SWINDON Town slipped to a one nil home defeat after a disappointing performance against Oldham in a match which saw Troy Archibald-Henville sent off for two yellow cards, writes Adrian Smith.
The home side had few clear cut scoring opportunities on a frustrating afternoon after Mark Cooper had made three changes with George Barker replacing Nile Ranger,Ryan Harley replacing the suspended Alex Pritchard and Nathan Byrne in the side instead of Yaser Kasim.
Swindon kicked off in bright sunshine playing with a strong wind behind down the pitch towards the Stratton Bank but it was the visitors who had the first corner of the match in the 3rd minute although the ball flew out for a throw in on the far side of the pitch.
Both sides were struggling to get any clear shots on goal until the 14th minute when Ryan Harley let fly with a dipping shot from 25 yards which the Oldham keeper Oxley did well to parry before a defender hoofed the ball clear. Town were awarded a corner shortly afterwards but were unable to get a clear shot on goal and the ball was cleared downfield.
Oldham’s first shot on goal through Wesolowski in the 20th minute saw the ball always rising and never threatening Foderingham’s goal.
Swindon’s next serious chance came in the 30th minute when Michael Smith was fouled by Lockwood around 25 yards from goal but Harley’s free kick lacked any trajectory and struck the defensive wall and when the ball rebounded to him, he flicked the ball towards goal but it pinged around before being cleared.
The referee cautioned Michael Smith after awarding a free kick against Swindon which led to a prolonged period of possession for the visitors until Foderingham eventually gained control of the ball.
The home fans were getting restless at the Robins lack of urgency in the final third of the pitch until finally Town were appealing for a penalty when Byrne tricked his way past a defender only to be tripped on the edge of the area but the referee only awarded a free kick and when the ball was crossed, Darren Ward could only head wide.
There was no other action to report before the half time whistle was blown to end a disappointing first half with little excitement in front of goal.
Troy Archibald-Henville made a rare appearance at the start of the second half replacing Darren Ward and he took up position at the heart of the defence.
The visitors were looking lively in attack penning the Robins back in their own half until Nathan Byrne launched an attack down the right wing before sending a dangerous ball across the penalty area which just evaded Michael Smith. Shortly afterwards George Barker collided with a defender in the penalty area but the referee ignored Town’s claims for a penalty and allowed play to continue.
Nile Ranger replaced George Barker in the 59th minute which was well received by the home fans.
Raphael Rossi-Branco was cautioned for a late challenge in midfield in the 62nd minute but the visitors wasted the resulting free kick.
Oldham introduced new signing Jon Stead in the 65th minute and shortly afterwards Foderingham denied Smith with a fine save from Smith’s piledriver.
Archibald-Henville was cautioned for a mistimed challenge after losing possession in the Oldham half in the 68th minute and three minutes later David Worrall also saw yellow for fouling Harley.
Massimo Luongo was replaced by Ben Gladwin in the 72nd minute but it was the visitors who were looking most likely to score and they did just that when Jonathan Grounds fired home after the ball had pinged about the Town penalty area.
The visitors threatened in the 80th minute when Foderingham’s clearance only reached Wilson and his attempted lob landed on the roof of the net with the Town keeper rapidly backpedalling.
Town were desperately trying to mount a serious attack on goal without being able to get a shot on goal and there was drama late on when Archibald-Henville was shown a second yellow card and then red for a late challenge.
Town’s first corner of the second half came deep in the 5 minutes of added time but the referee awarded a free kick when the ball was crossed for a push in the penalty area.
The match ended with Town on the attack but they were left to reflect on a match of few clear cut chances
Swindon Town: Foderingham, Thompson N, Branco, Ward (C), Reckord, Luongo, Thompson L, Harley, Byrne, Barker, Smith M
Subs: Belford, Barthram, Archibald-Henville, Smith A, Gladwin, Reis, Ranger