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MATCHDAY LIVE: Gillingham v Swindon Town
Updated 5:34pm Saturday 18th January 2014 in Sport
This live event has finished
- REPORTING BY SAM MORSHEAD
- FT: Gillingham 2 (Legge 18, Harriman 83) Town 0
- Swindon haven't won away in two months
- Legge's header and Harriman's late strike claim Gills three points
That's your lot from us this afternoon, ladies and gents.
Before I go, a quick update on the Adver ban situation - editor Gary Lawrence will meet Sangita Shah and Lee Power on Monday to discuss the embargo currently placed on the paper by the club.
Hopefully it will be resolved but, to give you prior warning, if it's not sorted by next Saturday then there will be no Matchday Live service for Swindon Town's clash with Shrewsbury.
Obviously this isn't the situation we want.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend all.
Now it's the turn of Nathan Byrne to have a chat with BBC Wiltshire's Andrew Hawes.
He said: “They’re not the results we wanted but there’s still a lot to build on. The lads are very disappointed today because we felt we had them on the ropes and we had a few chances. We were going for it more and more and when they scored the second it was a big task to get back from there.
“We knew Leon Legge was a threat, he’s incredible in the air and it’s a great finish but that put us on the back foot. We’re really disappointed today because we felt we had a strong chance to get back into it.
“We understand the fans must be frustrated but as players we’re as frustrated as them. We feel for the fans and we respect the fans travelling up and down the country to come see us but it’s just as frustrating when we lose any game, home and away.”
Next out to talk to BBC Wiltshire, with the Advertiser banned from speaking to Town management or players, is Jay McEveley.
Here's what he had to say...
“We’re disappointed because yet again it’s a sloppy goal. A ball into the box and a free header, it can’t happen. It puts us on the back foot.
“In the last 10 of the first half we got a foothold on the game and second half we were on top and when you’re on top you have to put your chances away.
“We’re giving ourselves a mountain to climb with stupid, sloppy goals too many times now. We keep seem to be saying the same things every week and I think there are a lot of people getting tired of it – not just the fans but us as well.
“We’re not happy at all and personally I’m not happy at all either. People do digged out but people just don’t learn from their mistakes. I don’t know what we’re going to do, it’s very disappointing."
@SamMorshead_SA probably a blessing - only so many times you can ask whats going wrong and get fed more excuses #stfcadver— @mwooly63 18 January 2014
More now from manager Mark Cooper and his post-match chat with BBC Wiltshire...
“We tried to get the ball out from the back. We have to try to play out and we played three centre-halves," he said.
“I thought Branco was very good again, I thought Pritchard was lively, Jay did fine but it’s not enough when we need to be getting points away from home.
“I understand the supporters will be frustrated but they’ve got to stick with us. They’re learning, they’re trying their best and it is frustrating for all of us but we’ll get there in the end."
Mark Cooper has been out to speak to the local media. Here's what he had to tell BBC Wiltshire...
“I thought we had a spell in the second half where we played well and we needed to score. We had two or three really good chances and we needed to score one of them. We only played for 20 minutes out of 90 and that’s not good enough.
“We gave a silly free-kick away and no one picked up their man for their first goal. In the first half we huffed and puffed and second half we came out and played really well for 20 minutes.
“We put four up front to try to get back in the game. You hope you get a bit of a break and we can get the ball to our four strikers but it never happened.
“I think we controlled the second half but if you don’t defend the ball when it goes in your box and don’t score in their box you’re not going to win too many football matches."
Reaction to come as and when we get it. Sadly, due to the ongoing ban in place on the Advertiser we are not allowed to attend the post-match chat with manager Mark Cooper.
Gillingham 2 (Legge 18, Harriman 83) Swindon Town 0
Same old story for Swindon. Away from home they just seemingly cannot recreate the kind of performances that have wowed the County Ground crowds. Hugely disappointing yet again for the intrepid 372 that followed the Robins to Kent.
90 mins: Ranger heads over with Town's final chance of the game. 'Can we play you every week' come the chants from the home fans.
Branco booked for dissent, 90
Five minutes to be added to the game.
Gillingham 2 (Harriman 83) Swindon Town 0
It looks as though it's going to be another defeat for Town. This is not so much about poor defending but intelligent play from the Gills.
Dack finds Martin in behind the Town defence on the left and his cross finds Harriman, who drivespast Branco and McEveley on the line. Game over.
Dany N'Guessan replaces Ryan Mason, 79
78 mins: An action-packed few moments as Foderingham gets off his line well to keep out McDonald and then, at the other end, Luongo curls at Nelson.
Craig Fagan replaces Adebayo Akinfenwa, 76
The attendance here today is 6,134 (372 from Swindon).
Nathan Byrne replaces Nathan Thompson, 72
72 mins: Branco flashes a wild shot over from the edge of the area.
72 mins: That's a superb backtracking block from Legge to deny Pritchard.
Gillingham are coming back into this game now. Town are running out of time to scavenge something from it.
