Match report posted by Richard (view the full thread on the forum )
The Town played some great football this afternoon in beating Yeovil 3-1 this afternoon – in the end gaining a thoroughly deserved three points – though it all could have been so different had the Glovers taken the chances they created right at the start of the game.
With less than two minutes on the clock, Yeovil had two glorious opportunities – the first falling to Sam Williams, who easily rounded David Lucas only to have his shot blocked by a defender - from the resulting corner, Jonathan Douglas was forced to clear off the line after a looping header again had Lucas beaten.
Both of these were let-offs – but to be quite honest, the rest of the game was Swindon’s, and at times we played some of the best football I’ve seen at the County Ground this season. For the Town’s first chance, Paynter headed wide from an O’Brien cross, when it looked easier to score – but just minutes later he made amends - the Town taking the lead with a beautiful move. Starting on the left side, the ball was swept over to the right, where Amankwaah and JP McGovern created an opening to cross the ball into the area. Cutting inside, JPM floated a superb left-footed cross towards the penalty area, where he found Billy Paynter in behind the defence, who firmly headed past Richard Martin in the Yeovil goal. The cross had travelled a long way into the box, and Paynter did look suspiciously offside… would like to see it again though, he possibly wasn’t when the ball was played.
Two minutes later, Yeovil had yet another effort cleared off the line, again from a corner – this time, Simon Ferry was on the far post to chest the ball to safety. Another let-off…. but just past the twenty minute mark, Swindon were to double their lead. A ball played down the right channel saw Paynter give chase with a Yeovil defender – as the defender attempted to usher the ball out for a throw, Paynter collided with him - a questionable challenge judged fair by the officials. He played the ball into the area, finding Ferry who in turn found Charlie Austin. At first, the ball seemed to get caught between his feet, and I thought any possibility of a chance had gone, but Austin did brilliantly to manoeuvre himself into a position to dig the ball out, and well clear of the goalkeeper’s dive.
Just five minutes later though, Yeovil got themselves back into it – a cross from the Town’s left looping over Lucas and into the net. It seemed to be a complete fluke, though there was little inside the box for Tomlin to aim at – and not the first time this has happened to Lucas this season.
At the other end, McGovern slipped at the crucial moment when shooting from the edge of the area, and in injury time, the defence parted for Paynter to place a low shot from a central position outside the box, which the keeper saved well. Half time came with the Town 2-1 ahead, which on balance of play was deserved – but given the chances they had and the rub of the green we’d had with a least the second and if not both goals, Yeovil may have had reason to be aggrieved.
This was forgotten though in the opening seconds of the second half, as Swindon succeeded in scoring an early goal where the Glovers had failed earlier. Almost straight from kick-off and out of nothing, the ball dropped nicely to the feet of Danny Ward, who had replaced the again injured Alan O’Brien in the first half. Ward thumped a first-time left-footed inswinger at goal, leaving the keeper rooted to the spot – a great finish. I’m not sure if he was playing out of position on the left side, but I thought Ward did pretty well overall.
And that was pretty much game over. With the two goal lead, you could see the confidence in the Town’s play, and we should have perhaps increased our advantage – Scott Cuthbert missed one header, Ward should have connected with a cross when free on goal, and late on Paynter failed miserably in an attempt to lift the ball over the stranded goalkeeper, after he had raced on to a through ball that found him with a free run on goal. Yeovil only threatened in the last ten minutes or so, when they forced a few corners and had a couple of long range attempts, one of which Lucas did well to turn around the post.
After four minutes of injury time, the ref signalled the end of the game to send the majority of the 8,500 holiday crowd home happy – and hopefully the additional fans were impressed enough to make a few more return visits in the New Year.