SWINDON TOWN: A damp squib for Di Canio

Swindon Town's Joe Devera goes close against Leyton Orient last night

Swindon Town's Raffa De Vita charges forward with the ball against Leyton Orient last night

Swindon Town's Matt Ritchie goes up for a header against Leyton Orient last night

First published in Sport by

IF YOU are an aesthete you’d have been well advised to steer clear of Brisbane Road last night.

On a grotty playing surface, in pouring rain, against a Leyton Orient side who oozed resolve but little creativity, Swindon Town had to put in the hard yards for a share of the spoils.

There was nothing sexy about this performance. It was the runt of the litter in that respect; unkept and dirty and unlikely to charm the neutral.

Chances went begging and passes went astray, and at the end of it all Swindon could look back on 90 minutes of toil and perhaps feel disappointed they did not emerge victors.

Andy Williams hit a post, James Collins missed with a free header and Jamie Jones in the Orient goal pulled off a brilliant stop to deny Alan McCormack as the game ended goalless.

But Town remain unbeaten in more than two months, and that’s not something to be scoffed at, however unattractive one game may have been.

On a pitch that was part grass, part beach, the two teams exchanged sights of goal in the opening moments.

Williams could only scoop Raffa De Vita’s cross from the left over the top of the crossbar from 10 yards out in the second minute, while David Mooney dragged a shot horribly wide 60 seconds later as rain lashed down on an already churned-up surface.

Town started with the intent to play their football in conditions that scarcely suited it. Matt Ritchie leathered a long-range effort into the crowd behind Jamie Jones’ goal in the 10th minute before Joe Devera nodded wide at the back post from a corner, but the visitors’ invention was stifled by the conditions.

When the Robins did manage to beat the elements and get the ball down and play, they seemed capable of scything their opponents in half.

A smooth move down the right, involving Ritchie and Simon Ferry, saw the former tee up the latter to sidefoot at Jones just before the half-hour.

But trying to get into a rhythm of ‘pass and move’ on a pitch whose squelch was audible from 80 feet up in the stands proved to be a fruitless and thankless task.

This wasn’t a first half for the purists.

With four minutes remaining of the opening period Orient came close as Charlie MacDonald thrashed a volley into the side-netting, but the hosts were at best functional and at worst clumsy during the first half.

After the break, Orient managed to find an air of composure and adapted better to the slimy surface, and Martin Rowlands’ long-range free-kick was deflected out for a corner in the 55th minute.

But Swindon were soon back on the offensive.

Ritchie somehow contorted his body in a way which in enabled him to volley left-footed on goal, only for the effort to be blocked by Ben Chorley, while Collins should have done better than nod a free header wide from Ritchie’s free-kick.

Orient were made of sterner stuff in the second half.

Rowlands saw Foderingham out of position in the 65th minute and attempted a long-range volley which flew harmlessly over, while Dean Cox slid the ball wide of the Town keeper’s left-hand post but in between the Robins came within centimetres of nudging in front.

De Vita crossed neatly from the right, Williams sneaked in front of his man and beat Jones with a tidy sidefooted effort, only to see the ball strike the inside of a post, rebound into the middle of the six-yard box and get hacked to safety.

As the game entered its final quarter so both teams opened up. Cox, lively following his introduction, volleyed MacDonald’s knockdown over the crossbard while, at the other end, Chris Martin twice produced sensational low crosses into the area without finding another blue shirt.

Though the match had finally found the spark it needed to lighten the dank gloom in east London, either keeper had yet to make a major contribution. That changed in the 75th minute.

McCormack, as usual unafraid to romp forwards in support of his midfielders, picked up possession 40 yards from goal, took three strides forward and unleashed a rasping drive which had Jones flying to his right to tip the ball out for a corner.

Rowlands, who struggled to find his range all evening, slashed an effort from 20 yards over with 12 minutes remaining while Martin and Ritchie also missed the target from outside the penalty area as the game appeared to be hobbling towards its conclusion.

Ritchie was livid when Williams took McCormack’s cross off his forehead and nodded wide in the 83rd minute, while in a bizarre echo 90 yards down the pitch, it was Mooney’s turn to be enraged when Jimmy Smith prevented him from testing Foderingham.

Neither side showed any sign of letting up as the minutes ticked by. Darren Ward, immense in his defensive role throughout, needed to grow a couple of inches to direct Ritchie’s corner on target while Foderingham produced a quite sensational save low to his right to deny Smith’s drive with a minute left.

