Swindon Town are looking to bounce back after a disappointment midweek defeat away to inform Mansfield Town, by putting an improved performance against Port Vale who have not played a league game for over a month.
Swindon Town travelled away to Mansfield Town on Tuesday evening, the first away game of 2022 and came away with a disappointing 3-2 defeat. The poor defensive display in the first half cost the team dearly. The second and third goals that were conceded in the first half are haunting and, in the manner, they were conceded, costed the team dearly. The second goal came from a Swindon Town corner which Mansfield cleared and hit the Swindon Town defence on a counter and won a penalty. A soft penalty in my eyes, if the referee were up with play and not behind the play a different outcome would have happened.
The second half was a lot better, if Ellis Iandolo goal just before the end came five or ten minutes earlier. It could have been a different story; Swindon did have chances before the second goal but could not capitalise. The defeat is disappointing, but not the end of the world. Swindon were playing against a side who were in red hot form in Mansfield Town under Nigel Clough and have peaked after a very slow start to the season.
More disappointing news to come out of SN1 was that on loan Huddersfield Town defender Romoney Critchlow had been recalled by his parent club, que the social media meltdown. Happens every time in January when the club is doing well and the loan players who are on the season long loan get recalled. Critchlow has now gone up a division and joined Plymouth Argyle in League One.
Harry McKirdy the maverick of Swindon Town FC this season has put pen to paper on a new contract which the length of the contract is yet to be released. That is fantastic news for the club and the player going into the latter half of the season and beyond.
Predicted STFC line up
Ward, O’Brien, Conroy, Odimayo, Hunt, Reed, Gladwin, Lyden, Iandolo, McKirdy, Simpson.
Port Vale under Darrell Clarke are in 6th position in the league two table, just one place behind the visitors to Vale Park on Saturday. Thirty-five points from twenty-one games this season to date see Port Vale in the play off positions and one of three teams on thirty-five points. The table from 4th to 9th is very congested as the teams are just separated five points.
Saturday will be Port Vale first game in the league in just over a month, the last game was a 2-1 defeat to Newport County on the 11th December. Since then, Port Vale have had four games postponed due to Covid19. The four games were against, Exeter City, Salford, Harrogate Town, and Rochdale. A fifth game was called off but that was due to Port Vale game against Premier League side Brentford. Port Vale was due to play run away league leaders Forest Green Rovers on the weekend of the third round of the FA Cup.
Just before the four postponements in the league, Port Vale form had been patchy. In the six previous games in League Two it was three defeats, one draw and two wins. The sole draw was a 1-1 home draw live on Sky during the November international break against Bradford City. The two wins were back-to-back against Hartlepool United and against the manager old side Bristol Rovers. The first of the three defeats were back-to-back defeats in late November against Oldham Athletic and Walsall. The third and final defeat was the final game that Port Vale played in the league which was the defeat against Newport County. Like Swindon Town, Port Vale were eliminated in the third round of the FA Cup against Premier League opposition and the same score line also. Brentford defeated Port Vale 4-1 last weekend to book their place into the fourth round of the FA Cup.
By Scot Munroe