Match report: Swindon Town 2-1 Barrow

By Alfie Howlett - 2 May 2022

Clubs & ActivitiesSport

Swindon Link STFC columnist Alfie Howlett reports on Swindon's win against Barrow on Saturday

A late Louis Reed winner put Swindon in the driving seat for a league 2 play-off position.

Infront of a near capacity crowd Swindon thought their season had gone up in smoke after Matt Platt capitalised on Swindon's lack of ruthlessness to equalise for Barrow. However minutes later Louis Reed remained the coolest man inside the stadium to slot home and spark pandemonium at the County Ground.

Swindon entered the meeting off the back of a massive victory at home to Forest Green on Tuesday night. The win put Swindon just 2 points behind the play-offs with only 2 games left to play. Swindon made 1 enforced change to the starting eleven with Akin Odimayo replacing the suspended Ellis Iandolo. As for the visitors, Barrow had very little to play for with survival for the season already cemented. However Barrow gaffer Phil Brown would have a point to prove as he returned to SN1.

The first highlight of the afternoon came with 5 minutes on the clock. Louie Barry cut into the box and had his effort deflected out for a corner. Despite that the start didn't resemble Town's early onslaught of Forest Green on Tuesday night. However they should've taken the lead on 17 minutes when Jack Payne put the ball on a plate for Josh Davison. But unfortunately for Town Davison somehow managed to find Paul Farman in goal rather than the net from close range. Fortunately for Davison he'd only have to wait another 5 minutes to right his wrongs. Akin Odimayo, the unlikeliest of creators, swung in a delicious delivery into the box where Davison showed that bit more desire to beat his man and get a toe on the ball to poke home. Swindon were now well and truly in control of not only the contest but their own destiny. With Bristol Rovers and Sutton both losing Town found themselves in 6th place. 5 minutes before the break they should've really have made it two goals to the good. Louis Reed split the defence with a perfect through ball to Mandela Egbo. Egbo on the byline pulled the ball back to Harry McKirdy who fired over from 10 yards. And with that the 2 teams went in for the interval with Swindon doing more than enough to warrant the lead.

7 minutes into the second half Barrow had their first slight of goal when Josh Kay hit a loose ball on the edge of the box. The midfielder's effort looped just wide of the target. Just past the hour mark Jack Payne tricked his way into the box only for his dangerous effort to be deflected for a corner. Swindon however were finding spaces to hurt Barrow. And 3 minutes later Louie Barry tested Farman with a 1 on 1 in which the Barrow keeper did well to come out smother the danger. Town had another 1 on 1 moments later when Harry McKirdy rounded Farman only for his effort to be cleared off the line. The contest was certainly becoming increasingly open. On 74 minutes Barrow had a break of their own when John Rooney's effort struck Mathieu Baudry requiring Lewis Ward to tip the ball over for a corner. Despite that it came as a surprise when Barrow equalised 7 minutes from time. A free kick found the head of Matt Platt who's low header beat Ward from close range. It was looking as if Town would rue all of their missed chances. That was until 2 minutes later when Jack Payne found Louis Reed just outside the box. From there Louis Reed slowed down time as he took the calmest 2 touches into the box and slotted home into the bottom left hand corner. It was a goal of such elegance from Reed. With the lead restored Swindon had one last set piece to defend in the 90th minute. A low delivery found Josh Kay who could only find the outstretched Lewis Ward in the Swindon goal. And despite a ludicrous 8 minutes of added on time Swindon got the job done to move above Sutton into the play-offs.

The victory handed Town the ascendancy. With the play-offs now being in their own hands as they travel to Walsall next Saturday on the last day of the season. After being the one's hunting for so long Swindon will now have to deal with being hunted themselves. However this Swindon side appears to have peaked just at the right time. 

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