the 80th minute when Marcus Williams needlessly lashed out after a free kick had been awarded against Scunthorpe near the half way line and the referee showed the inevitable red card.

Deon Burton suffered the pain of being substituted in the 83rd minute after having only joined as a substitute in the first half as visiting manager Russ Wilcox tried to make the best use of his remaining players by shuffling his formation.

Yaser Kasim was named as the Sponsors Man of the Match on a day when the Town midfield had dominated much of the play.

Massimo Luongo wasted a great chance for Town when he headed wide with Andy Williams much better placed behind him from a superb cross by Byrne.

Town were content to knock the ball around in the four minutes of added time with the visitors struggling to get any possession and the final whistle was blown with Town on the ball. 

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