Match report: Swindon Town 2 - 1 Crawley Town

By Alfie Howlett - 9 May 2023

Sport

A match report from Swindon Link's STFC correspondent Alfie Howlett.

Swindon sign off season season with success.

Under the watchful eye of new manager Michael Flynn, Swindon beat former manager Scott Lindsey to conclude the campaign with a victory.

Two quick-fire goals from Charlie Austin and Jake Cain saw the Robins race into a two-goal lead prior to the break. Dom Telford pulled a second half goal back for The Red Devils from the spot, but Swindon held firm to go into next season in good spirits.

Having dismissed Jody Morris the previous week, Swindon put Gavin Gunning in charge for the visit of Scott Lindsey's Crawley. Town's interim manager named two changes to the starting eleven with Charlie Austin and Tom Brewitt returning in place of Luke Jephcott and Harrison Minturn. Neither team had anything to play for in terms of position.

However, the Swindon players had the opportunity to stake a claim to new manager Michael Flynn who had been announced earlier in the day.

The first opening of the contest fell the way of Swindon with Charlie Austin finding the run of Rushian Hepburn-Murphy with a lofted ball. Once inside the Crawley box the young striker was unable to apply enough power to trouble Corey Addai with his volley.

Four minutes shy of the half hour mark Marcel Lavinier slotted a ball through to Rushian Hepburn-Murphy who bearing down on goal was denied by a sliding Fellows tackle. With neither side having much to play for it showed both in terms of intensity and quality.

On 40 minutes Swindon opened the scoring through a strike of quality from their marksman Charlie Austin. Coming away from goal Jacob Wakeling headed a through ball into the path of Austin who latched on to the bouncing ball and lashed home for his ninth of the season.

With the quality required absent for the first 40 minutes, Swindon were in dreamland when an immense Jake Cain free kick doubled their advantage three minutes later. The former Liverpool man fired a thunderous dipping attempt into the top left corner from 30 yards out.

It meant that Swindon took a promising two goal lead into the break. However, the promising signs didn't stop there with Michael Flynn unveiled to the Town faithful during the interval. During a brief on the pitch interval the Welshman showed a greater connection with the fans than that of his predecessors since Richie Wellens.

Clearly inspired by the words of their new gaffer, Swindon started the second half on top with Cain coming close with a short range effort. Moments later Sol Brynn was on hand to parry a fizzing James Tilley attempt.

On the stroke of the hour mark Town's visitors were gifted an opportunity to half the deficit when Saidou Khan chopped down Nick Tsaroulla inside the box. From 12 yards Dom Telford sent Brynn the wrong way to bring the West Sussex outfit to within touching distance.

Swindon would immediately respond minutes later with a penalty of their own. Having won it Hepburn-Murphy stepped up and fired his effort at a comfortable height where Addai dived to his right and saved. However, despite this set back Swindon remained in the ascendancy to haunt their former gaffer.

The closest Scott Lindsey's side came to finding a leveller was five minutes from time. Nadesan's cross from the left was deflected into the path of Fellows who from point blank range was denied by the incredible Sol Brynn. In a stellar season the Swindon shot stopper had come up with one final match winning save to send 10,450 Swindon fans home happy.

It was an encouraging way to end an unencouraging season. A home win which included a Charlie Austin goal, an appearance from the new gaffer, and revenge over Scott Lindsey. It leaves me with a taste for a whole new season come August. 

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