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- REPORTING BY SAM MORSHEAD & MIKE BENKE
- HT: Town 0 Colchester 0
- Fierce winds and heavy rain in SN1
- Pitch passes 6.55pm inspection
- Ranger withdrawn with groin injury in first-half stoppage time
- Sanchez Watt given straight red for head butting Byrne
- FT: Town 0 Colchester 0
That's it from us tonight. Join us on Monday when Town take on Peterborough for a chance to play at Wembley.
Captain Darren Ward has been speaking about the regular changes to the formation this season.
"It's not ideal. We have used quite a few different formations this year. Obviously Monday will be very very tough game. Although we have key players out everyone will give their best.
"Unfortunatelt the injuries happen. It can be frustrating especially when Brentford and Wolves seem to have the same team week in week out.
"The clean sheet today has been a long time coming. We felt we haven’t had as many as we should have this year."
Talking about Monday's game, Cooper says the team will have to change tactics in light of injuries and suspensions.
"The players will be in tomorrow and Sunday so we will work on how we are going to play with out any players. We might have to go 4-6-0 which I'm sure everyone will be pleased about.
"Dany’s going to have to step up to the plate and take the bull by the horns.
"We are massive underdogs now."
Wes Foderingham has been speaking about the conditions.
"It was absolutely terrible in places. It wasn't too bad in places but the boxes were quite poor.
"That said, we've played on much worse pitches this season.
"I didn't have to make one save today. The only reason I had mud on me was because of the rain. It was a great defensive performance and the clean sheet positive as we haven’t had one for a while.
"It was frustrating not to get the win but it was just one of those days."
New boy Jacob Murphy has been speaking to the press about the game:
"We tried to play football in really poor conditions.
"Iwas really pleased to come on although it was much earlier than I thought it would be.
"We tried to find a way of coming up with a goal but it wasn't to be."
Massimo Luongo has just spoken to the press:
"We were comfortable and on another day we would have won. It was not a nice day for football.
"The manager said there was not a lot wrong today. We had chances and defended well. Everything positive but maybe we need more quality in the 6 yard box.
"Hopefully the weather will be better on Monday. We are playing for a big event so everyone is looking forward that. Playing at Wembley is something I want to do but it's bigger for the other boys as I'm not English."
Cooper: "We’ll see tomorrow about Nile. He’s tweaked his hamstring and it doesn’t look good.
"It makes us more underdogs for Monday especially with Thompson suspended.
"It was a shocking decision to book him. I've spoken with the ref and it was for adopting aggressive attitude. If putting your hands in front your face is adopting an aggressive attitude then Swindon police cells would be very full on a Saturday night.
Mark Cooper is talking to the press and is frustrated with the point:
"We totally dominated the game. It was a lottery with the weather but we were the better team from start to finish. Perhaps we lacked a bit of quality. It’s very frustrating we didn’t win.
"We created numerous opportunities but perhaps we lacked the quality to put them away."
A nod to all the fans who made the trip to the County Ground tonight, especially those who travelled from Colchester.
It's just a shame they couldn't have been rewarded with a better game.
Elsewhere, Peterborough also drew 0-0 with Walsall. Obviously not a night for goals.
Swindon 0 Colchester 0
Certainly not a classic and Town will have to settle for a point. They were the better team, especially when Colchester went down to ten men but they struggled to create any real chances.
Apart from a Pritchard effort in the first half, neither keeper had anything to do other than try to keep the ball still for goal kicks.
Reaction coming up.
90+3: A superb chance for Town to win. Nathan Thompson pokes a Pritchard cross just wide from six yards out.
90+1 minutes: Pritchard attempts a low shot from just outside the box but it lacks power and goes wide.
90 minutes: A great chance for Byrne but he hits his shot from just inside the Colchester area over the bar.
Five minutes extra time.
Louis Thompson is fouled about twenty yards out by Sears who is booked. Pritchard hits the free kick but it goes a long way over.
