Match Report: Swindon Town v Bradford City

By Alfie Howlett - 25 October 2021

Clubs & ActivitiesSport

It was an afternoon to forget for Ben Ganrer's men as they fell to a 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Bradford City.

The hosts came into Saturday afternoon on a fine run of seven games unbeaten in all competitions, whereas the visitors, Bradford, were looking to kick start their season after a mediocre beggining to the campaign. However as I looked at the team sheet I feared that Town looked unbalanced, and with the absence of captain Dion Conroy I felt unsure about the back 4 elected rather than the usual 5.

The opening stages saw Swindon spraying the ball about nicely under little pressure as Bradford already dropped into a solid compact shape. However it was the Bantams who took the lead 16 minutes in, following a long throw in. Alex Gilliead won the initial header from the resulting throw in which landed at the feet of Caolan Lavery to tuck home on the volley from close range. 5 minutes later Bradford could've doubled their advantage had it not been for an excellent Mathieu Baudry block.

Lavery, again, found himself with time in the penalty area however this time his efforts were blocked by the diving Baudry for a corner. Swindon found themselves really struggling to create problems for the Bradford defence and could only architect their own downfall. 36 minutes in Romoney Crichlow nearly scored a spectacular own goal after a miscued clearance following a cross.

Thankfully for him and Town, the ball went just over Wollacott's crossbar. 5 minutes before the interval Bradford doubled their advantage. Matthew Foulds from just inside the Town half whipped the ball into the penalty area. Beating both Hunt and Crichlow, Andy Cook got on the end of the ball but his shot hit the woodwork. But unfortunately for Swindon Levi Sutton reacted quickest to tap home into an empty net. Yet again it was another really poor goal to give away and Swindon will be kicking themselves at how the opening 2 goals came about in such easy circumstances. Louis Reed stung the palms of the keeper from a free kick with seconds to go but Swindon went in at the break 2 goals down.

It was in my opinion the worst half of football I've seen from the Robins this season. For the first time they offered absolutely nothing in front of goal, and the defence looked shaky. With the midfield free roaming and the full backs not playing in their natural position, the team lacked width which really did tell going forward.

The second half began with the introduction of Kaine Kesler Hayden which saw things much improve down the right hand side. However once again it was Bradford who had all the chances. Lavery skied an effort from the edge of the penalty area ten minutes in. Then 2 minutes before the hour Mark Cook sat Rob Hunt down running at him with the ball but his effort from close range also went well over. On the hour mark Jack Payne had a cross come shot saved by the goalkeeper.

With 74 minutes gone, former Swindon striker Theo Robinson came off the bench. A minute later he had come back to haunt his former club. This time there was no faulting the Swindon defence. From outside the penalty area on the left Robinson curled a spectacular shot over Jojo Wollacott to make it 3-0. A moment of individual brilliance. Swindon did pull a goal back following a penalty.

A Gladwin cross saw Paudie O'connor handle the ball inside the box giving Jack Payne an opportunity to step up from the spot. The number ten made no mistake from 12 yards firing the ball low and hard into the bottom corner. You thought that if Swindon could score another one then the remaining minutes would be interesting. However the closest they came was in the last minute with a Mckirdy header which needed saving by O'Donnel.

It was a thoroughly disappointing afternoon for the reds as Bradford walked away with the 3 points, 3-1 winners. However it shows how far this team have come that we're feeling disappointed after a result. Next up for Swindon is a trip up to struggling Oldham next Saturday. 

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