Bradley Dack replaces Myles Weston, 67
64 mins: Pritchard fires a free-kick straight at Nelson. That was in a cracking position, too. A bit of a waste.
63 mins: Barker does brilliantly to find space following Ranger's flick-on but takes too long to get the shot away. Blocked.
60 mins: A great chance for the Gills to net number two. Town are all over the place but Akinfenwa heads wide with Foderingham scrambling across his goal.
Pritchard booked for deliberate handball, 59
Both sides are finding it hard to settle into any kind of rhythm in the second half.
George Barker replaces Grant Hall, 53
This looks bad for Hall as he's taken off on a stretcher. Hope it's not too serious.
Grant Hall goes down grabbing his leg/hamstring and the stretcher is immediately called for.
And we're off again at the Priestfield Stadium. Town kicking towards the temporary stand housing the travelling fans.
The two teams are out for the second half.
Gillingham 1 (Legge 18) Swindon Town 0
Pretty much more of the same from Swindon on the road. Not much by way of penetration, defence looks fragile and on a difficult pitch the passing game is being broken up too often.
Let's hope it changes after the break. Form suggests it won't.
44 mins: The Town back three all over the place again as McDonald collects the ball and shoots wide when he should do better.
42 mins: Hall hooks a shot wide from the corner.
42 mins: Nelson comes up with a superb save to keep Gills in front. Pritchard dances down the right wing and centres excellently for Kasim whose shot looks destined for the bottom corner only for the home stopper to stick out a leg and keep it out.
39 mins: Joe Martin tries his luck from distance. He's not lucky on this occasion. Goal-kick.
Town are playing some decent stuff in patches but it's all in the middle third and there is almost no goal threat whatsoever. Defensively, too many Gills runs are not being tracked and 50-50s are falling in favour of the hosts. All very worrying.
32 mins: A fizzing effort from Michael Harriman on the edge of the area has Foderingham worried but it flies into the crowd.
30 mins: Adam Barrett fires a right-footed volley wide of Foderingham's right-hand post.
29 mins: Kasim's shot from distance is well wide.
28 mins: McDonald should do better than drag wide after going clear through on goal. Ward was playing the striker onside.
26 mins: Good build-up from Town sees Luongo play in Nathan Thompson, who crosses for Nile Ranger but the striker's toe poke is weak and at Stuart Nelson.
25 mins: Myles Weston slips as he shoots from fully 40 yards and the ball trickles out for a goal-kick.
20 mins: Jay McEveley's header from Alex Pritchard's corner flashes past the far post.
Gillingham 1 (Legge 18) Swindon Town 0
It's a pretty basic goal to concede. A chipped free-kick into the area finds Leon Legge shrugging off the attention of his marker to head past a helpless Foderingham.
14 mins: Ryan Mason's left-footed effort from range, at a bit of an angle, flies over the crossbar.
11 mins: Stephen Gregory slices wide from 20 yards after Town shoot themselves in the foot and give the ball away moments after Massimo Luongo backtracks 70 yards to stop a Gills attack in its tracks.
A decent start, this, from Swindon. Comfortable with ball at feet and defending resolutely.
Six mins: Leon Legge's shot is blocked by Darren Ward en route to goal.
Two mins: Adebayo Akinfenwa outmuscles Grant Hall at the back post but his right-footed volley is never likely to trouble Wes Foderingham.
And we're off. Town defending the end housing the travelling fans.
The teams are out at the Priestfield Stadium. Kick-off is just moments away.
I'm reliably informed Olly Murs and Cody McDonald are good friends. Let's hope Gills striker is no 'Troublemaker' for Town today. Geddit!? No? Never mind.
With just over 10 minutes remaining until kick-off, here's a quick reminder of how we are allowed to cover Swindon Town games on the Advertiser website.
Due to restrictions imposed on journalists by Dataco, we are unable to give up-to-the-second commentary of events at the County Ground.
Updates are subject to a three-minute delay under the terms of these restrictions.
Updates will appear on Matchday Live but will be on a three-minute delay.
with @SamMorshead_SA & #stfcadver being banned at #stfc reminds me of Diamandis era #ShouldWeBeWorried?— @GentleAtheist 15 January 2014
The stadium has just been told that pin-up pop icon and all-round geezer Olly Murs is in amongst the crowd this afternoon. Must be a Gills fan.
Swindon Town will have to put an end to a winless streak of more than 26 years at the Priestfield Stadium if they are to claim all three points today.
The Robins' last success in Kent came way back in December 1986. That's a mighty long while ago.
Earlier in the season, Gillingham came to the County Ground and emerged with a point thanks to Cody McDonald's late equaliser.
Forgotten it already? Here are some highlights to remind you...
He had plenty to say about the perceived lack of intelligence of some footballers.(He holds alaw degree).
“Football players’ backgrounds are such that the formal education is not available to them - the colleges and universities - they’re almost geared towards playing football,” he said.
“Don’t for one minute think that means they’re not clever in another way. They’re very sharp, they’re very bright.
