Swindon Town will be looking for back-to-back away wins in the space of three days to kick off the 2021/22 season. Swindon Town travel to Abbey Stadium to take on newly promoted League one side Cambridge United in the first round of the EFL Cup.
It was rags to riches in the space of 17/18 days for Swindon Town, Clem Morfuni took over the club on the 21st of July and the club was in dire needs. Fast forward to 5.05pm on Saturday 7th August and it was looking rosy for us STFC fans. It was great to see Swindon fly under the radar on the opening day of the season with a brilliant 3-1 away win at Glanford Park against Scunthrope United. It was déjà vu all over again for us Swindon Town fans, another win on the opening day of the season and another away day success at Glanford Park a la 2019.
It was great to see the videos and pics from the away end on Saturday being plastered all over social media, did bring back the feeling that this club is back from the doldrums. It was amazing to see that every goal scored by Swindon on Saturday the players celebrated in front of the away fans, especially the second goal. Jack Payne ushered all the outfield players to go and celebrate Ben Gladwin goal in front of the travelling fans. That did put a lump in your throat after all the disappointment of last season. Too see this club going in the right direction hit the emotions a little bit on Saturday evening.
Predicted XI vs Cambridge 4-2-3-1
Ward, Kesler-Hayden, Conroy, Baudry, Hunt, Grant, Reed, McKirdy, Gladwin, Payne, Simpson.
Cambridge United are Swindon first round opponents in the EFL Campaign and they kicked off their league one campaign with a 1-1 draw at home against Oxford United. Joe Ironside with the equaliser for Cambridge United after Steve Seddon opened the scoring for Oxford United. Joe Ironside will be a key player in the Cambridge United side along with the ROI Messi in Wes Hoolahan. With the key departure of top scorer of last season Paul Mullin to National League Wrexham, much of the goalscoring expectation will be on Ironside shoulders. Scored on Saturday and done well last season after his move from Macclesfield Town. 15 goals in 44 league two games last season playing along side Paul Mullin who hit 32 in 46 league two games is not to be scoffed at.
Cambridge United have lost a couple of key players in the summer after promotion to League one after finishing second in the league two table behind winners Cheltenham Town. Top goal scorer Paul Mullin has dropped to the National League and joined Wrexham. Kyle Knoyle has left on a free transfer linking up with Richie Wellens against at Doncaster Rovers. Ex Swindon loanee Lloyd Jones has joined on a free transfer from Northampton Town. George Williams has joined on a free transfer from Bristol Rovers, another Ex-Swindon Town player has joined the ranks at Abbey Stadium. James Brophy left Leyton Orient on a free transfer and joined Cambridge United.
Mark Bonner is the manager of Cambridge United and has had a very successful time in charge. After Colin Calderwood dismissal in January, Mark Bonner took temporary charge in late January. His First game in charge was on 01/02/2020 and won his first 4 games in charge. He was named Permanent boss in March 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic curtailed the end of the 2019/20 season. His overall record in charge is very good with 33 wins in 61 games with 10 draws and 18 defeats. Points per game record of 1.79. Bonner likes to play different formations; at the weekend he played a 4-2-3-1 and likes to switch it up. 4-4-2, 4-4-2 diamond with Hoolahan behind the two strikers, 4-3-3- and 4-2-3-1.
Swindon Town will be looking to make it past the first round of the EFL Cup for the first time since August 2014. That was a 2-1 away win at Luton Town, two goals from Michael Smith that evening. Luke Rooney scoring a penalty then getting sent off for two yellows against his old side. Let’s hope Swindon Town can break the duck and advance to the second round of the EFL Cup and give us more to cheer after Saturday away success at Scunthorpe.
By Scot Munro