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Fixture News

Cambridge United 1-3 Swindon Town - Four Things

We Take A Look At The Key Storylines From Saturday's Win

19 March 2018

Swindon Town got the Phil Brown era off to the perfect start on Saturday with a comfortable victory away at Cambridge United.

We have picked out four things we learned from the victory...

WINNING START FOR BROWN:

Phil Brown was the man tasked with guiding Town through the remaining ten games of the 2017/18 Sky Bet League Two campaign, with promotion the clear aim.

And it was the perfect start for the new man at the helm as his side produced a thoroughly professional display on the road to claim a hugely important three points. 

Solid at the back, compact in the middle of the pitch and clinical up-front, it was a near-perfect team performance and the subs played their part too with Kaiyne Woolery coming off the bench to win the penalty that wrapped up the win.

It was a disciplined showing and the hard work produced on the training ground in the days leading up to the game certainly paid dividends. 

Brown expressed his delight with the collective effort after the game and there is no doubt he would have been encouraged by what he saw too.

TAKING IT BACK TO THE GOOD OLD DAYS:

There was a time when 4-4-2 was the go-to formation in football before different systems became a huge part of gaining an advantage over your opponent. 

Town have found success with a 3-5-2 for large chunks of this season but Phil Brown, in his first game in charge, opted for a return to the old-fashioned 4-4-2 system.

And it certainly worked a treat as a solid base at the back allowed the Reds to execute their game-plan perfectly.

James Dunne did a fine job of protecting the back-four, allowing Timi Elsnik to provide extra support further up the pitch.

The full-backs were also able to overlap their wingers when it was required to do so and there just seemed to be a more solid spine to the team on Saturday. 

They looked tight and compact whilst still being able to play with a swagger when attacking, which could mean that the 4-4-2 is here to stay, especially given that it was a favourite of Brown's at Southend.

LIKE HE'S NEVER BEEN AWAY:

It would be a huge understatement to suggest that this season has been a frustrating one for Chris Hussey.

Brought in on loan from Sheffield United in the summer, the attacking left-back made a flying start to his Town career and racked up plenty of assists due to his fantastic crossing and set-piece ability.

However, after picking up a knock in the win over Forest Green Rovers in September 2017, Hussey's campaign stalled and the defender's road to recovery was hit with set-back after set-back.

So it was a massive relief for both the player and for Town when the 29-year-old finally made his long-awaited return to action on Saturday.

And it was like he had never been away as he quickly reminded people of just why he is one of the best crossers of a ball in the EFL. 

After showing signs of early promise, he used his pace to beat his man down the left-flank to whip in a inch-perfect ball with Luke Norris on hand to head home the opener.

The two combined again moments later with Norris being denied this time, but Phil Brown and the Town faithful would have been hugely impressed with what they saw from Hussey on his comeback.

Not a bad weapon to be able to add to your armoury this late in the season.

STRIKING A PARTNERSHIP:

Marc Richards has been a revelation since signing for the club in January and his brace against United made it nine goals in just ten starts - not a bad record to have at all! 

He has certainly added another dimension to the attack at SN1 and his goals could well prove crucial in the promotion race come May.

However, Richards has had plenty of help from his fellow striker Luke Norris, something that the 35-year-old has been quick to acknowledge himself:

"Luke has been working really hard and not getting any joy in-front of goal, but he got his just rewards today.

"I thought his movement inside the box was brilliant, I thought the lead-up to the goal was brilliant and Luke has got his just rewards today."

Norris has proved to be the perfect foil for Richards and the two seem to be going from strength-to-strength with each passing game.

Although he has endured a bit of a goal drought in recent weeks, Norris has contributed to the team in other ways through his impressive work-rate and his ability to hold the ball up and bring others into play.

He also set up Richards perfectly against Port Vale last month and he isn't afraid to put his body on the line when he needs to.

So it was a moment to enjoy when Norris got back on track in the goalscoring stakes on Saturday, rising highest to head home from Chris Hussey's pinpoint cross.

Should Town be successful in their pursuit of promotion this season, then there is no doubt that the blossoming partnership between Richards and Norris will continue to be key.


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