THE unlikely hero of Swindon Town’s Tuesday night last-gasp draw with Gillingham, Raphael Branco, is prepared to sacrifice personal glory for the good of the team.
It was the Brazilian defender’s cross-come-shot Gills’ goalkeeper Stephen Bywater spilled into his own goal to give the Robins a share of the points at Priestfield. Though Bywater will doubtless take the blame for the costly blunder, Branco being in a position to get the ball so far up the pitch and so late in the game, regardless of intent, showed his commitment to the cause.
The 24-year-old freely admitted his intention was not to shoot but was happy with the what transpired.
“To be honest I tried to cross, but it’s a goal, I don’t care if I tried to cross or I if tried to shoot. It’s a goal, this goal helped us on our way,” he said.
When asked about when his last professional laague goal Branco revelead: “In Brazil to be honest, three years ago, but like I said I prefer we won this game and I didn’t score.”
Town boss Mark Cooper has increasing faith in the player he signed from Conference South side Whitehawk. Towards the back end of last season he appeared more regularly and has now started in all of Town’s three recent games on the road.
That belief placed in him by his manager is being felt by the player as he is developing with the defensive unit and as an individual on the pitch.
“Obviously when you start to play game to game you get more confidence with your staff, in your partners and with yourself as well. I think the way we’re playing is the right way for me, I just want to do what I’m and help Swindon to be on the top.
“We’re constant at the back with Jordan (Turnbull), Nathan (Thompson, Josh (Lelan), me and Wes (Foderingham) as well and I think everyone is giving confidence to each other. I think we just need to what we do.
“Last game against Crawley I played the last five minutes as a striker, in this game I came in and I tried to cross and fortunately the ‘keeper but the ball into the goal, I’m happy for my team.”