Swindon Town return back to home comforts of the County Ground for a first home game in three weeks as they entertain Rochdale on Saturday afternoon.
The last couple of weeks for us Swindon Town fans have been outstanding, at the start of the month in the horrific weather of Bristol. Swindon won 3-1 at the memorial stadium against a toothless Bristol Rovers side. They backed that up last weekend, Saturday lunch time kick off in Gloucestershire on the top of the hill with a brilliant 2-0 away win against the league leaders Forest Green Rovers.
Harry McKirdy will get the plaudits for his goal and assist for Tyreece Simpson, but Lewis Ward who was deputising for Jojo Wollacott who was on international duty for Ghana was outstanding. This was Lewis Ward’s league debut for the club after featuring against Arsenal u21 in the Papa Johns Trophy.
7 Saves including a stoppage time penalty save which was never a penalty, if you look at the replay you see Louis Reed telling him where to dive. Ben Garner has a good problem on his hands now with the goalkeeping situation. Do you go with Wollacott who has been brilliant at the start of the season, or do you go for Lewis Ward who has bided his time and impressed against Forest Green Rovers and again on Tuesday night against Plymouth Argyle in the Papa Johns Trophy.
It is a wonderful dilemma to go ahead into a busy week of action, Swindon Town have three games in the next 7 days. So, I do see a little bit of rest and rotation going forward in the busy schedule ahead.
Predicted line up vs Rochdale.
Ward, Odimayo, Conroy, Critchlow, Hunt, Reed, Gladwin, Payne, Iandolo, McKirdy, Simpson.
Rochdale are the visitors to the County Ground on Saturday afternoon, and they find themselves in 18th place in the League Two Table with 12 points from 11 games played. 3 wins, 3 draws and 5 defeats.
Rochdale are winless in the last 4 games in League Two, last win was on the 11th September which was a 1-0 home win over Tranmere. That was a second win on the spin in League Two after the previous weekend win in a 5-goal thriller at Vale Park against Port Vale. But since then, it has been 1 point from a possible 12, the sole draw was against Mansfield Town which ended 1-1. The next three games all ended in defeat and all without scoring. Oldham a 1-0 defeat, Bradford a 2-0 loss and last weekend a 1-0 home to Crawley Town.
Robbie Stockdale is the new Rochdale manager; he took over in the summer after Brian Barry-Murphy resigned and later joined the Manchester City as manager of the Elite Development Squad. Stockdale has been in charge for fourteen games in all competitions and has done better in the cup competitions this season, managed to get Rochdale to round three of the EFL cup before getting beat by Burnley 4-1. Fourteen games in charge, five wins, three draws and six defeats.
Robbie Stockdale has switched his tactics after playing with a back Four for the start of the season, now has switched to a back three and a back five with good success.
Swindon Town have been excellent away from home and have the best away record in the league with fourteen points from six games, but at home it is a different story. Just five points from five games, which is 19th in the League two home form guide. They need to start winning at home and start turning the County Ground back to a fortress where home wins were pivotal to the success of seasons past. Saturday is the perfect time to kick start the home form after a fantastic last few weeks on the road.
Hope Rochdale finally sort out there off the field problems, their fans on social media were wonderful when Swindon Town were going through turmoil in the summer. It is brilliant to see the support has been reciprocated from us fellow Swindon fans in their hour of need. Just hope the mess can get sorted out ASAP.
By Scot Monroe.