One week on from our impressive performance and result against Ipswich Town Swindon needed to build some momentum and earn something from Doncaster Rovers’ visit to the County Ground.
Sadly, and predictably John Sheridan’s side found themselves 1-0 down within a few minutes as Fejiri Okenabirhie broke the offside trap and calmly took his chance, Rovers number nine doubled his tally on the stroke of half-time as the away side took a deserved 2-0 lead into the break.
Town looked a much better outfit in the second half and saw their efforts rewarded with substitute Hallam Hope halving the scoreline, but that’s how the afternoon came to an end with Swindon dropping back into 23rd position and that sense of disappointment overtaking the pure joy from last weekend.
It was clear to see throughout the afternoon how much a new striker is needed to help boost our survival chances as Brett Pitman sadly reverted to the player from earlier in the season and not who we witnessed at Portman Road.
With Tyler Smith clearly out of favour and Hallam Hope more comfortable playing as an inside forward a new number nine needs to be top of Paul Jewell’s list going into the last couple of weeks in January.
One aspect of this season that has to change is how we start a match, Sheridan needs to instil some concentration into his players as stupid mistakes and lack of concentration sees Town on the backfoot, if this can be addressed, we’ll see Swindon escape the bottom four at a much faster pace.
Frustratingly Zeki Fryers picked up another injury this weekend which saw him leave the pitch near the half-hour mark and be replaced by Taylor Curran.
This seemed to catch a lot of people off guard with Adi Odimayo on the bench and Anthony Grant able to play that position but Sheridan went with our number twenty-one.
In all fairness to the former Southend man, he enjoyed his best performance in a Town shirt, he sadly still made the odd mistake as he was out jumped by Andy Butler for Doncaster’s second goal, but he did improve on the last time he donned a Town shirt.
But this doesn’t change the fact he shouldn’t be gracing our first team yet, he desperately needs a loan move to gain first-team experience, then if he shows signs of improvement give him a chance to shine.
Looking at another area of the pitch all eyes were on Scott Twine and if his impressive run of form could continue and despite not getting on the score sheet, he enjoyed a decent afternoon and came close a couple of times with some long-range efforts.
Regarding his future, at the club, the all-knowing Sun journalist Alan Nixon tweeted on Sunday morning that several clubs including Luton, Reading, Brentford, QPR, and Bournemouth were keen on acquiring his signature and Town were planning to hold on to him if possible.
It’s imperative whilst his profile is rising his talents aren’t suppressed by going to a big Championship club or Reading to then sit on their bench or play in their U23 side, which will only see his game go backward.
Hopefully, in the coming week, we’ll see Twine sign a new deal at Town and put to bed any rumours so he can concentrate on his game.
The best situation for all parties sees Twine improve further at his boyhood club with regular first-team football in League One, and if Town can’t match his ambitions in the future he can move on to bigger things.
Huge credit goes to Town’s number ten as this time last year I would’ve never guessed his contract would be the most talked-about at the club, this shows how hard the young attacking midfielder has worked to improve and how he took his chance in South Wales with both hands and became one of the most sort after young talents in the Football League today.