Just over a month since he returned on a permanent deal to Swindon Town and Eoin Doyle is back scoring goals as his brace against Scunthorpe saw Richie Wellens’ side extend their lead to three points at the top of the League Two table.
A goal in both halves from the Ginger Pele sees him reach 25 goals this season, with eleven games still to play, an incredible feat for a player whose campaign was interrupted in January after Bradford mistakenly took him away from the County Ground.
But despite his two goals on Tuesday night and being awarded Man of the Match, this game wasn’t about Eoin Doyle, but the man who assisted his second goal and looked at a different level to everyone around him, Michael Doughty.
All Swindon fans know what the former QPR man is capable of, as we’ve enjoyed watching him play in three different spells at the club over four years.
Last season it seemed everything was on his shoulders as he finished top goalscorer with 14 goals and was by far and away the club’s best player and biggest asset but with the introduction this season of other talented players around him and extra competition for places it seemed to affect his game and in the first half of this season we saw that same player on a rare occasion.
After seeing red at Cheltenham in late August it took him a while to reestablish himself into Wellens’ squad, as he wasn’t the first name on the team sheet that he would’ve been the previous season.
But ever since the turn of the year he’s started to put in those performances that made him 2018/19 Player of the Year and last night was his best performance of the season.
Anthony Grant’s presence alongside him in midfield is a huge contributing factor in Doughty being able to play his own game more; it may also be the fact he knows if his standards slip the manager has Danny Rose and Matty Palmer desperate to make their mark on this team.
Sadly it wasn’t all great news on Tuesday evening as in Richie Wellens’ post-match interview he revealed midfielder Jordan Lyden would miss the rest of the season due to him picking up an ankle injury, which frustratingly requires surgery.
The Australian has enjoyed a superb campaign at Town after signing a one-year deal last summer after his release by Aston Villa. He’d recently scored his first goal for the club in Town’s crucial 1-0 win against Northampton Town.
But there was one bit of good news alongside the disappointment as the manager revealed he will be offering the former Villa man an extension to his contract which will keep him at SN1 until the end of next season.
It’s clear to anyone who has seen the 24-year-old defensive midfielder play he has a future in the game, and having him on board for hopefully our campaign in League One next season will be vital to any potential future success in the third tier.
Alongside Lyden’s contract being renewed we saw Richie Wellens finally put pen to paper and sign a new three and half year deal keeping him at Town until June 2023.
After rejecting an approach from Blackpool to talk to Wellens about filling their managers position Town announced the good news, which was received with a huge sigh of relief from yours truly.
It’s clear from his recent interview regarding his new deal Richie sees himself building something special at Town and I for one am excited to see what the future holds under his leadership after a successful 19/20 campaign.
This Saturday sees Mark Cooper’s Forest Green Rovers side make the short trip to the County Ground where they will be desperate to try and salvage something from this season.
After picking up three points against Macclesfield on 29th December Forest Green found themselves in 5th place in League Two, just one point outside the top three in the division, fast forward a couple of months and they sit 11th in the table and ten points outside the playoff places.
Just one win in their last eleven games has resulted in their season falling apart, but they know just one positive result, especially against the best team in the division could give them the bounce they are desperately looking for to give them an outside chance of reaching the playoffs.
After letting a two-goal lead slip at the New Lawn in December Town know they can’t take Mark Cooper’s side for granted, but with Swindon steamrolling their way over any side who gets in their way of promotion I can see them overcoming our Gloucestershire neighbours on Saturday with style.