Tijane Reis takes to the pitch to replace Dany N’Guessan
82 minutes: More pressure from Swindon. Pritchard’s shot is poked wide for a corner. The ball into the box bounces around before dying in the mud at the Colchester keeper’s feet, which he gratefully picks up.
79 minutes: Murphy takes a shot from outside the area which is blocked. The rebound falls to Luongo who shoots wide. Swindon are the better team but struggling to create clear chances.
ATTENDANCE: 6683 (96 away fans)
76 minutes: More pressure from town ends with a Pritchard shot from outside the box which is just wide of the right-hand post.
DOUBLE COLCHESTER SUBSTITUTION
Alex Gilby is on for Clinton Morrison while Gavin Massey joins the game in place of Craig Eastmond
73 minutes: Swindon now looking for a winner. A period of pressure comes to an end though when N’Guessan can’t control the ball in the box and it is cleared.
Straight red for Sanchez Watt. He was already on a yellow card but after a tussle with Byrne, the Colchester player appeared to head butt the Swindon man. Nathan Thompson is also booked.
Dominic Vose goes off, Freddie Sears comes on.
63 minutes: Town play the ball into the opposition’s box. Pritchard takes a shot but it’s blocked for corner.
61 minutes: Byrne puts in a cross from deep but it only hits the top of Smith’s head and bounces out for a goal kick to Colchester.
56 minutes: Smith runs down Swindon’s right wing but his cross is just cleared by a Colchester defender for corner which is once again cleared.
55 minutes: The Colchester spends almost a minute trying to get the ball to stay still so he can take a goal kick. When he is eventually able to take the kick it goes straight out of play.
52 minutes: Vose breaks down the right wing for Colchester but his cross is cut out by Ward. Byrne clears the corner for a throw-in.
49 minutes: Byrne hits a shot very high and very wide from about 20 yards out. We’ll blame the wind for that one. It was a good break from Swindon but the conditions making it very difficult to control the ball.
Both teams back out for the second half. Swindon kick-off, playing with the wind behind their backs.
In the nights only other League One game, Monday's opponents Peterborough are also 0-0 against Walsall.
Swindon Town 0 Colchester 0
A first half dominated by the weather conditions. Town probably the better side but with few clear chances.
The big worry will be Ranger's injury.
42 minutes: Bad news. Ranger has to come off with what appears to be a pulled groin. Swindon briefly down to ten men Jacob Murphy comes on. N’Guessan will move up front.
40 minutes: Pritchard feeds Nathan Thompson down the right. He plays in a low cross but once again Smith can’t hit is cleanly. Another cross is prodded out by a Colchester defender. The resultant corner is punched clear by the keeper.
37 minutes: Some good play by Colchester down the right brings another corner. Yet again there is a bit of a scramble and town get the ball away.
36 minutes: A Colchester corner comes to nothing. The wind is still strong but the rain appears to have eased.
Watt booked for scything down Nathan Thompson. The free-kick on the edge of Colchester box is cleared.
27 minutes: A great run and pass from Louis Thompson feeds Byrne whose cross goes straight across the six-yard box with no-one being able to make contact.
24 minutes: Dany N’Guessan takes a shot following a Town attack but it is straight at the keeper.
21 minutes: A lapse in concentration from Colchester gives the ball to Pritchard who powers in a shot which is parried wide for a corner. A scramble in the box from the corner almost results in an own goal but the pressure ends when Louis Thompson is penalised for tugging a Colchester shirt.
19 minutes: Ranger crosses along the ground but there is no-one there and the Colchester keeper gathers it easily.
16 minutes: The ball is whipped in to the Colchester penalty area and Smith tries to direct it towards goal but can’t get a clean connection on it, putting it harmlessly wide.
13 minutes: A low cross comes in to the town box which is eventually scuffed clear by three defenders. Swindon try to break through Ranger but the ball holds up on the sodden pitch.
Nine minutes: Wes struggles to take a goal kick as the wind keeps blowing the ball away. The wind is playing a huge part so far with no team able to keep possession.