“I often have this argument with other people that you underestimate players’ intelligence at your peril. They’re bright people, they don’t have formal education but that’s not to say they’re not bright.”
The last time Swindon Town visited Gillingham, they went away celebrating promotion from League Two.
We're feeling nostalgic so here's a reminder of the celebrations that day...
Yes, he's playing again. Always love watching the big man play...
Both sets of players are now out on the Priestfield Stadium pitch for their warm-ups.
BREAKING TEAM NEWS
GILLINGHAM v Swindon Town: Nelson; Martin, Legge, Barrett, Harriman; Gregory, Hessenthaler, Weston, Hewitt; Akinfenwa, McDonald
Substitutes: Howard, Linganzi, Davies, Dack, Smith, Marriott, Fagan
Has Hall got in his contract he has to start every game? Drop him! We need to be positive away from home go attacking! #stfcadver— @kevinmitchell11 18 January 2014
2:10pm Sat 18 Jan 14
We should bring Hoddle back as he has been trying to get the job back from rumours and adver reports and he would bring a good connection with his World Class Academy he has wanted to link with Swindon for a while
That would appear to be a 5-3-2 for Swindon Town at Gillingham, with Jay McEveley coming into left-back and Mark Cooper putting together three central defenders in the shape of Darren Ward, Raphael Rossi Branco and Grant Hall.
Presumably, Alex Pritchard will support Nile Ranger up front but I guess we'll have to wait until kick-off to see exactly how that pans out.
BREAKING TEAM NEWS
Gillingham v SWINDON TOWN: Foderingham; N Thompson, Branco, Ward, Hall, McEveley; Luongo, Kasim, Mason; Pritchard; Ranger
Substitutes: Belford, Byrne, Harley, Thompson L, Barker, Storey, N'Guessan
We're still waiting on team news at present.
1:48pm Sat 18 Jan 14
A bad defeat is a understatement there . losing to the bottom side by 2 goals a side we always owe one for our fa cup defeat yrs back . Again a bad time for stfc . Rangert should be out , so should Cooper after that defeat . And we never wanted Power in charge did we . That was all underhanded . We will lose today go on a losing run and Cooper and Power will have to leave . Its the only way .
Bit harsh on a manager that's taken a bunch of kids to eighth in the league when by all right they shouldn't have had a sniff of the play-offs, isn't it?
Matchday Live is more than just a report on today’s game, it’s an opportunity for you to tell us exactly how you feel about current events at Swindon Town.
So, whether it’s complaints about lukewarm pies in the Arkell’s Stand, concerns over the abundance of youth in the Robins’ set-up or frustration at your latest delayed train, we want to hear from you.
Getting in touch is easy, just follow one of the below options:
Twitter – Use the hashtag #stfcadver to express your opinion andfollow up-to-the-second live updates on proceedings by following chief sports writer @SamMorshead_SA.
Comment – Use the box below the live blog to contribute, but please make sure to keep your thoughts clean.
MAN IN THE MIDDLE
The gent responsible for keeping control of proceedings this afternoon also took charge of Swindon Town’s embarrassing 4-0 defeat to Macclesfield in the FA Cup in November.
Andy Madley did nothing wrong that day but his presence is something of a bad omen for the Robins on their travels.
ADVER CHIEF SPORTS WRITER SAM MORSHEAD: "Afternoon all from a chilly Priestfield.
"This semi-grudge match always has something about it, given the history between the two sets of supporters, but from a purely footballing point of view it takes on added significance today.
"If Swindon really want to be taken seriously as play-off contenders they must starting winning games on the road - not all of them, but at least four from now until the season's end.
"I expect Mark Cooper to make a couple of changes as he looks to find the perfect balanace of resolve and creativity but a bumpy pitch here in Kent won't make things easy."
With Jay McEveley fit and available after a knee injury Swindon are as close to full health as they have been for most of the season.
BACK: JAY MCEVELEY
Only Troy Archibald-Henville, Alex Smith and Tijane Reis miss out through knocks and Cooper could well hand a full debut to George Barker, who impressed off the bench at Stevenage.
Ryan Harley is also pushing for a return to midfield, while Grant Hall’s place in the side is in doubt following a dubious display at left-back on Tuesday night.
1:46pm Sat 18 Jan 14
Since 1950 says
If there is any hope of the play offs (there I said it!) 3 points a must today.
We may be banned from the County Ground but Gillingham have afforded the Advertiser their hospitality so stick with us for team news and build-up ahead of kick-off, followed by in-play updates and reaction post-match.
It’s about time Town won away. Could today be the day? Find out with us here on Matchday Live.
Gillingham have made a habit of grinding out results at home against the top eight – the Gills have drawn with Leyton Orient and Peterborough and beaten Wolves in recent weeks – and given Swindon’s record on the road this could end up being another unhappy afternoon for Mark Cooper and his merry men.
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the Priestfield Stadium for Swindon Town’s clash with Gillingham in League One.
The Robins come into the game off the back of a demoralising defeat to rock-bottom Stevenage on Tuesday and will be desperate to end their away-day hoodoo in Kent.
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