How important that stop proved to be.

Ugly or not, it was a hard-earned point.

Comments (12)

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6:38am Wed 30 Jan 13

Ollie Reed's Parky dance! says...

Win your home games, pick up what you can away and we will be thereabouts at the end.
Win your home games, pick up what you can away and we will be thereabouts at the end. Ollie Reed's Parky dance!
  • Score: 0

6:43am Wed 30 Jan 13

bowralbob says...

One point is better than none!
One point is better than none! bowralbob
  • Score: 0

7:31am Wed 30 Jan 13

Rebel_phish says...

I think the pitch won. We seemed to be in the assendancy throughout the match - just couldn't find the killer punch.

Has that been said before, I wonder???!
I think the pitch won. We seemed to be in the assendancy throughout the match - just couldn't find the killer punch. Has that been said before, I wonder???! Rebel_phish
  • Score: 0

8:55am Wed 30 Jan 13

dave gar says...

i though we were the better side however the game would have been off if it was played today ,,thoughyt they should have had a penalty ,,,woried about the takeover tho
i though we were the better side however the game would have been off if it was played today ,,thoughyt they should have had a penalty ,,,woried about the takeover tho dave gar
  • Score: 0

9:51am Wed 30 Jan 13

Rebel_phish says...

Thought the Yeovil result against MK was a good one, till I see they've moved up to 7th. They may be a dark horse.
Thought the Yeovil result against MK was a good one, till I see they've moved up to 7th. They may be a dark horse. Rebel_phish
  • Score: 0

9:53am Wed 30 Jan 13

old town robin says...

dave gar wrote:
i though we were the better side however the game would have been off if it was played today ,,thoughyt they should have had a penalty ,,,woried about the takeover tho
Report in the Sun said we were lucky not to conceed a penalty and Orient fans were none to impressed with Andy urso. makes a change for us to get a bit of luck
[quote][p][bold]dave gar[/bold] wrote: i though we were the better side however the game would have been off if it was played today ,,thoughyt they should have had a penalty ,,,woried about the takeover tho[/p][/quote]Report in the Sun said we were lucky not to conceed a penalty and Orient fans were none to impressed with Andy urso. makes a change for us to get a bit of luck old town robin
  • Score: 0

10:26am Wed 30 Jan 13

scooby69 says...

A hard earned point on a bad pitch (just like Bournemouth).

The main thing is we are still unbeaten and we need to just keep plugging away.

We are back up to 3rd in the table, 6 points behind the top two.
When they slip up (which I hope they do), we need to just on keep going and we will catch up.

This time last season we were 4th in the table. By the end of February 2012 we were top.

Keep the run going.
A hard earned point on a bad pitch (just like Bournemouth). The main thing is we are still unbeaten and we need to just keep plugging away. We are back up to 3rd in the table, 6 points behind the top two. When they slip up (which I hope they do), we need to just on keep going and we will catch up. This time last season we were 4th in the table. By the end of February 2012 we were top. Keep the run going. scooby69
  • Score: 0

11:01am Wed 30 Jan 13

Stratton Red says...

Def 2 points lost yesterday but could have lost it at the death so a point better than zero. My MotM was Ward.
*
Whilst attracting the obvious and obligatory boo's I thought Cuthbert was awesome for them last night.
*
Have a quick look at the report from the LO fanzine, very witty, and with the exception of 'slightly' instead of 'totally' a very fair assessment... http://leyton-orient
-blog.blogspot.co.uk
/
Def 2 points lost yesterday but could have lost it at the death so a point better than zero. My MotM was Ward. * Whilst attracting the obvious and obligatory boo's I thought Cuthbert was awesome for them last night. * Have a quick look at the report from the LO fanzine, very witty, and with the exception of 'slightly' instead of 'totally' a very fair assessment... http://leyton-orient -blog.blogspot.co.uk / Stratton Red
  • Score: 0

11:06am Wed 30 Jan 13

wraxall says...

good point
terrible pitch
great following of nearly 800 on a wet tuesday night.
If we were offered £million plus for ritchie -sell!
good point terrible pitch great following of nearly 800 on a wet tuesday night. If we were offered £million plus for ritchie -sell! wraxall
  • Score: 0

11:51am Wed 30 Jan 13

MITTED says...

