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MATCH REPORT: Stevenage 0-1 Swindon Town

Reds Come Out On Top In Tight Game

30 January 2018

Swindon Town produced a resolute display to beat Stevenage 1-0 in a hard-fought affair at The Lamex Stadium this evening.

Ollie Banks' second goal for the club got the Reds off to a perfect start on a chilly evening, and that was enough to secure a big three points.

Town Boss Dave Flitcroft opted to make four changes from the side that came from behind to beat Crewe at the weekend and there was a change of formation too.

Luke Norris returned to the Starting XI and took his place up top with Marc Richards in a 4-4-2 system. 

Timi Elsnik, who was so impressive after coming off the bench on Saturday, lined up alongside Ollie Banks in the engine room while Ben Purkiss and Matty Taylor were restored at right-back and left-back respectively. 

That meant that Chris Robertson, Ellis Iandolo, James Dunne and Kaiyne Woolery all dropped to the bench. 

This was the third meeting of the season between the two sides with both teams having one win apiece, and Town were certainly out for revenge for their heavy Emirates FA Cup defeat at The Lamex in December.

There was a cagey opening to proceedings however with much of the play being contested in the middle of the park.

Swindon did enjoy a brief spell of pressure after winning a couple of corners, although Olly Lancashire was unable to get his header on target.

However, that proved to be a warning sign and one the hosts failed to heed as Town opened the scoring with less than twenty-minutes on the clock.

Matty Taylor swung another cross in and Ollie Banks rose highest to power home a header with a little help from the crossbar.

Stevenage did muster up a positive response straightaway as Jonathan Smith tried his luck from outside the area, although the strike was easy enough for Reice Charles-Cook to deal with.

Timi Elsnik was able to pounce on a loose ball moments later before opting to pull the trigger, but his drive lacked power and it was an easy save for Tom King.

And there proved to be just one more chance before the break with Banks sending a long-range free-kick inches wide of the post. 

There was a let-off for Town shortly after the interval as Fraser Franks' fizzing cross flashed across goal with no Stevenage players on hand to attack it. 

Play was congested in the middle of the park and there wasn't really much between the two sides with action and chances both at a premium. 

Stevenage did carve out a chance on the hour mark but Smith could only slice an effort well wide from 25-yards out. 

Town then had an opportunity of their own and from an unlikely source as Ben Purkiss drove forward and, after being encouraged to shoot by the away fans behind the goal, opted to pull the trigger from distance but his low drive was smothered by King. 

There were signs that the game could open up though as Banks fired a shot into the chest of King before Jamie Gray, who had only been on the pitch for a minute or two, curled a superb effort inches past the post at the other end.

Town were defending well and were dealing with whatever Stevenage had to throw at them as the hosts frantically searched for an equaliser late on.

It was then time for Swindon's first change of the game with Paul Mullin replacing Marc Richards in a bid to add some fresh legs to the attack.

James Dunne replaced Keshi Anderson in the closing stages as Town looked to give the defence some added protection.

Town then tried to shave more time off the clock by bringing Chris Robertson on for Kellan Gordon and that did the trick with Banks' first-half effort proving the difference. 


SCORERS - Ollie Banks (17).

STEVENAGE (4-4-2) - T King; Henry (C) (Luke Amos 45), Wilmot, J King, Vancooten; Franks, McKee (Jamie Gray 67), Smith, Kennedy; Godden, Newton (Tom Conlon 33). 

SUBS NOT USED - Fryer, Wade-Slater, Wilkinson, Georgiou.

SWINDON TOWN (4-4-2) - Charles-Cook; Purkiss, Preston, Lancashire (C), Taylor; Gordon (Chris Robertson 90), Elsnik, Banks, Anderson (James Dunne 82); Norris, Richards (Paul Mullin 78). 

SUBS NOT USED - Moore, Knoyle, Iandolo, Woolery. 


STEVENAGE - Terence Vancooten, Ronnie Henry, Luke Amos.

Referee - Darren Drysdale.

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