Nineteen years after Town last tasted victory over their quiet neighbours John Sheridan’s side superb second-half performance saw Tom Broadbent write his name into Swindon folklore.
Whatever happens with the rest of his time in Wiltshire the 28-year-old “defender” will always be revered, I doubt he will ever pay for a drink in Swindon for the rest of his life.
After a poor first half Town found themselves incredibly fortunate to only be 1-0 down as the home side’s goalscorer Matt Taylor should have doubled his tally but somehow, he put his chance wide of the post.
The turning point came in the 61st minute as a double substitution saw a returning Diallang Jaiyesimi and Tom Broadbent introduced to the action, but instead of heading to his normal position the defender went to join Tyler Smith upfront and there he stayed, as Sheridan employed tactics that would’ve made the last Town manager to beat O*ford proud.
As a classic tactic used by Andy King during his time in charge would see centre-backs Matt Heywood or Antoine van der Linden used as makeshift strikers when Town was desperate for a goal, I was shocked to see this method used in 2020, but the impact Broadbent made was unmistakable.
He was everywhere along the forward line, winning headers and being a general annoyance for the O*ford defenders, and after a slight scramble in the box his toe-poke finish past Eastwood saw Town draw deservedly level.
Then a long ball forward from Akin Odimayo was headed on by our makeshift centre-forward for Tyler Smith to get the slightest of touches past the hapless home goalkeeper to send Town fans into ecstasy and finally end our long wait for a derby win.
Our second goal has gone down as Tyler Smith’s but from replays, it’s impossible to tell if he did get anything on it, with Broadbent adamant on social media he should be credited with both goals! And after his performance on Saturday, I don’t think anyone would argue.
As well as the heroics from several outfield players special praise needs to be given to goalkeeper Matej Kovar for producing some superb saves in both halves, which gave Town the platform to go on and earn their victory.
It’s no secret the young keeper has struggled after another mistake midweek, it was great to see him put in such an important, game-changing display.
This needs to be the turning point for the 20-year-old Man Utd loanee, as he can now go from strength to strength and show why he’s so highly thought of at Old Trafford.
Sadly, there was one downside on Saturday as the Town faithful couldn’t be together to celebrate this magnificent win, you can imagine how 2,000 Town fans would’ve reacted to our 91st-minute winner, it would’ve been one big blur of red and white, with I’m sure the odd flare thrown on the pitch for good measure.
God willing, by 9th March next year when they travel to Wiltshire more than 2,000 fans will be allowed inside the County Ground and have something close to a proper derby atmosphere and hopefully celebrate our league double over little old Headington United in style.