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Report: Town 2-1 Rochdale

12 December 2015

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SWINDON Town beat ten-man Rochdale by two goals to one thanks to goals by Fabien Robert and Ben Gladwin, writes Adrian Smith

The visitors were reduced to 10 players when John O’Sullivan was shown a straight red card after a  tangling with Yaser Kasim in a 50/50 challenge and Town took advantage with two goals in as many minutes through Robert’s shot and Gladwin’s deflected effort.

Rochdale kept battling and pulled a goal back in the 60th minute through Oliver Lancashire at a corner but Martin Ling’s team closed out the match to record  their third win on the trot.

Swindon kicked off playing towards the Allenford Stratton Bank under the newly enhanced floodlights but it was Rochdale who had the first attack of the match ending in a corner which was cleared.

The first main incident occurred in the 12th minute when Yaser Kasim and John O’Sullivan contested a 50/50 ball just inside the Rochdale half with O’Sullivan catching Kasim late and the referee David Webb immediately brandished a red card to the Rochdale player who left the field immediately.

Town earned a corner in the 18th minute thanks to Louis Thompsons determined running  but the short corner routine led to nothing.

Rochdale responded with a corner after El Abd’s backpass went wide of Vigouroux’s goal but the resulting cross was cleared.

Town were enjoying plenty of possession thanks to their numerical advantage without being able to threaten the Rochdale goal but finally they earned a corner in the 31st minute when Gladwin’s cross was headed behind by a defender which led to a weak shot which was easily saved.

Town took the lead in the 33rd minute after a superb crossfield by pass reached Barry who controlled the ball before sending a cross for Fabien Robert to volley past Joel Castro Periera in the visitors goal. The
goal was Robert’s 4th of the season and no sooner had the crowd settled down than Ben Gladwin doubled Town’s lead after picking up the ball in midfield and his shot struck a defender to wrongfoot the keeper within 90 seconds of the first goal and the ball nestled in the right hand side of the net.

A wild challenge on Louis Thompson by Donal McMermott in the 38th minute saw him yellow carded and then substituted by Brian Barry Murphy, who had been a late addition to the team sheet after Scott Tanser had been injured in the prematch warm up.

Rochdale were now restricted to playing with just one forward as they tried to stem the Town attacks and they managed to keep the Robins at bay during the three minutes of added time with no further incident.

The first main action of the second half saw Ben Gladwin fire wide of goal in the 48th minute.

The Rochdale manager used up his quota of substitutes as Nathaniel Mendez Laing and former Town loanee Calvin Andrew replaced Camps and Vincenti in the 54th minute.

Ian Henderson was shown a yellow card for a late challenge in the 58th minute as the visitors showed some indiscipline.

However Rochdale got a foothold back in the match in the 60th minute when Oliver Lancashire bundled home from close range and the goal was awarded thanks to the assistant referee’s eagle eyes and he indicated that the ball had crossed the line to the delight of the 177 visiting supporters in the crowd of 7149.

Some good pressure by the Robins led to two corners in quick succession but the pressure was eased when the Rochdale defence cleared long downfield.

A superb run by Gladwin saw him charge past several defenders before advancing into the penalty area before firing narrowly wide of the far post in the 68th minute.

Matthew Lund was cautioned in the 71st minute for a cynical trip from behind on Thompson and up stepped Kasim to fire a shot just wide of goal.

Yaser Kasim set up Obika with a good chance in the 76th minute sending the ball into the path of the Town forward but his first touch was too hard and the keeper parried his effort.

Jermaine Hylton replaced Ajose shortly afterwards as Martin Ling elected to try and inject more urgency into the Town attack with Rochdale making light work of being down to 10 players.

Former Town player Michael Rose tested Vigouroux’s reflexes with a powerful free kick and Town keeper did well to push his effort out for a corner which was cleared.

Anton Rodgers replaced Robert in the 84th minute and he left the field to good applause.

Town were making really hard work of playing against the 10 men of Rochdale with a series of misplaced passes while the visitors were going all out trying to get an equaliser.

Ben Gladwin left the field early in added time to be replaced by Jeremy Balmy.

Jim McNulty was cautioned for hauling Obama down as he charged down the left wing and there was just time for the free kick to be taken before the final whistle was blown.

Town’s 3rd win on the trot means that they move up to 16th place in League One on 25 points.

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