Six minutes: Archibald-Henville is judged to have fouled Bean on the edge of the box. Dickson takes the kick but fires it over.
Four minutes: Plenty of effort from Town who are the better team in the opening minutes but they can’t find a way through.
The teams are heading out - Swindon in red, Colchester in white. It's still very wet and windy, with lots of empty seats, but there is a good atmosphere among those who have braved the condtions.
Swindon will attack the Town End in the first half.
With just under 5 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.
If you want full text commentary of the game, log onto Twitter and follow Adver chief sports writer Sam Morshead (@SamMorshead_SA).
Updates will appear on Matchday Live but will be on a three-minute delay.
It’s very quiet here at the County Ground, with many clearly choosing to avoid the wind and rain. Hasn’t stopped Rockin’ Robin though who is out on the pitch doing his thing.
Tonight’s visitors Colchester come into the game on the back of a 2-0 defeat at Port Vale on Tuesday in what was their only game for almost a month. A string of postponements meant their previous game was on January 18 - a 4-2 victory at Carlisle.
The effort put in by County Ground staff to get this game on has been incredible. They were even sweepin away lakes beside the dug-outs just over half-an-hour ago...
ADVER CHIEF SPORTS WRITER SAM MORSHEAD: "Swindon Town are unchanged from their weekend win and the biggest test in front of them tonight will be the weather.
"It'll be hard for either team to keep the ball under control if they choose the aerial root and with the playing surface hardly in ideal condition they'll need all their technical ability to claim all three points.
"But hey, they've played some of their best football of recent months on bogs of pitches at Peterborough and Port Vale, so perhaps we should have some faith."
BREAKING TEAM NEWS
Swindon Town v COLCHESTER UTD: Walker, Wilson, Okuonghae, Eastman, Dixon, Vose, Wright, Eastmond, Bean, Watt, Morrison
Substitutes: Cousins, Sesay, Olufemi, Massey, Gilbey, Sanderson, Sears
Police have warned drivers to take care because of the wind so if your're planning on driving down please be careful.
7:22pm Fri 14 Feb 14
It`s blow football tonight !
The scene at the County Ground right now #stfc https://t.co/BLGon2ppjL— @SamMorshead_SA 14 February 2014
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.
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7:16pm Fri 14 Feb 14
port de soller says
Crazy how can football be played in those conditions ????????
Still the Red says it goes on however you get feeling it could get abandond.
It's taken an incredible effort from head groundsman Marcus Cassidy and his team to get the green light for this game.
“I’ve had a look and our pitch looks fine,” he said. “Marcus has done brilliantly to get it as it is at the moment. I’ve been speaking to him on a daily basis and the concern is playing Friday and Monday.
“He’s done a lot of work, he’s had the pitch aerated so the water runs straight through rather than collecting on the top so if we get lots more rain it’s going to be heavy but I don’t think there’ll be any doubt about the game.”
Here's the Colchester coaching staff waiting for an official decision earlier tonight...
6:51pm Fri 14 Feb 14
Scouse Red says
Not very punctual Sam - still parking the submarine?
Apologies, by myself tonight so could only get going after we'd got confirmation game was on from down on the touchline.
We've just watched a ball blown by the wind from one end of the pitch to the other by the wind. It's going to be interesting.
BREAKING TEAM NEWS
SWINDON TOWN v Colchester Utd: Foderingham, Thompson N, Ward, Archibald-Henville, Byrne, Thompson L, Luongo, Pritchard, N'Guessan, Smith, Ranger
Substitutes: Belford, Branco, Reckord, Murphy, Cox, Reis, Gladwin
There are fierce winds blowing around the stadium and rain is still falling. It's frankly amazing they've got the game on at all.
The pitch at the County Ground was inspected at 6.30pm and 6.55pm before referee Darren Sheldrake decided it was fit for purpose.
Apologies for the delayed start ladies and gents, but we've been waiting for official confirmation that tonight's game is on. It is. So here we go.