Four months from our blistering start to the campaign at Glanford Park Swindon tasted defeat on the road for the first time this season as their incredible away run came to a sudden halt at Brisbane Road.
It’s beyond belief how our club has changed since our last away defeat when we were embarrassed 5-0 away at Milton Keynes FC, the contrast between that awful day and last night at Swindon Town Football Club is night and day.
It’s certainly been a whirlwind in the world of Swindon Town over the last few days as after a thoroughly comprehensive win over Matty Taylor’s Walsall side in the F.A Cup Second Round, Town entered the draw for the Third Round, a complete novelty after failing to reach this stage of the competition in a decade.
And after Faye White drew Town out of the draw as the home side it was down to David Seaman who Town would be welcoming, and Dave did us proud as he picked out Premier League Champions and Champions League Finalists Manchester City.
It was a proper jaw-hitting-the-floor moment as Town will be welcoming one of the best sides in world football to SN1 and the best manager currently in the game Pep Guardiola.
This huge occasion and game are a much-deserved prize for all Town fans that had to suffer one of the most poisonous campaigns any club has gone through last season and the awful uncertainty of the summer.
It’s the sort of Cup tie we dream about when Town enters the competition but know it’s so unlikely why even let your mind wander to those dizzying heights, the game should catch the attention of those who pick F.A Cup ties for TV, which will bring in positive PR for the club and boost the coffers in what will be a guaranteed sell-out at the County Ground.
But before we welcome some of the best players in the world to Wiltshire next month Town has five games in front of them and begins to establish themselves in the top seven of the division.
Sadly, as I mentioned, our busy December League Two schedule began with a whimper as Town was beaten by an average Leyton Orient side.
After a reasonably impressive first-half ended level Ben Garner’s side never got going in the second, Orient’s front two bossed the entire half as former Town loan striker Harry Smith and Aaron Drinan ended the evening with a brace each, guiding the home side deservedly to all three points.
Again, it was the backline who weren’t at the races as they were bullied by the home side, as concentration levels have to be questioned with all the goals in the second half being preventable.
Town’s last clean sheet in League Two came nearly two months ago at league leaders Forest Green Rovers, which isn’t good enough for a side with so much potential to go and achieve something this season, reinforcements at the back are needed when 2022 comes around as we’re missing an experienced voice in that back three.
With Garner not able to rely on Mathieu Baudry due to injuries, Dion Conroy is the next most experienced centre-back, despite the fact he’s now made over 100 appearances for Town and been a professional for five years, we still need someone who can add another level of experience to this side.
My mind goes straight to the 2008/09 season and Gordon Greer who signed on loan in January to help our struggling defence, the situation was different as Town was trying to survive relegation but when he arrived, we sat one point outside the bottom four and after his influence, Town survived relegation and finished 15th.
I understand loan signings at the level of Gordon Greer are rare but they do happen and make that level of difference in a side, if Director of Football Ben Chorley can find that one key defender in January it’ll make all the difference when looking at the League Two table on 7th May.