Ten days ago, there was a sense of hope building around Swindon’s season as we beat fellow relegation candidates Northampton Town and had seemingly turned a corner, but fast forward to Tuesday night and that hope has been smashed to pieces.
As an early Brandon Barker strike put the visitors ahead and sadly never had to escape second gear as Town never looked like troubling the scoreline.
The second half began in the same way but Swindon was given a chance to level up from the penalty spot, sadly in-form striker Brett Pitman who had scored three in his previous four games, couldn’t find the net as the visitor’s keeper guessed the right way to keep it out.
Ten minutes later and the game was sealed as Dan Agyei put the visitors 2-0 up and secure the bragging rights, Taylor Curran scored a last-second consolation for Town but it meant nothing as we faced another derby defeat at the County Ground.
The strangest thing about Curran’s goal surrounded the fact he was on the pitch, Curran being subbed on wasn’t the oddity, it was the fact Sheridan subbed both Tom Broadbent and Dion Conroy so late in the game.
It was clear to everyone watching this was done to make a point about the result and who the manager blamed, I’m not excusing our centre back’s performances as they were both below-par, but there’s no reason when you’re chasing a game to replace your centre-backs, it made zero sense.
The outcome of this can only damage the morale of those two players, especially when one of them is the club captain. This has to go down as one of the strangest and stupidest moves of the Sheridan era.
Sadly, in the past two performances we’ve seen a regression back to the aimless, wasteful football that was bleeding the club dry throughout January and early February, the players have to take their portion of the blame for both results, but ultimately it comes down to the manager.
Everything that can be said about John Sheridan’s time at Swindon has been said so I won’t bore you with the reasons why he’s the worst manager ever seen at the County Ground.
The most painful aspect of this situation is if the Chairman wanted to give us a fighting chance of staying up, he could, but he’d rather save the money and the aggravation of appointing someone new in the job.
For Swindon fans, it’s the equivalent of seeing someone being tied down to some train tracks, that you can’t reach, and they’ve got a knife to cut the ropes, you keep shouting at them to cut themselves free and escape, but the person ignores you and would rather wait and accept their fate.
I firmly believe a new manager has time to galvanise this team and set them on a new path of winning games and escaping the bottom four, but this won’t happen and there’s nothing we can do about it.
The only piece of good news to come from Tuesday night was the return of Anthony Grant from a concussion he suffered in training, as he replaced Jordan Lyden at half-time.
Having the general back in the eighteen will be a huge boost to the side, even more, if he was given some game time by the manager, but my instinct tells me if Lyden isn’t ready for this Saturday he’ll go with Christopher Missilou.
The former Cobblers man has done well in his brief time at Town but I would much rather have a man of Grant’s experience in that position when we will be up for a real fight this weekend as Gillingham visits Wiltshire in the 1:00 pm KO.
After losing the last three games this is a must-win game to stop us from being cut further adrift from 20th place, we can only hope this Town side responds with some pride in their performance and put right Tuesday nights embarrassment to earn three priceless points.