Match Report: Swindon Town 2-1 Forest Green Rovers

By Barrie Hudson - 2 January 2024

Sport

A report by Swindon Town FC correspondent Alfie Howlett

In what could prove to be his final swan song at The County Ground, Dan Kemp stole the show to give Swindon their first win in over a month.  

Two second half Kemp strikes either side of a Matty Taylor equaliser saw Swindon hold a slender lead going into injury time. There was, however, a late twist with Jake Young conceding a penalty. Fortunately for Town, Lewis Ward was on hand to save the day. 

Without a win throughout the entirety of December, Swindon welcomed a Forest Green side who sat rock bottom of the EFL. It felt like a perfect opportunity for the Robins to return to winning ways.  

The contest got off to a fast start with Forest Green having an early appeal for a penalty waved away by referee Scott Simpson. An early through ball from Forest Green found the run of Callum Morton who one-on-one went to round Ward before diving and claiming a foul. The referee, however, was in the right place to make the correct decision.  

In an incredibly even contest we’d have to wait until the 25th minute for the next notable action. It saw Tyrese Shade cut onto his right foot and fire an effort from range which Luke Daniels gathered at the second time of asking. Just past the half-hour mark, Charlie McCan forced Lewis Ward into action with a low right-footed effort.  

Despite there being 16 points between the two clubs, both sides would go in at the interval level pegging, both on the scoreline and - concerningly - in performance.  

The second half began with Saidou Khan testing Daniels with a skimming shot which was spilled for a corner. Then, four minutes shy of the hour mark, Swindon took the lead courtesy of a stunner from Dan Kemp. A Town break was intercepted by ex-red Marcel Lavinier only as far as Dan Kemp, who took one touch and arrowed it into the bottom corner from 21 yards.  

With 64 minutes on the clock Kemp nearly turned provider. After some good footwork Town’s number 10 fired a ball across the box to Charlie Austin who was unable to sort his feet out as he cannoned it over the bar. Swindon continued to push for the second and came close to finding it in the 69th minute. 

A Dan Kemp cross found Tyrese Shade at the back post, after controlling the ball Shade’s subsequent shot cruelly hit the bar.  

Shade’s opportunity looked costly as Forest Green levelled the scoreline in the 75th minute. Substitute Matt Taylor, who loves a goal against Swindon, tapped home Alfie Bendle’s ball across goal.  

Six minutes later Swindon reclaimed the lead. An excellent run from Shade saw the wing back get to the byline a pull it back to the on-rushing Kemp who expertly finished high into the net. It was a well worked goal from a Swindon point of view.  

The remaining minutes saw an incredibly nervous Swindon edge towards all three points. However, there would be one last twist of the tail which kept the champagne on ice. In the last minute of injury time Jake Young committed a foul which led to a penalty. 

After a long wait, Matthew Stevens stepped up and fired an effort down the middle which was denied by Ward standing tall. It saw Swindon jubilantly escape with all three points.  

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