Town’s sensational away record hit new heights at the weekend as they not only extended their impressive form on the road but qualified for the next round of the F.A Cup.
Incredibly, Saturday’s result was the first time Swindon had beaten League opposition since the 2-1 home defeat of then-Premier League side Wigan Athletic in January 2012.
Town’s record in all cup competitions over the past decade has been an embarrassment, it didn’t matter if we were enjoying a good season in the League, this form never translated into the knockout competitions.
But maybe this could finally be the season we see that change, as last week we qualified for the next round of the Papa John’s Trophy due to results elsewhere, and now we can look forward to an F. A Cup Second Round Draw.
Town will be ball number 31 for tonight’s draw, and it’ll be live on ITV following their coverage of Dag & Red vs. Salford City.
Once again it was Louis Reed who deservedly took all the headlines on Saturday with a superb performance from midfield, as his two goals and performance showed why he’s become Town’s first name on the teamsheet.
After a slow start to life in Wiltshire, the midfielder has gone from strength to strength over the past couple of months as he’s become more and more invaluable at the heart of Town’s midfield.
It baffles me how we picked up the talented 24-year-old during the summer on a free after his release from Peterborough United and helped them achieve promotion to the Championship.
After spending time at Doncaster Rovers on trial during the summer the League One side thankfully wasn’t in a position to offer him a contract, which saw Ben Chorley put the wheels in motion for his move to Wiltshire, and it’s worked out for both parties.
It’s now imperative we try and extend his deal as the former England U20 international signed a one-year contract during the summer, I’m sure he’ll want to keep his options open and see if Town can make a serious push for League One in 2022, hopefully, he’ll be convinced over the remaining months of the season that Swindon is not only his present but his future.
Whilst we’re on the subject of midfielders, once again Anthony Grant wasn’t named in another matchday squad, with his last action on the pitch coming in Town’s 1-0 win over Mansfield in late August.
Since being called up by Jamacia and earning his three caps the 34-year-olds involvement for Town has been in decline and strangely he now doesn’t find himself on the bench.
I don’t know if it’s an off-the-field issue as we don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes, but the reason for his absence can’t be fitness-based as he’s once again been called up by the Reggae Boyz for their games this month.
His absence from the matchday squad could be down to tactical reasons, with Garner wanting more attack-minded players in his midfield, but when the manager plays the preferred 3-5-2 formation, I can see Grant being a valuable option at least from the bench, to help kill off a game, or even as a centre back if the injuries pile up over the coming months, maybe we’ll see him back involved when the schedule begins to pick up this month and over the Christmas period.
Yesterday came the news that Town’s next League Two game has been postponed due to international call ups; this was a huge relief to hear with the club’s injury list slowly increasing.
That should give Romoney Crichlow and other players carrying knocks the chance to regain their fitness before our important trip to Newport County where Town will be looking to upset James Rowberry’s good start to life in South Wales.