From the absolute highs on Saturday evening of winning a first A420 Derby game in over 19 and a half years, to buckling under pressure in a second half tiring performance on Tuesday night away at Crewe Alexandra. Safe to say its been an up and down week being a Swindon Town fan.
From the excitement of last Saturday derby win at Oxford United, Swindon Town were brought down to reality with a 4-2 defeat away at Crewe Alexandra. Even though leading 2-0 at one point, Swindon Town were looking comfortable. The goal conceded right before half time was a bit of a kick in the teeth. As that goal going into half time gave Crewe Alexandra the confidence and Swindon Town invited the pressure on, and the home side were relentless. David Artell side just attacked with will cutting open the Swindon defence with ease with attack after attack. It was a bit worrying but you could see that Swindon were down to the bare bones and was just out on their feet.
This season has been tough for Swindon and the schedule has been punishing, all condensed into three game weeks and its taken its toll on the players. The Crewe game came at a cost as Tom Broadbent picked up an injury during the game late in the second half. Rob Hunt before the game picked up another injury during the warmup. Nothing has been said by the club in the last few days on the extent of the two injuries picked up on Tuesday night.
On Wednesday afternoon it broke that Noel Hunt would be leaving the club with immediate effect, for me personally this is a shame. Hunt came in when the club was in trouble in the latter end of 2018 and has done well under previous manager Richie Wellens. It is rumoured that Hunt will link up with Wellens at Salford City.
My predicted XI 4-4-1-1
Kovar, Caddis, Odimayo, Grounds, Donohue. Stevens, M. Smith, Grant, Jaiysemi, Payne, T. Smith
Gillingham have had a solid start to the season in sitting in 12th place, picking up 20 points from the 14 games played. Swindon Town will come against an old nemesis in Steve Evans who back in Boston and Rotherham United days have beaten the Robins. Speaking to local press today, Evans stated that he had been asked to take the Swindon Town job on several occasions. That last being in 2017, but the timing was never right. Two attempts in 2017 were rebuffed after Luke Williams was sacked and then a few months later. Swindon then turned to Dave Flitcroft.
Gillingham in the last month to five weeks have picked up their form after struggling for form in October as games were coming thick and fast. After 5 straight defeats in the league in October, the last being at home to Sunderland. The Gills were unbeaten in the month of November in league one. 1-0 away win at Crewe Alexandra was followed up with a draw at home to Charlton. The last two league game has seen back to back wins over AFC Wimbledon and on Wednesday night a 2-0 away win over Bristol Rovers.
Steve Evans is not afraid to mix up tactically he has been around the lower leagues in England for a long while and is doing a really good job at Gillingham. Evans has been playing a 4-3-3 which he has used regularly, a flat 4-4-2 and on Wednesday night, Evans deployed a 4-3-1-2 with Dominic Samuel behind John Akinde and Vadaine Oliver.
Jordan Graham is the man to watch out for Gillingham, signed permanently for Wolves in the summer after spending time on loan at Gillingham last season. He has impressed this season with 5 goals in 13 starts with 3 assists. Graham will be a threat from the left-hand side. Both Dominic Samuel and Vadaine Oliver have netted three times in the league for Gillingham.
Saturday will be an acid test for the Robins, this game will show their true character after the up and down week they have had on the pitch. The highs of the derby win and then the lows of the second half frailties shown at Crewe Alexandra. For Gillingham it will be trying to keep the unbeaten run going and looking to inflict more pain on a fragile mind Swindon Town side.
Author: Scot Munroe