Swindon Town’s six points in the space of 72 hours over the Easter weekend has almost guaranteed the Robins an automatic promotion place. With back-to-back clean sheets accumulating with two 1-0 victories, Swindon now require just two wins for promotion and three to be crowned as League Two Champions.
Swindon started Friday’s game by making two changes from their win over Barnet. The game started off very flat and was rather uneventful. The travelling fans were, of course, in good voice and provided the first half’s entertainment with an array of chants.
Fly On The Wall…
Di Canio’s half time team talk did spark Swindon into life. Within 53 seconds of the restart a Lee Holmes header across the face of goal to the waiting Paul Benson was enough for him to stab the ball home from two yards out. Morecambe applied pressure throughout the second half but failed to make Wes Foderingham work up a sweat in the Swindon Goal.
Paolo Di Canio was not at all happy with his players after the game: ‘Some of them are only young and they have a lot to learn but they need to look at themselves. Paul Benson was an absolute warrior and ran his socks off and got his reward.’
Swindon Goalkeeper Wes Foderingham:‘Great win today! Probably one of the ugliest games of the season. We have one hand on the title now for sure. Great support again.’
Aden Flint ‘Another massive 3 points today!! Battled to get the result. Great support as well.’
Lee Holmes’ 52nd minute cross- come-goal was what separated the sides at the County Ground. Holmes, who is on loan from Southampton until the end of the season, netted his first goal since returning for his second spell with the Wiltshire side. The Cobblers had few chances throughout the game and could only muster just two shots on target all game. A crowd of 8,745 saw six shots on target with just two for the visitors.
Swindon’s home form this season has certainly helped them to achieve their current position, 12 wins in 13 games at home is a genuine sign of deserving to be Champions.
The Robins face 20th place Plymouth Argyle on Saturday as they look to secure automatic promotion. At the beginning of March Plymouth where looking almost certain to be relegated but a late resurgence by Carl Fletcher’s men have seen them almost secure league status for another year. Only requiring four more points the Pilgrims will be more than motivated for this fixture. The reverse game in October saw a late strike from Raffaele De Vita securing all three points for Swindon. That victory left Plymouth rock bottom and The Robins in a lowly 10th place.
Swindon Goalkeeper Wes Foderingham: ‘Another win, another clean sheet can’t complain roll on Saturday got a cheeky feeling we will be celebrating promotion!’
Northampton Town Manager Aidy Boothroyd: ‘I can’t knock the spirit but what games like this show is – with the greatest of respect to Swindon – there are fine margins between being where we are to where they are.’
Before the Easter weekend I had the fortuitous chance to ask the Samsung, ‘Win A Pro Contract’ winner Chris Smith some questions. Chris was one of four players selected to spend a week training at Swindon by Swindon manager Paolo Di Canio. Chris, who was studying Sports Coaching and Development at Staffordshire University, was picked as the winner after impressing Di Canio and his backroom staff.
1/ When did you first start playing football? Why did you decide to play football?
I first kicked a ball when I was around 2-3 and started playing lads and dad’s football when I was 6-7 years old. I chose football because my family love the sport and my brother used to play, also my great Grandad used to be a good footballer.
2/ How does it feel to be a part of the Swindon football team?
It feels amazing to be a part of such a good club and team with the current success. Even to be a professional is a great achievement. I don’t know what it’s like to play for Swindon yet in front of such a big crowd but i get a buzz off playing football and playing in front of crowds (my biggest is around 1000). I can only imagine what it would be like to play at somewhere like the Camp Nou (99,354 capacity).
3/ Would you trade football for any other sport? Why or Why not?
I wouldn’t swap football for any other sport but if I had to choose, then it would be between tennis, cricket, golf or UFC. This is because they all involve a ball, apart from UFC and they are my favourite sports to watch. Also I reckon I would be good at fighting (maybe).
4/ What inspires you to play football?
My love for the game and my dad inspire me to play football. My dad has always been there for me throughout and pushed me to be better and picked me up when things haven’t or isn’t going right (same with my mum).
5/ Do any past players motivate you to do your best during a game?
Paolo Di Canio always aspires to be and to do better. Current players such as Beckham, Gerrard, Scholes, Rooney, Messi and more, always make you want to be the best you can and work as hard as possible to be better.
I wish to thank Chris for taking the time out to talk to me to answer my questions, much appreciated.
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