Saturday, 8th December 2012, at the County Ground, Swindon
Npower League 1
Swindon Town 1 DONCASTER ROVERS 1
Referee – Mr David Phillips
Attendance – 13,700
It was a fine, sunny day at Swindon that kept the temperature above freezing. It was to get colder and darker as match-time approached. The Rovers made just the one change from the last League game, Kyle Bennett returning after injury for the injured Martin Woods. Swindon Town made four changes, Aden Flint, Chris Martin, Danny Hollands and Nathan Thompson replacing Jay McEveley, Simon Ferry, James Collins and Alan McCormack. The home team have not played since losing at Notts County on 24th November whereas the Rovers have played two hard fought Cup games.
The Rovers kicked off and Bennett was played down the left before crossing to the middle but Foderingham caught it easily. The game then settled down, with the home team getting their game going and gradually putting pressure on the Rovers defence. The pressure paid off in the 8th minute when a cross from the home left came out to RITCHIE who slammed in from the edge of the area. However, two minutes later, the Rovers were level courtesy of Swindon Town. Husband got down the Rovers left and hit a low cross into the six -yard box, where HOLLANDS inexplicably turned it into his own net. Then the Rovers nearly handed the initiative back to the home team when Quinn, trying to shepherd the ball out, was muscled out of it and Martin kept the ball in to cross for Wiliams but his effort was easily saved by Woods. Minutes later Husband following the Rovers attack put a 25yard effort high and wide. In the 23rd minute, a slip in the Swindon penalty area was seized on by Hume but his low shot from 17yards went the wrong side of the post. Back came Swindon to win the first corner of the game. This was cleared but back came the home team, with De Vita crossing from the left and Williams shooting over. The home team were having the better of the exchanges at this stage and in the 36th minute, another cross from the home left by De Vita was headed by Williams against a post and the follow-up was well saved by Woods. As the last five minutes came up a free kick by Bostock was well saved by Woods going down to his right. Then, another free kick to the home team from the left flank was headed down in the area for Williams to rattle the woodwork again. In added time Hume received a nasty head injury in an aerial tussle with Flint and was led off the field.
Half Time – Swindon Town 1 Doncaster Rovers 1
Hume resumed in the second half with his head swathed in bandages. The Robins kicked off and immediately won a corner on their right. Ritchie swung it in with his left foot but it went straight across the face of goal without anyone getting a touch and went out for a goal kick. In the 52nd minute the Rovers won a corner and when it came out of the Swindon defence, Keegan won the ball but his cross went to nobody and was cleared. Four minutes later and Swindon had a corner that Woods punched away. Then a poor pass-back by Clingan from the halfway line was chased down by Williams but good anticipation by Woods followed by a great tackle saved the day for the Rovers. Past the hour and a free kick for Swindon on their right touchline in the Rovers half was headed goalwards but a brilliant diving save on his line by Woods kept the scoreline the same. In the 65th minute, Ritchie for the home team had a good shot palmed away by Woods diving to his right. Two minutes later, a corner to Swindon came out to Bostock, whose shot was deflected for another corner. Then another corner minutes later came out to Ritchie but his shot was punched away by Woods. The siege of the Rovers was lifted momentarily in the 70th minute but was resumed as Swindon got their second wind. Ritchie shot wide from 20yards but in the 81st minute. The Rovers got a free kick on their left touchline in the Swindon half. He put it to the far post over everybody and Foderingham, unsighted made a good save. But back came Swindon and the Rovers had to defend as time ran down including (from where?) five minutes of added time. They saw it through and came away with a point but it had been hard earned.
Result – Swindon Town 1 (Ritchie 8) Doncaster Rovers 1 (Hollands 10 OG)
Teams – Swindon Town – Wes Foderingham; Nathan Thompson, Aden Flint, Darren Ward, Joe Devera,©; Matt Ritchie, John Bostock, Danny Hollands, ; Chris Martin, Andy Williams, Raffaele De Vita
Subs used – James Collins for Martin65 mins; Simon Ferry for Hollands 72 mins; Gary Roberts for De Vita 75 mins;
Subs not used – Troy Archibald-Henville, Miles Storey, Adam Rooney, Leigh Bedwell gk
Cautions – Martin 63 mins;
ROVERS – Gary Woods; Paul Quinn, Rob Jones, Tommy Spurr, James Husband; David Cotterill, Paul Keegan, James Harper, Kyle Bennett; Iain Hume, Chris Brown
Subs used – Sammy Clingan for Bennett 53 mins; Shelton Martis for Harper 67 mins; Andy Griffin for Brown 85 mins;
Subs not used –, Robbie Blake, Jamie McCombe, , , Jordan Ball, Jonathan Maxted gk
Cautions – Hume 59 mins; Keegan 63 mins;