SWINDON Town beat FA Cup Semi Finalists Sheffield United thanks to goals by Miles Storey and Louis Thompson, both products of Town’s youth system, writes Adrian Smith
Miles Storey had given Town the lead in the 18th minute only for visiting captain Michael Doyle to equalise in the 59th minute but Louis Thompson scored the winner in the 90th minute having replaced Gladwin in the 62nd minute.
Swindon had made 2 changes to the starting line-up against United with Lee Cox replacing Massimo Luongo after featuring in the win at Tranmere and Troy Archibald Henville recalled in place of Raphael Rossi-Branco.
The match kick off was delayed by 15 minutes due to severe traffic jams as a result of a serious road traffic incident near the ground which delayed supporters so Town kicked off at 3.15pm playing towards the Town End.
Swindon had the first corner of the match in the 2nd minute after Michael Smith’s shot struck a defender and the ball was crossed back in by Nathan Thompson but it struck a defender and went out for a corner. The visiting keeper Mark Howard flapped badly at the cross missing the ball but no Town player was on hand to take advantage and the ball was cleared.
United had their first corner shortly afterwards but Wes Foderingham caught the resulting cross cleanly and launched the ball downfield to start another attack.
Jay McEveley set up Thompson to launch an attack after pinging an angled cross 70 yards from the left wing to the right wing and although Thompson tricked his way into the penalty area, his attempted cross was cut out by the keeper.
A loose Sheffield United pass was picked up in midfield by Ben Gladwin who charged through midfield and laid the ball off to Miles Storey who crossed into the box but his effort was cut out and although he received the ball back, his next cross was cut out by the defence.
Swindon’s bright start was rewarded with an absolute peach of a goal when Gladwin flicked the ball into the penalty area from the right wing and Miles Storey fired home with a right footed shot to give Town an 18th minute lead. The goal was Storey’s 2nd in 3 games since returning from his loan period at Shrewsbury and his 3rd of the season so far.
Town clearly had the upper hand playing some attractive football and pushing Sheffield back up the pitch with the visitors struggling to get anywhere near Fodringham’s goal as the half wore on.
The first substitution of the match saw Jose Baxter replaced by Chris Porter in the 33rd minute with Baxter leaving the field clutching his hip.
Wes Foderingham made two superb saves in the space of a minute with his first save being from a close range header by Coady and then the Town keeper pushed a goalbound effort over from Brayford’s header when the ball was crossed from the corner.
Alex Smith earned a corner for Town in the 39th minute when his crossed was badly miskicked by Collins but the keeper caught the resulting cross.
The visitors were awarded a freekick for a late challenge by Archibald Henville in the 42nd minute but Foderingham caught Neill Collins header when the ball was crossed from the right wing.
One minute of added time was played with no action in either goalmouth and Town left the field able to reflect on a very good first half display.
The visitors kicked off the second half with the match being played in bright sunshine but it was Town who made the brighter start earning a corner in the 48th minute but the cross was cleared.
Lee Cox was enjoying his start having seen plenty of the ball in the first half and he also popped up in defence to cut out a dangerous pass into Town penalty area.
Michael Smith was cautioned in the 51st minute after being penalised for challenging the keeper when the ball was crossed and Jack Stephens also saw yellow for a late challenge near the dugouts and when the free kick was taken, Foderingham decisively punched the ball well clear.
A superb flowing move involving Kasim and Storey presented Michael Smith with a gift wrapped opportunity to score in the 56th minute but the Town forward’s weak shot went wide of the left hand upright.
Sheffield ’s equaliser in the 59th minute saw Michael Doyle tap in at the far post when the ball was crossed from the visitors left wing after Town had left acres of space to attack.
McGinn replaced Scougall in the 61st minute for the visitors and Town’s Louis Thompson replaced Gladwin in the 62nd minute.
The goal had clearly lifted the visitors who were roared on by 860 supporters and Town were struggling to clear their lines.
Nathan Byrne replaced Nathan Thompson in the 67th minute and took over the Captain’s armband.
Yaser Kasim appeared to be fouled as he steadied himself to shoot from outside the penalty area but the referee K Hill chose to play on and the Town midfielder continued to protest so was eventually shown a yellow card for his troubles in the 70th minute.
Chris Porter headed over at a corner for the visitors in the 74th minute appealing for a penalty but the referee ignored his protests.
Swindon were struggling to get any sort of attack going and eventually Mark Cooper introduced Connor Waldon in the 80th minute in place of Michael Smith who had struggled to get anything from the Sheffield defence.
Michael Doyle gave Town a scare in the 82nd minute when he unleashed a powerful shot from outside the penalty area but his effort went narrowly wide of the upright.
Nathan Byrne was shown a yellow card for stopping Doyle in his tracks illegally on the left wing but Foderingham caught the resulting cross.
There was drama in the 88th minute when United had the ball in the net but the referee had already blown for a foul by Archibald Henville with the visiting fans already celebrating. The Town defender was shown a yellow card for the foul and United’s frustrations increased when Davies’s free kick struck the defensive wall.
Town were indebted to Foderingham yet again when he made a save from a close range shot by Conor Coady when a goal looked certain and the Town keeper was announced as Sponsors Man of the Match shortly afterwards.
Having withstood heavy United pressure, Town somehow managed to find a decisive second goal in the 90th minute after Storey had done well to get the ball on the right wing before passing to Byrne who charged downfield before passing inside to Louis Thompson and his shot had just enough power to beat the keeper although the ball seemed to take an age to cross the line. Mark Cooper will be able to reflect well on the fact that two of his substitutes - Byrne and Louis Thompson - had been involved with the winning goal.
The 4th official indicated that 5 minutes of added time would be played just before ex Town player Billy Paynter replaced Kieron Freeman.
United’s defence were struggling to deal with Miles Storey’s pace and Ben Davies was shown a yellow card for fouling Storey but the visiting defence cleared the ball from the free kick.
The Town fans in the County Ground crowd of 8441 cranked up the noise in anticipation of the Robins first victory over Sheffield United in 10 attempts and the final whistle was greeted with a tremendous roar.
The 3 points ensured that Mark Cooper’s team leapfrog MK Dons in League One moving up to 7th place with 57 points, just one point behind Peterborough in 6th place.
Swindon Town: Foderingham, Thompson N (C), Stephens, Archibald-Henville, McEveley, Smith A, Kasim, Cox, Gladwin, Storey, Smith M
Subs: Belford, Byrne, Barthram, Branco, Thompson L, Barker, Waldon
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