Match report posted by John_ (view the full thread on the forum )
Town had to settle for a point as a 92nd minute equaliser denied what would have been our 5th away win of the season.
For a game that basically had nothing riding on it I found it quite a joy to watch as both teams seemed intent on going for the win.
Peterborough, guaranteed 2nd place and promotion following last week's win at Colchester, were cheered on by 10'886 - their third biggest crowd of the seaon. Of course, they were in a party mood and everything pointed to a day of celebration. Swindon, for their part, weren't just here to make up the numbers. Victory over Bristol Rovers last week had confirmed our League One status for next season and with the recent news regarding new sponsors and the Bill Power court case result, we were also in a buoyant frame of mind as well.
With Danny Wilson still yet to make up his mind regarding some of the players contracts, today presented a last chance for some of them to show their worth. Jamie Vincent partnered Ifil at the back due to Greer's return to Doncaster Rovers. I believe we've put in a bid for him and it'd be a delight to see him back at Town next season if possible. At left-back was Jean-Francois Lescinel - This was the first time I think I've seen him. JP McGovern started along with Lilian Nalis - who, at 37 years of age, has called time on his career and will be retiring.
The first half saw Peterborough shade play and possession. From the start the Posh peppered Phil Smith with shots from various angles but they were all fairly comfortably dealt with. I certainly didn't seem too fazed with this early pressure. George Boyd seemed to be the one to watch out on the left but JP was working hard to keep a lead on him. In fact as a team-unit, I reckon today was a thoroughly professional job by all involved. We didn't panic, we didn't just resort to hoofball to clear our lines all the time. Our build-up was methodical and we played with a swagger of confidence.
We took the lead midway through the half. A loose pass across the edge of the box was intercepted by Mr Goal Machine himself, Simon Cox. Without hesitation he curled an exquisite shot round Joe Lewis into the top corner to send the travelling hordes into a frenzy. It was a superb strike. Will that add another £250k to his value me wonders?!
The Posh probably felt a bit aggrieved to be 1-down through a sloppy bit of defending but it was a lack of marking in the Town box that led directly to their equaliser 5 minutes before the break. We'd just narrowly survived an assault down our left - The resultant shot had deflected away for a corner. The ball to the near post saw Mackail-Smith get in front of his marker to prod home the easiest of goals from close range. Disappointing. I was looking to see who was possibly culpable and spotted Tudor-Jones nearest to the incident with hands on head. Ho-hum.
The drama wasn't over. We roared back up the other end and before you knew it - Cox was on hand to smash a half-volley past a startled Lewis to regain the lead. Where did that come from? I can't quite recall the actual build-up so I'll be looking forward to the highlights. That goal was Cox's 29th in the league and temporarily put him above Bristol Rovers Rickie Lambert in the chart. It turned out that Lambert would score in the 46th minute in Rovers' 4-1 demolition of Hartlepool so both players end on 29 for the season. Although Cox has actually scored more if you include other competitions.
We were delighted to be leading at half-time but as expected Peterborough gave it a right good go early into the last 45 minutes of the season. It was a surprisingly open game. We were under the cosh at times but used the pitch to its full width to counter at speed. We had our chances for a third. Michael Timlin was probably guilty of wasting our best one. He'd turned his man on the byline and cut in straight for goal. At the last second he shanked a ball seemingly across goal, but it had no pace on it and hit the keeper's leg and following a melee the best we got was a corner.
Up the other end it wasn't quite the Alamo but not far off it! We were clearing balls off the line. Phil Smith made some outstanding diving saves as we held our breath. I think one defender headed a goal-bound effort onto the bar before another attack saw the ball flash past the posts.
Probably the most over-used chant of the day from the 850+ Swindon contingent was "Championship, you're having a laugh". Everytime the home side executed a wayward ball or a move broke down, that old chestnut was echoing throughout the away terrace.
Speaking of atmosphere, were Peterborough aware they were supposed to be celebrating promotion? Their support was nothing short of pitiful. I swear the first time I actually heard them sing was after they'd equalised in the first half and then all they could muster was the rather banal "You're not singing anymore". Dear God, did they think they were at funeral?
Lilian Nalis was substituted midway through the half and he was given a standing ovation for his efforts. He'd done what was required of him and compared to his non-performance at Yeovil last month, today was a superb way to bow out of the professional game. Good luck to him. Replacing him was Kevin Amankwaah. About 25 seconds later he'd conceded a penalty! Well, the match report on Ceefax or Teletext says it was him. I, at the time, couldn't see who was the guilty party. Regardless, the ref had pointed to the spot following what, I guess, was a rash challenge. Fret not, for Phil Smith was a man on a mission. He easily read Aaron Mclean's body language (as did half the ground I suspect) and dived correctly to his left to palm away the spot-kick and send the Town fans into raptures for the third time in the afternoon.
Maybe we were going to do it, maybe we were going to win!
Soon after Simon Cox made way for Mark Marshall - He also received a standing ovation... possibly his last in a Swindon shirt? Pre-season will be interesting!
And finally, the season wouldn't be complete without the customary late goal calamity and, par for the course, Swindon didn't disappoint. We were told there'd be 5 minutes injury time for some bizarre reason. Just long enough for them to equalise was the whisper.
In about the 92nd minute a lazy challenge gave the homesters a free-kick about 10 yards or so outside the box. Smith spent a while lining up the wall before positioning himself on the goalline. Up stepped Dean Keates (remember him) who curled a Beckham-esque kick around the wall and just inside the posts. Smith dived for it, but it was too late. 2-2.
Then the home fans made some noise. Flags waving etc.... It was like a resurrection.
The temptation was to sing back "We'd forgot that you were here", but there didn't seem to be any point.
The full-time whsitle sounded and the 2008-09 campaign was brought to a close.
It was the best of times, It was the worst of times.......