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Club News

Report: Town 3-1 Chesterfield

17 January 2015

SWINDON TOWN retained top spot in League One after beating Chesterfield by 3 goals to 1 in an entertaining match, writes Adrian Smith.

Jack Stephens had opened the scoring for Town in the 17th minute but they were pegged back within 5 minutes when Sam Clucas rifled home for the visitors. On loan John Swift’s first goal for the Town meant that they were ahead at half time and Andy Williams’s 47th minute  effort proved enough to seal the win. Mark Cooper’s team now move onto 54 points from 26 games played and stay top on goal difference.

Swindon manager made one change from the team that won at Coventry with Raphael Rossi-Branco replacing the injured Ben Gladwin and new signing Jermaine Hylton was named amongst the substitutes. John Swift, on loan from Chelsea was also making his home debut having featured in Town’s last 2 fixtures away from home.

Table toppers Swindon kicked off and the Robins should have been ahead in the 1st minute after Byrne sent a good ball down the right wing for Smith to chase and send a cross into the penalty area but Andy Williams’s first touch diverted the ball past the left hand post.

A good move in the 6th minute earned a corner after Louis Thompson tricked his way into the penalty area before his cross was diverted behind but the resulting cross was cleared.

Chesterfield had a corner in the 13th minute which was taken by former Robin Gary Roberts but that was cleared at the expense of another corner which was also cleared.

Town had a good period of attacking play leading to a free kick (marked by the referee with the new spray) and the ball was crossed by Toffolo into the area where it was headed home from close range by Jack Stephens to open his scoring account for the season in the  19th minute.

Chesterfield response came after Nathan Thompson was easily dispossessed in the 22nd minute by Gnanduillet and the loose ball was passed to Sam Clucas about 25 yards from goal and he advanced a couple of yards before curling a shot past Foderingham’s despairing dive  to his right.

Town took this setback in their stride and went ahead again in the 25th minute after Michael Smith found himself with the ball and his back to goal but his strength held off the defender and the loose ball eventually rolled to John Swift who fired home for his first goal in Town colours.

Shortly afterwards Town were awarded a free kick for handball on the edge of the area in front of the Arkells stand and Harry Toffolo fired in a wicked curling shot which went narrowly wide of the far upright.

The visitors were awarded a free kick in the 36th minute which was taken by Roberts and the ball reached Eoin Doyle outside the area and his thunderous shot struck the crossbar and rebounded to safety with Foderingham beaten.

Eoin Doyle was cautioned for tripping Byrne in added time and Toffolo sent in another good cross to the back post where it was headed over for a goal kick and that was the last action of an entertaining first half with Town ahead at half time.

The second half started well for Town as they went further ahead in the 47th minute when Andy Williams latched onto a good through ball by Swift and he advanced before firing home from 18 yards past the visiting keeper Tommy Lee for his 17th goal of the season.

The visitors almost pulled a goal back in the 51st minute when Gnanduillet headed goalwards from a Roberts  corner but Toffolo was on the goalline and he cleared the danger.

Chesterfield continued to try and reduce the arrears and were seeing plenty of possession with Gnanduillet only just missing out on connecting with a cross in front of goal in the 60th minute.

Town seemed happy to sit back and soak up the pressure leaving only one player up front at times which was causing some restlessness in the stands and eventually Michael Smith was replaced by Jon Obika in the 66th minute.

John Swift left the field to good applause in the 71st minute after a superb game in midfield and he was replaced by Anton Rodgers.

The visitors were enjoying most of the possession with Town struggling to get out of their half but eventually Obika latched onto a through ball and was fouled by Raglan 25 yards from goal and the Chesterfield player was shown a yellow card. Anton Rodgers then stepped up to take the free kick and his superb curling effort was well saved by Lee at the expense of a corner.

Doyle and Clucas were replaced in the 79th minute by O’Shea and Gardner for the visitors who continued to push Town back into their own half.

Mani Dieseruvwe replaced Roberts in the 82nd minute with the former Town player leaving the field limping and needing to be supported as he went down the players tunnel.

Wes Foderingham did well to keep a bullet free kick out in the 88th minute with several Blues players poised to snap up any rebound.

Jack Barthram replaced Harry Toffolo early in the 5 minutes of added time and the Norwich loanee left to good applause after a good display for the Robins.

The noise volume grew progressively around the County Ground with Town poised to retain top spot in League One and the final whistle was greeted with a tremendous roar from the majority of the crowd of 7981.

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