Fan’s View 2020/21 – No.18 – Swindon at home

Article by Paul Beasley Saturday, November 28th, 2020  

SEASON 2020/21 – FAN’S VIEW No.18:

Oxford United 1 Swindon Town 2

Whether sat in one’s living room or the stands this is such an emotive fixture that to come up with rational analysis is much more difficult than normal. I will though give it a go.

Overall I thought we deserved at least a draw. In the first half we’d been the vastly superior side playing quality confident football and if Matty Taylor had buried that relatively easy chance to score his, and our, second I’ve little doubt we would have gone on to win. It was a different story in the second half and yes I’m going to say it although I know many will probably never forgive me, fair play to Swindon. They never gave up and got stronger as we weakened. Unlike on Tuesday when our substitutions greatly strengthened us, this time I was yelling at each and every one of them. I think they badly let us down.

Dan Agyei just bundled into players and gave away free-kicks. Brainless stuff and as I said in the last FV if he does a good thing that is immediately negated with something pretty crap. Olamide Shodipo didn’t show at all. Come on man don’t you know what this was all about? I think Mark Sykes was asleep for the first Swindon goal and didn’t do anything attacking wise to suggest he’d be part of the creation of goal number two. Like Agyei I recall one good thing immediately followed up with a bad thing.

If only Jordan Obita and Marcus McGuane had it in them to perform for the full 90 minutes as they had done in the first half then we would be laughing right now not downing beer to numb the pain. Those two had been excellent as had Liam Kelly. He too faded though.

The equaliser was coming and whilst that hurt, the winner felt like a triple kick in the nuts. FFS Simon Eastwood. I’m not one of those people who don’t have many good words to say about him but he’s not the keeper he was. This was dreadful and it is not the first time. I feel sorry for the bloke but surely it’s almost Jack Stevens’ time now isn’t it? We don’t know but we’ll find out soon if he’s a L1 keeper won’t we?

When you have those mistakes in your team you are going to throw points away. Clean sheets can be but a dream. That said I thought the back four as a defensive unit looked more than acceptable. The centre-halves were winning loads in the air and at right-back Sam Long who, as a Bicester lad, gets this rivalry as much as anyone, battled like a true warrior. Josh Ruffels, also of this parish, was up against Swindon’s best player in the first half, Jordan Stevens and showed that he is just about achieving his at least 7 out of 10 game in game out again.

The Eastwood howler aside, that we once more failed to keep goals out was more to do with those in front of the back line wilting or failing to perform to acceptable levels. Substitutes I’m looking your way.

It had to happen sometime and now it has we should be using this to motivate a massive performance for a full 90 minutes plus added time when the return fixture takes place. That’s the way I’m looking at it but I’ve also got positives to take.

Our first half display showed what we are capable of. That was top half of the table stuff at the very least and probably play-off level. It wasn’t just those that ran out of steam that I’ve already mentioned that give hope for the rest of the season, there’s Alex Gorrin too. He had another good game and if Sean Clare and Cameron Brannagan had been available I’m convinced the final result would have been very different. Rob Atkinson’s promise was again evident with those runs although he did once lose the ball with potential for punishment to follow.

Today’s FV is going to be a fraction of the size of the usual because I don’t want to dwell on this for obvious reasons but I will end by saying I would not swap what Swindon have got with what we do.  They may have won and be three points ahead of us in the table but I think we’ve got the better squad and come the end of the season I think there’s more chance than not of us finishing above them.



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