Introducing 14-year-old Alfie Howlett: Swindon Link’s new football writer:
Swindon Town vs Northampton
20th August 2019
Swindon Town fell to their first defeat of the League Two season last night after a smash and grab Northampton performance collided with a shocking refereeing decision.
Town looked to make it 10 points from 12 as a poor Northampton side who had only 1 point in their opening three games visited the County Ground.
The opening ten minutes of the first half would be the story for the whole of the first half as little quality was shown by both sides - with the only action coming from half a dozen Northampton free kicks town gave away. However, fortunately for town, a tall Northampton team were unable to trouble town keeper Luke McCormick.
Eoin Doyle had a shot blocked by ex Swindon defender Jordan Turnbull in the 26th minute. But the best action of a largely dull first half came in the last 10 minutes of the half. After some good footwork Lloyd Isgrove cut into the box and if it wasn't for a good block from a Northampton defender his stand out first half would have been rewarded with a goal. Isgrove then turned provider as he whipped in a delightful cross but town captain Dion Conroy was unable to glance the header in. Northampton then had their best chance as Jordan Turnbull dispossessed Adam May then broke towards town's goal but his effort fell tamely wide of McCormick's goal as the teams went in level at the interval.
In the second half Swindon began the better of the two teams. Kaiyne Woolery in his new right wing position made some good runs and his burst into the box and cross nearly found town striker Eoin Doyle had it not have been for the outstretched leg of Charlie Goode.
Town thought they had the breakthrough as Isgrove once again curled another good cross in however Jordan Lyden's delicate effort was tipped over by the Northampton keeper. Once again Kaiyne Woolery later found a good cross to Eoin Doyle but the new striker slashed at the volley attempt. Swindon then should have scored as a Michael Doughty corner found its way to Dion Conroy on the edge of the box but his effort was straight down the throat of the Northampton keeper. Then in the 67th minute ex Swindon player Andy Williams riffled the ball in from the underside of the crossbar from a tight angle. But the main talking point from the fans, the manager and the players was how Williams was clearly in an offside position however the only man who could make the decision, the linesman, said it was a goal! Town huffed and they puffed but they just couldn't get the ball over the line. Adam May booted over from 12 yards, Tyler Reid's shot was narrowly wide of the post and a Michael Doughty last minute free kick found the roof of the net.
Despite a shocker of a refereeing decision, in my opinion, Swindon should've had enough quality to beat a Northampton team that had no intention of trying to play at Swindon. However town only managed two shots on target which is just not enough for a home side. Definitely a night to forget for Richie Wellens' men.