Swindon - 2 (Obika 45’, 65')
Rovers - 0
Tuesday 1st March, 2016
County Ground, Swindon
SkyBet League One
Rovers had lost only one game in their last 8 away from home; which came in their most recent trip and a 1-0 loss against local rivals Barnsley.
Since, the South Yorkshire side battled to earn a point against play-off aspirants Millwall on Saturday thanks to Richard Chaplow who cancelled out Steve Morison’s early strike, and could have gone on to take all three points at the Keepmoat.
Swindon also harbour a repeat of last season when they reached the top six before eventually bowing out emphatically in the play-off final to Preston North End at Wembley.
The home side started the game well, playing an impressive passing game from the back and their first chance came just four minutes in.
Jonathan Obika was picked out down the right with a lovely crossfield ball, he drilled the ball across the box for the in-form Nicky Ajose but Richard Chaplow was there to make a vital interception and put the ball behind for a corner.
Whilst Rovers enjoyed the majority of possession in the opening 20 minutes, the home side looked a threat on the counter. A cheeky back heel set Ellis Iandolo through on goal but his shot was brilliantly saved by Thorsten Stuckmann who had to react quickly.
Just minutes later another perfect ball was played into the box towards Obika. Beating Lund to the ball and volleying at goal, Stuckmann somehow saved superbly from point blank range keeping the score at 0-0.
The game slowed down and Rovers started to press the Swindon back line well. Finding space on the left, Aaron Taylor-Sinclair played a ball across the box which fell to Lund ten yards out, but with his back to goal and shooting with his weaker foot his effort cleared the cross bar.
As Rovers looked to stand up to the Swindon threats well, on the stroke of half time the Robins took the lead. Breaking from a Rovers corner the home side were four on two and looked certain to score. As the ball was played into the box Michael Doughty headed at goal and beating Stuckmann, Obika was there on the line to tap the ball in. There were appeals for offside from the Rovers men but after a discussion with his linesman, the referee allowed the goal to stand.
HALF TIME: Swindon 1-0 Rovers
Rovers were back out early for the second half as they looked to find a way back into the game. Lynden Gooch was introduced and replaced Harry Middleton.
An early corner fell to Richard Chaplow on the edge of the area, as he fired a drive at goal Vigouroux got a vital fingertip to it to deny the Rovers man.
Just after the hour mark Swindon doubled their lead through Obika again. Showing incredible pace, the striker ran all the way from the half way line before calmly slotting the ball under Stuckmann.
Things went from bad to worse for Rovers as Richard Chaplow saw red with just over ten minutes to play. After a slightly late challenge on the Swindon man, the pair exchanged words and the referee saw fit to show him a second yellow.
Despite going down to ten men the visitors did test Vigouroux as Evina released Tyson into the box. Twisting and turning the Rovers captain for the evening eventually got his shot off but it was well saved by the Swindon keeper.
Unfortunately there was no way back for Darren Ferguson’s side as Swindon controlled possession taking advantage of their extra man and the game finished 2-0
Swindon: Vigouroux, Barry, Sendles-White, Thompson N (C) (Rodgers 84’), Turnbull, Ormonde-Ottewill, Traore, Doughty (Thompson 65’), Iandolo (Robert 62’), Ajose, Obika
Unused Subs: Belford, Balmy, Marshall, L, Cooke
Cautions: Doughty 14'
Rovers: Stuckmann, Evina, McCullough, Taylor-Sinclair, Lund (Stewart 71’), Alcock, Middleton (Gooch 55’), Chaplow, Grant, Williams (MacKenzie 80’), Tyson (c)
Unused Subs: Marosi, Mandeville, Butler, Davies
Cautions: Lund 41’, Chaplow 63’, 78' (RED CARD)
Attendance: 6,556 (159)