Seventeen years since Swindon first visited Whaddon Road in league and cup competition that includes over 810 minutes of football and still Town haven’t managed to beat the side from Gloucestershire, and it’s hard to imagine they’ll get any closer than they did last Saturday.
One minute into added on time and Jerry Yates seemed to have put Town into the 2nd round of the F.A Cup, but straight from kick-off the home side leveled up the contest, sending it to SN1 on Nov 19th with the winner facing fellow League Two side Port Vale in the next round.
At the beginning of the season if I had said we had to beat both Cheltenham and Port Vale at the County Ground to be in with a chance of huge money-spinning 3rd Round tie many fans, including myself, would’ve bitten your handoff.
As I’ve mentioned the club’s away record against the Robins is dreadful, but the home form is better with Town tasting defeat only once in the last five encounters in Wiltshire.
I appreciate it’s not the easiest route Richie Wellens’ side could’ve received, but considering we’ve avoided anyone from League One and any potential banana skins away at non-league sides, I say we’re in with a good chance of playing a Premier League side in the F.A Cup this season for the first time in seven years.
This Saturday will be a day full of firsts as Town visits Salford City for their first-ever meeting in any competition.
Ever since the Class of 92 bought the club in partnership with Peter Lim, the owner of Valencia CF, in the summer of 2014 the Ammies have enjoyed four promotions in five seasons, which has taken them into the Football League for the first time in their history.
This will also see Town boss Richie Wellens return to one of his former clubs as he played a handful of games for Salford at the end of his playing career in 2016.
After a disappointing start to the season, Graham Alexander’s side is starting to find their feet in League Two as they enjoyed a successful October, picking up three wins in five games and defeating Newport in early November to now find themselves just three points from the playoffs.
Also this Saturday Town will come face to face with a former striker in Adam Rooney, the former Aberdeen striker made a few headlines in July 2018 when he switched the Scottish Premier League for the National League to help lead the line for Salford, but it was a decision that paid off with Rooney netting 23 times and helping Alexander’s side to promotion.
Rooney enjoyed a spell at Town on loan from Birmingham during the 2012/13 season under Paolo Di Canio and Kevin MacDonald.
Scoring ten goals in thirty-four appearances, mainly from the bench, including a goal for both Town and the hosts in the memorable League One play-off semi-final 2nd leg against Brentford at Griffin Park.
I’m sure the Irish striker will cause a slight headache for Baudry and Fryers on Saturday but I would still back our ever-improving back line to come out on top, I also see Town stretching their unbeaten run to four games and leaving Salford with another away win putting more pressure on the sides above them.