One week after Town’s slice of luck against Mansfield and the goal that never was, Ben Garner’s side again saw lady luck smiling down on them as his side scored a 95th-minute penalty to keep up our impressive start to the campaign.
With just 90 seconds left on the clock former Town man, Scott Cuthbert went to tackle his man and got some of the ball, but also some of the man.
It’s rare to see the attacking side given these decisions but Town took full advantage with in-form Jack Payne smashing his penalty down the middle of the goal.
After watching decisions go against Swindon for many years, I’d become accustomed to Town not getting the rub of the green, but this season we’re finally getting some tight calls go our way.
But despite Town earning a late penalty in these circumstances, it doesn’t take away from the overall performance, as despite not being able to find that defence-splitting ball in the second half, it would’ve been incredibly unfair if we hadn’t taken something from the game.
Once again Jojo Wollacott proved he’s the best piece of business our club has done for many years as he made several superb saves to keep Town in the contest.
Like all keepers, he has particular areas of his game that need improvement, and at some point, he will make a mistake that will cost us, as all keepers do but it’s clear from the early signs, he’s the best keeper we’ve had since Wes Foderingham if I was Ben Chorley, I’d extend the one-year-contract he signed in June as soon as possible before his head could be turned in January.
As I spoke about last week, it was a relief to see Alex Gilbert sign on loan for the rest of the season on deadline day, with options up top being scarce.
And I look forward to seeing what he can do in a Town shirt after some positive reviews coming out of his parent club Brentford and how close he was to making the Bees Premier League squad, but now he’s at SN1, we can only hope the hype can be turned into goals.
But despite his arrival, I was surprised to read an interview with our Head Coach Ben Garner from last Friday saying he wasn’t looking to bring in another striker.
I’m of the firm belief another striker is important to the rest of our season and was surprised to read a differing view from our Head Coach, after being asked whether he had looked for a free agent striker before January, he said “We’ve got strikers here – for me, forward players are forward players”.
“I would class them as Tyreece Simpson, Alex Gilbert, Jayden Mitchell-Lawson, Harry McKirdy, and Harry Parsons.”
I don’t know if this is something he believes or something he feels he needs to say, as he knows under transfer embargos and a tighter budget another striker might not have been assessable this summer, or whether he does think forward players are the same.
I’m leaning more on the first option as I find it hard to believe a man of his experience and talent as a coach sees players like Harry McKirdy and Tyreece Simpson having the same skill set.
Hopefully, these players will all make me eat my words when they score 10+ goals apiece, starting Tuesday when Arsenal U21 visits the County Ground in the Papa John’s Trophy.
Garner explained on Saturday, this game will be used to give players who haven’t seen much first-team action a chance to impress, players like Mitchell-Lawson, Parsons, Lewis Ward, Ryan East, Ricky Aguiar, and Mohammad Dabre.
Let’s hope they give the manager something to think about before this Saturday’s League Two encounter with Port Vale where Town will be looking to extend their unbeaten run to five games in League Two.