SWINDON TOWN 1 STEVENAGE 1 (Town win 3-1 on penalties): Full-time report

Swindon Advertiser: Swindon Town beat Stevenage 3-1 on penalties in the JPT this evening Swindon Town beat Stevenage 3-1 on penalties in the JPT this evening

SWINDON Town advanced to the southern section area final of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy with a penalty shootout victory over Stevenage this evening.

Nicky Ajose’s first-half goal for Town was cancelled out by Francois Zoko 11 minutes before full-time but Tyrell Belford saved two Boro spot-kicks to send Swindon into the next round.

Mark Cooper chose an attacking line-up for the clash, the Swindon manager shoehorning Ryan Mason, Massimo Luongo, Alex Pritchard, Dany N’Guessan, Ryan Harley and Ajose into the same team from the offset.

Belford started in goal, with Wes Foderingham dropping to the bench as he had done in the Robins’ previous two JPT outings this term, while Jack Barthram was installed at right-back.

Darren Ward hit the crossbar with a header for the home side in the fifth minute and,with the ball looping up in the air, Ajose was pushed in the back with such force that the striker ended up springing forward into the Stevenage goal, breaking the net in the process.

Referee Stephen Martin was unmoved, however, waving away Town’s penalty claims.

Despite not getting the decision, the Robins quickly assumed total control of proceedings, looking rejuvenated for their mini break from competitive action, and midway through the opening period the hosts took the lead.

A tidy short corner routine found its way to Harley 25 yards from goal and the former Exeter man’s low strike was cleverly diverted past Chris Day by Ajose.

Leading by a single goal at the break, Swindon came out after the interval without the swagger that was such a prominent feature of the first 45 minutes.

A stale start to the second period only came to life in the 65th minute. Pritchard collected Ajose’s lay-off 20 yards from goal and saw his thumping drive rebound off the bar and away to safety.

The visitors were not out of the game, however, and in the 76th minute Swindon were warned how fragile their lead was. Lucas Akins, a second-half substitute for Stevenage, somehow ghosted through the middle and was only denied an equaliser by Belford’s outstretched fist.

Akins then appeared to be brought down by Yaser Kasim in the area, only for Stephens to once again shy away from awarding a penalty, but Boro found their way through with 10 minutes remaining in the game.

A corner from the left was Town’s undoing, as Zoko somehow stole in at the near post to squeeze a header past Belford.

Ajose almost sneaked a winner with the final kick of the game for Town, but his delicate curling effort flirted with the outside of Day’s left-hand post before dribbling wide, and the game was destined to be decided by spot-kicks.

With safe passage to the area to be determined from 12 yards, Belford saved from Filipe Morais and Luke Freeman, while Ben Chorley skied his effort to see Swindon through.

Comments (2)

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9:45am Wed 11 Dec 13

PeteHedges says...

In my opinion, yes the better team on the night won through.

On a positive, Belford saved 2 penalties, Jay McKeverly and Jack Bartram had good games, Nicky Ajose worked extremely hard and was rewarded with the goal, infact I would have given Man of the match to either of these.

On the negative, Town were quite negative in the second half instead of finishing off the pretty poor Stevenage we saw in the first half. Harley, Mason and Luongo were off the pace, too slow and needed too many touches, Pritchard was greedy at times, and Belford's distribution was awful. Let's hope Wes isn't sold in January because, not taking anything away from his heroics in the shootout, Belford's general play was not very convincing at all. The team will have to play much better to overcome Peterborough, but I am sure Cooper knows what he is doing and I will be there to hopefully cheer them on to wembley again.

Why do we always seem to get the rubbish referees?

Finally, what has happened to the hardcore Swindown fans....just under 4000 for an area semi-final is pretty poor, even though it is a minor trophy. I bet there will be many more for the Boro game, and of course the trophy hunters will be out for the Wembley trip as always. Come on Swindon support your local side, they need your voice and it could make all the difference in ALL the games.
In my opinion, yes the better team on the night won through. On a positive, Belford saved 2 penalties, Jay McKeverly and Jack Bartram had good games, Nicky Ajose worked extremely hard and was rewarded with the goal, infact I would have given Man of the match to either of these. On the negative, Town were quite negative in the second half instead of finishing off the pretty poor Stevenage we saw in the first half. Harley, Mason and Luongo were off the pace, too slow and needed too many touches, Pritchard was greedy at times, and Belford's distribution was awful. Let's hope Wes isn't sold in January because, not taking anything away from his heroics in the shootout, Belford's general play was not very convincing at all. The team will have to play much better to overcome Peterborough, but I am sure Cooper knows what he is doing and I will be there to hopefully cheer them on to wembley again. Why do we always seem to get the rubbish referees? Finally, what has happened to the hardcore Swindown fans....just under 4000 for an area semi-final is pretty poor, even though it is a minor trophy. I bet there will be many more for the Boro game, and of course the trophy hunters will be out for the Wembley trip as always. Come on Swindon support your local side, they need your voice and it could make all the difference in ALL the games. PeteHedges

10:16am Wed 11 Dec 13

port de soller says...

yes sounds about right,I cannot comment much as live overseas and due to health probs flights st this time is a no no.
What concerns me is the Town never seem to finish teams off when the appear to be in charge.Congrats to the keeper sounded as if he played a decent game
Whats gone off with Nile Ranger is he finished at the CG????? as for Luke Rooney again a **** up by Pdc and a shame it did not work out.
Next major worry is in Jan when most loan players may depart the CG,hope le Power has this all sorted out?????
As to gates well STFC are a well supported club but again in these financial times it may be hard for fans to get to all games.
Last point is lee Power said the club does not need money/investment????
? cannot figure that one out.
However he we are 2 games away from Wembley plus in a decent position in the leguge,yet you cannot help thinking how will it go after Jan as MC may have to rebuild the squad?????
still we all love them even in the difficult times,I just hope I can get medical clearance and get back for a few games
MERRY XMAS to all STFC FANS from us over here
yes sounds about right,I cannot comment much as live overseas and due to health probs flights st this time is a no no. What concerns me is the Town never seem to finish teams off when the appear to be in charge.Congrats to the keeper sounded as if he played a decent game Whats gone off with Nile Ranger is he finished at the CG????? as for Luke Rooney again a **** up by Pdc and a shame it did not work out. Next major worry is in Jan when most loan players may depart the CG,hope le Power has this all sorted out????? As to gates well STFC are a well supported club but again in these financial times it may be hard for fans to get to all games. Last point is lee Power said the club does not need money/investment???? ? cannot figure that one out. However he we are 2 games away from Wembley plus in a decent position in the leguge,yet you cannot help thinking how will it go after Jan as MC may have to rebuild the squad????? still we all love them even in the difficult times,I just hope I can get medical clearance and get back for a few games MERRY XMAS to all STFC FANS from us over here port de soller

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