STFC Match report: Swindon 0-0 Stevenage

By Alfie Howlett - 30 December 2021

Clubs & Activities

It was a thoroughly disappointing evening for Swindon as they ended 2021 with a 0-0 stalemate at home to Stevenage.

After a covid enforced 16 day break Swindon came into the meeting with just 2 days training in the tank. The visitors Stevenage sat in the relegation zone with the 2nd worst away form in the league. Without the suspended Dion Conroy, Swindon fielded a back 4 with an unfamiliar partnership of Rob Hunt and Akin Odimayo at the heart of it.

This new look defence were tested 3 minutes in when a Stevenage free kick saw Wollacott come but not get there as Swindon cleared. The first chance of the game went to Stevenage just shy of ten minutes after a Jake Reeves effort. The former Swindon midfielder unleashed an long range effort which bounce deceived Wollacott as he could only parry it to Elliott List. However thankfully for Town Stevenage's top scorer couldn't beat Wollacott from close range. The next exchanges of the match saw Swindon having a lot of possession but not in the areas to trouble Stevenage. With Jack Payne going closest for the Robins after a curling effort inside the box went just wide. 24 minutes in Stevenage went close again after a troubling set piece. A Jake Reeves corner saw Luke Norris win a near post flick taking the ball to James-Wilden who's downwards header was tipped around the post by Wollacott.
Just after the half hour mark Ellis Iandolo lost out to former Town striker Luke Norris as the Stevenage number 9 had a powerful effort denied by Wollacott. Again the ball was parried into the path of List but Rob Hunt came to the rescue and cleared the ball at full stretch. Despite Town seeing most of the ball it was Stevenage who were seeing all of the chances. And 38 minutes in they came the closest to taking the lead than anyone would all night. A Reeves free kick from the right found it's way to Norris at the back post who's header skimmed the post and went out for a goal kick. It would be the final action of a first half which was met by pockets of boos around the County Ground as the two sides went in level. Despite having just 33% possession Stevenage would be feeling the more disappointed after having several good opportunities.

The second half began with consecutive corners for Swindon which both amounted to very little. Town often worked their way into good positions but just couldn't find the final ball or shot to trouble Adam Smith in the Stevenage goal. Just shy of the hour mark, with very little movement around him, Harry Mckirdy tried his luck from outside the box however his effort didn't trouble the scoreboard. With Swindon's break beggining to get more evident as the game went on the match resembled a walking football game at some points. Louis Reed saw his knuckle ball free kick drift wide on 75 minutes. Then with 2 minutes to go Swindon had their best opportunity of the evening. Jonny Williams flashed a ball across the face of the box and it landed at the feet of Kesler Hayden. However the Aston Villa loanee just couldn't sort his feet out in time as he skied the effort and with it Swindon's chance of picking up all 3 points.

It was a disappointing evening for Town against a side which they need to be beating if they're serious promotion contenders. However their lack of action due to Covid really told in the final third as it didn't click resulting in just one shot on target all night. Which throws up more questions about how the EFL can deal with covid after Town's game was just one of 2 played last night. In reality Town can be glad with a point thanks to a really strong evening from Rob Hunt deputising as a centre back. Next up for Town is a tricky test against Northampton at home on New Year's Day. 

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