SWINDON Town’s development side lost a training ground friendly 4-2 to Cheltenham Town on Wednesday. Link Sport’s Sam Morshead was at the match and reflects on five things we can take from the outing.
1. One game isn’t enough for a trialist
Joel Chianese has been with Town for three weeks but the clash at Seasons was the first time he has experienced any match action. The Australian didn’t get a great deal of service in the first half, though he was in the right place to chest home Harry Agombar’s cross, before retreating deeper in the second period to see more of the ball. He showed good footwork and an uncanny knack to be in the right place at the right time to nab his second of the game, but really this one appearance can hardly give manager Mark Cooper much of an idea of what he would be signing if he did give the striker a deal in Wiltshire.
2.Jake Reeves can’t half play
The midfielder, signed from Brentford during the latter stages of the transfer window, started the game for Town and looked cool on the ball. He also has a terrific ability to keep the game moving at a high tempo. He was a class above most of the other players on show and his 70 minutes of work certainly gave a good indication that Swindon have stolen another young gem from under the noses of their League One rivals.
3. Owning your own training ground is a pretty excellent thing
Cheltenham may have a modest budget and a relatively small fanbase but in their Seasons training ground they have something to be really proud of. Several well-manicured pitches, a good sized and well equipped clubhouse and an openness which allows fans and members of the press to pitch up and watch development games. It was a thoroughly pleasant experience all-round. Now if Town could possibly follow their lead…
4. Goalkeepers breed goalkeepers
In goal for Cheltenham was Matthew Gould, the son of former Coventry City stopper Jonathan Gould – who was on the sidelines watching his offspring in action and had a quick chat with Swindon boss Cooper after the game. It seems a common trait for keepers to spawn other keepers – a sort of family-driven blueprint for world domination with gloves on.
5. Referees can be substituted for no apparent reason
Midway through the first half of the clash, the babbling supporters on the sidelines were struck silent by the loudest and shrillest puff on a whistle you’re ever likely to hear. It wasn’t from a desperate farmer trying to stop a rebel sheepdog in its tracks but from the lips of a portly official gesticulating wildly at the young man in charge of the game. He usurped the kid as referee, relegating the poor lad to waving a flag, and assumed control. Presumably this is a new FIFA initiative that will only be used in the JPT.