Match report posted by Richard (view the full thread on the forum )
A capacity crowd saw fourth tier Swindon come from behind to beat Premier League Wigan - the first time the Town have beaten a top-flight side in the Cup since 1988 - and they did it the hard way, coming from a goal down to win 2-1. And this was no fluke either - the home side throroughly deserved their win - having twelve attempts on goal to Wigan's five - after an even first half, Swindon looked the far better side after the break.
Di Canio stuck with the same eleven that started against Wimbledon on Monday - and to be honest, I thought we started the game nervously - there were a few misplaced passes, and a couple of defenders were guilty of whacking the ball forward when there was no real need to do so. Wigan looked decent on the ball, but I was surprised at their tactics - playing only with one real striker (admittedly with two tucked in behind), and sitting pretty deep when they didn't have the ball - I didn't think this would suit Swindon, having seen us struggle to break down sides who come to the CG for a draw just lately.
The game had been pretty even in the opening half-hour - Swindon had kept the Latics out, and ventured forward with decent attacks on a few occasions - the closest we came was a ball across the face of goal, that just eluded the Town forward line as it flashed past. Kennedy also had a long range effort that fizzed over
On 35 minutes though, the away side took the lead. Callum McManaman weaved in the area, and I felt that Aden Flint was too eager to make a challenge - I thought he could have continued to usher him to the byeline - instead, his challenge caught the Wigan midfielder for a certain penalty. Foderingham guessed the right way - Ben Watson slipped as he took the kick though, and it thumped back off the post - unfortunately for Swindon though, it fell to the feet of McManaman, who had the simple task of prodding home.
"We're winning away, we're winning away.... how sh*t must you be, we're winning away" came the song from the Wigan fans. Hmmmm.
In a funny sort of way though, the goal benefitted Swindon more than it did Wigan. From that moment on, the nervousness was gone - almost as if we now had nothing to lose. For their part, Wigan had bizarrely already begun time-wasting tactics - goalkeeper Al-Habsi getting booked for his troubles after two separate instances in the first forty minutes. For the rest of the half, Swindon pounded the Wigan goal with numerous crosses and shots - one Ritchie effort had Al-Habsi diving at full stretch to tip around the post. Five minutes before half-time, a deserved equaliser came, when a Ritchie cross found the head of Alan Connell, and with his back to goal, he diverted it backwards and into the bottom corner, and the CG erupted.
The Town almost ended the half with the lead, when a superb passing move through the middle found Ronan Murray twenty-five yards from goal - the youngster curling a shot just over the bar from range. It proved to be his last contribution, di Canio withdrew him at half-time, to be replaced with Paul Benson.
The second half was pretty much one-way traffic - the Town growing in confidence as the game progressed - Caddis, Ferry and Ritchie often combining well on the right flank to deliver crosses into the area. There was a big shout for a penalty when Connell appeared to be held back when attempting to get on the end of one such cross, which was turned down. The best chance fell to Ritchie though - after another well-worked move, Ritchie found himself in a central position yards from goal when a cross found him from the right side, but on his weaker foot, he could only divert over the bar. It was a real chance wasted.
With fifteen minutes to go though, a trademark long-range effort from Ritchie's left side was to give Swindon the lead - cutting in from the right, he smashed a low effort at goal, that was possibly going wide - Benson was in the way though, the ball striking him on the foot and completely wrong-footing Al-Habsi to roll into the net. It was lucky, and my first thought was that Benson was offside, but we damn well deserved it. The crowd went wild again - it was great to see a packed County Ground with so many Town fans.
I was hugely impressed with us in the last fifteen minutes, and our fitness levels really shone through again - there was one moment in particular that stood out for me, when Ferry played a ball down the right side, there was a chase between Paul Caddis and Wigan substitute Victor Moses , who had only been on the pitch a matter of minutes - Caddis powered past him to collect. Lukas Magera, who had come on in place of Connell to slot in behind Benson in a withdrawn forward position, harried and harrassed with Benson up front, and did some excellent work in the closing moments to keep the ball well away from the Town goal. I'm sure Magera is going to be an asset for us this season - wish everyone would keep off his back. To a man, Swindon battled very hard for the victory - pressing high up the pitch to nullify Wigan's passing game, which I have to say was very odd at times - especially with Al-Habsi's insistence on playing the ball out to defenders on the edge of the area almost no matter who was close by to them - time and again these defenders' forward passes were snuffed out by the Town's midfield.
There was the odd moment of danger at the end, but really nothing befitting a Premier League side trying to avoid an upset at the hands of a team three tiers below them - all in all, we looked very comfortable indeed. In all honesty, past the embarrassment of the media coverage, I really don't think Roberto Martinez and Wigan are particularly bothered about going out of the competition at this stage - though that's not to take away from the superb performance that the Town put on today - as I've said before this season, it's a great time to be a Swindon fan right now.