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Report: Town 5-2 Sheffield United

20 September 2014

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TOWN produced a five-star display against promotion favourites, Sheffield United, demolishing the Blades 5-2 in a topsy-turvy game at The CG.

Michael Smith’s brace and Jon Obika’s strike set the tone and, after the visitors had got themselves back in the game, further goals from Andy Williams and Louis Thompson wrapped up the points.

Mark Cooper named an unchanged matchday squad for the third game in a row with Jack Stephens still absent through illness.

Town were into the attack early on with Yaser Kasim’s free-kick clipping the crossbar on its way over.

Jonathan Obika also went close after a flowing, incisive Swindon move. Louis Thompson played in Brad Smith on the left flank. The wing back picked out the lurking Obika who steered his shot wide of the target.

The early pressure did pay off just short of the 15-minute mark. Louis Thompson was the architect, driving forward with the ball from the middle of the park. He fed Michael Smith who had drifted away from his marker on the right hand edge of the area and the striker, in turn, took a touch to steady himself and set his sights before rifling the ball beyond Mark Howard.

Before the midway point, another chance had come and gone. Town poured forward on the break and when the ball eventually came to Luongo, he strode into the box but could only fire wide of goal.

Rapha Branco also headed Brad Smith’s corner straight at Howard while at the other end, the returning Jay McEveley managed to head wide from a Blades corner.

The second half was barely ten minutes old when Town opened up a 2-0 lead. Massimo Luongo weaved his way into the box before being hacked down. Michael Smith stepped up to the resultant penalty and buried it, firing low into the bottom left-hand corner.

Minutes later, it was three. Brad Smith’s incisive play down the left ended with him knocking the ball back for the waiting Jonathan Obika. The striker seemed to have all the time in the world as he took a touch to set himself before picking out the back of the net.

With their tails up and with the home crowd in fine voice, Town then appeared to take their foot off the gas while the visitors upped the ante. With just over 20 minutes to play, Marc McNulty bundled the ball in from close range to reduce the deficit. Not long afterwards, the visitors really got nerves jangling around The CG by finding the net for a second time. Wes Foderingham could only push a cross into the path of Ben Davies and the midfielder made no mistake from the angle.

Despite the set-back, the home side managed to rally once again and restored their two-goal advantage through substitute, Andy Williams. Some clever play from Brad Smith saw him slide in the striker, who let the ball run across his body before finding the bottom corner of Howard’s goal.

As the clock ticked closer to the 90-minute mark, the Town added a fifth. Yaser Kasim produced a sublime piece of skill close to the corner flag to take him away from three defenders. Looking up, he rolled the ball across the box into the path of the waiting Louis Thompson, who swung a right boot and set a rocket into the net via the underside of the crossbar.

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