Clean sheet away from home on a truly awful pitch, with swirling wind and rain. Should have been 3 points but you can't win them all. It was one of those nights where we were so dominant but the ball just wouldn't go in and you started to fear Orient would steal a result.

For those not there, we tried to play our usual neat passing on the deck but the ball would repeatedly stick and break up the flow.

McCormack hit a sensational screamer from 40 yards (think of Maccesfield), it dipped just a fraction too early though allowing the keeper to make a wonder save. However, their one real chance came at the end with the goal gapping in a goal-mouth scramble, Sir Wes pulled off one of the greatest saves I have ever seen - it was akin to the Banks save from Pele.
And PS: for those who suggest Orient should have had a penalty. No way, both were blatant dives - the first got the benefit of doubt but the second **** off the ref and so was rightly booked.
COYR
Clean sheet away from home on a truly awful pitch, with swirling wind and rain. Should have been 3 points but you can't win them all. It was one of those nights where we were so dominant but the ball just wouldn't go in and you started to fear Orient would steal a result. For those not there, we tried to play our usual neat passing on the deck but the ball would repeatedly stick and break up the flow. McCormack hit a sensational screamer from 40 yards (think of Maccesfield), it dipped just a fraction too early though allowing the keeper to make a wonder save. However, their one real chance came at the end with the goal gapping in a goal-mouth scramble, Sir Wes pulled off one of the greatest saves I have ever seen - it was akin to the Banks save from Pele. And PS: for those who suggest Orient should have had a penalty. No way, both were blatant dives - the first got the benefit of doubt but the second **** off the ref and so was rightly booked. COYR MITTED
  • Score: 0

12:28pm Wed 30 Jan 13

The Jockster says...

Stratton Red wrote:
Def 2 points lost yesterday but could have lost it at the death so a point better than zero. My MotM was Ward.
*
Whilst attracting the obvious and obligatory boo's I thought Cuthbert was awesome for them last night.
*
Have a quick look at the report from the LO fanzine, very witty, and with the exception of 'slightly' instead of 'totally' a very fair assessment... http://leyton-orient

-blog.blogspot.co.uk

/
Was Cuthbert awesome? don't remember you saying that to me at the game? :) I thought he was just average like he always was here?
[quote][p][bold]Stratton Red[/bold] wrote: Def 2 points lost yesterday but could have lost it at the death so a point better than zero. My MotM was Ward. * Whilst attracting the obvious and obligatory boo's I thought Cuthbert was awesome for them last night. * Have a quick look at the report from the LO fanzine, very witty, and with the exception of 'slightly' instead of 'totally' a very fair assessment... http://leyton-orient -blog.blogspot.co.uk /[/p][/quote]Was Cuthbert awesome? don't remember you saying that to me at the game? :) I thought he was just average like he always was here? The Jockster
  • Score: 0

3:30pm Wed 30 Jan 13

MITTED says...

The Jockster wrote:
Stratton Red wrote:
Def 2 points lost yesterday but could have lost it at the death so a point better than zero. My MotM was Ward.
*
Whilst attracting the obvious and obligatory boo's I thought Cuthbert was awesome for them last night.
*
Have a quick look at the report from the LO fanzine, very witty, and with the exception of 'slightly' instead of 'totally' a very fair assessment... http://leyton-orient


-blog.blogspot.co.uk


/
Was Cuthbert awesome? don't remember you saying that to me at the game? :) I thought he was just average like he always was here?
I too thought he was ordinary at best. In fact he was so average that the only reason I noticed him on the pitch was because he is a former Town player. If he wasn't, he would have been no different to the rest of their players - nothing special at all.
COYR
[quote][p][bold]The Jockster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Stratton Red[/bold] wrote: Def 2 points lost yesterday but could have lost it at the death so a point better than zero. My MotM was Ward. * Whilst attracting the obvious and obligatory boo's I thought Cuthbert was awesome for them last night. * Have a quick look at the report from the LO fanzine, very witty, and with the exception of 'slightly' instead of 'totally' a very fair assessment... http://leyton-orient -blog.blogspot.co.uk /[/p][/quote]Was Cuthbert awesome? don't remember you saying that to me at the game? :) I thought he was just average like he always was here?[/p][/quote]I too thought he was ordinary at best. In fact he was so average that the only reason I noticed him on the pitch was because he is a former Town player. If he wasn't, he would have been no different to the rest of their players - nothing special at all. COYR MITTED
  • Score: 0

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