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MATCH REPORT: Swindon Town 4-3 Crewe Alexandra

Reds Win Thrilling Encounter

27 January 2018

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Swindon Town came from behind to beat Crewe Alexandra 4-3 in a thrilling encounter at The Energy Check County Ground this afternoon.

Fans hardly had chance to take their seat before the first goal of the game arrived, Marc Richards opening his account for the club after being teed up by Ellis Iandolo.

But that only seemed to wake Crewe up and they went on to dominate the rest of the first-half with Callum Ainley helping himself to a brace. 

Swindon were creating chances but their end product let them down and they were punished once more shortly after the restart with Ryan Wintle adding a third for the visitors. 

Timi Elsnik came off the bench to pull one back thanks to a beautiful finish, and he was at it again late on to tie things up before Richards also completed his brace to seal a dramatic victory for the Reds.

Town Boss Dave Flitcroft made just the one change to the team that lost at Coventry City with Marc Richards coming in for his full debut for the club. 

Luke Norris dropped to the bench and was joined by new Goalkeeper Stuart Moore, who had put pen to paper on a six-month deal earlier in the day, and Timi Elsnik who was back involved following a spell out with a hamstring injury.

The Reds, who once again lined up in a 3-5-2 formation, were looking to get back to winning ways in addition to making it three victories at home in a row.

And they were able to get off to the best possible start as Ellis Iandolo picked up a loose ball before picking out Marc Richards inside the area who was able to tuck home his first goal for the club with just three-minutes on the clock. 

It was one-way traffic for much of the opening exchanges as Town attacked with a real purpose and swagger, creating one or two really good opportunities as a result.

Keshi Anderson was able to power his way through into the penalty area but his strike was blocked, before Kaiyne Woolery saw his powerful drive parried away by Dave Richards. 

The Crewe Keeper had an easier save to make moments later as he was able to gather Richards' scuffed effort, which came shortly after Reice Charles-Cook got down well to smother Callum Ainley's low cross. 

But the scores were level with fifteen-minutes played after Olly Lancashire's header looped only as far as Callum Ainley, who was able to thump home on the volley.

The momentum shifted in Alexandra's favour after that goal and the visitors were causing their hosts all sorts of problems.

Ainley's corner looked to be creeping in as it rattled the post and Charles-Cook was forced to claw it away from goal and off a defender for another corner. 

Crewe were causing chaos with their delivery from set-pieces with James Dunne this time the hero as he was in the right place at the right time to head Ryan Wintle's effort off the line. 

Alexandra kept on knocking on the door though and they were getting closer with Charlie Kirk seeing his effort blocked by a crowd of bodies.

Town didn't heed their many warnings and, moments after Kirk forced Charles-Cook into a superb save, the midfielder was able to get hold of the ball again and whip in a dangerous cross which Ainley was able to glance home a header from.

There was a rare chance for Town towards the end of the half following some good work by Anderson, but Richards' strike was deflected over the bar.

That led to a change in personnel for the home side with leading scorer Luke Norris coming on to replace Woolery.

It didn't affect too much however with Crewe able to take a slender lead in at the break, leaving Town with plenty of thinking to do.

And they opted to bring on two pairs of fresh legs at the start of the second-half with Matty Taylor and Timi Elsnik replacing Ellis Iandolo and James Dunne respectively.

It was certainly better from Town as Elsnik saw his low drive parried by Richards, with Norris unable to put home the rebound. 

Taylor then saw his corner palmed behind by Richards and those missed chances came back to haunt the hosts just moments later.

Crewe were able to break with pace through Jordan Bowery who saw his shot turned away by Charles-Cook, but the defence failed to clear the danger and Ryan Wintle was allowed to tap home into an empty net.

Town were refusing to give up though and were attacking with plenty of intent, although they were unable to make their pressure pay.

Ollie Banks sent an audacious volley from 25-yards over the bar, while Taylor was way off-target with a long-range free-kick.

However, Town were able to claw a goal back past the hour mark after Richards laid the ball off into the path of Elsnik, who leathered home with aplomb to mark his return in style!

That seemed to lift Town and the home crowd and Crewe were soon forced to do plenty of defending. 

Richards was forced off with an injury for the visitors, Ben Garratt his replacement, and the stopper was soon called into action to deny Norris one-on-one.

Norris went so close seconds later as his looping header was tipped over the bar by Garratt, before Elsnik thumped a volley just over from the resulting corner.

But the attacker would be successful in hitting the target again moments later after latching onto a loose ball before thumping home emphatically.

That set the game up for a grandstand finish and Town certainly delivered with Richards flicking home the winner from Taylor's cross to secure the three points in dramatic fashion.

Zoumana Bakayogo was sent-off for the visitors in the wake of that goal and that allowed Town to see the game out with ease.


SCORERS - Marc Richards (3, 89), Callum Ainley (15, 29), Ryan Wintle (51), Timi Elsnik (66, 79). 

SWINDON TOWN (3-5-2) - Charles-Cook; Preston, Lancashire (C), Robertson; Gordon, Dunne (Timi Elsnik 45), Banks, Anderson, Iandolo (Matty Taylor 45); Woolery (Luke Norris 41), Richards. 

SUBS NOT USED - Moore, Purkiss, Knoyle, Mullin.

CREWE ALEXANDRA (4-4-2) - Richards (Ben Garratt 71); Wintle, Raynes (C), Nolan, Bakayogo; Ainley, Kirk (Harry Pickering 81), Green, Walker; McKirdy (Shaun Miller 68), Bowery. 

SUBS NOT USED - Ray, Lowery, Reilly, Barlaser.


SWINDON TOWN - Matt Preston, Keshi Anderson, Marc Richards.

CREWE ALEXANDRA - Harry McKirdy, Charlie Kirk, Zoumana Bakayogo, Dave Richards, Ben Garratt.

SENT-OFF - Zoumana Bakayogo.

Referee - Graham Salisbury.

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