THE VIC MORGAN COLUMN: Will Wes be regarded as Town's best ever? (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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THE VIC MORGAN COLUMN: Will Wes be regarded as Town's best ever?
6:00am Thursday 7th March 2013 in Sport
QUITE an afternoon wasn’t it at the Ricoh?
Terrific win, terrific atmosphere and a terrific save from Wes Foderingham.
Even now, several days later, it still defies belief how Swindon’s goalkeeper was able to keep Leon Clarke’s goalbound header out of the net.
It just goes to show the importance of a top man between the sticks. I find it remarkable that Wes can be out of action for large parts of the game but retain the concentration to make crucial saves at the death - as he did at Leyton Orient, as he did at Crawley and more.
That effort under a blue sky against the Sky Blues brought to mind crucial saves...
February 1, 1986. A wet and windy day at Northampton’s old County Ground. Swindon, unbeaten since a snowy day at Tranmere, were under the cosh.
A shot seems destined for the top corner of the net before an arm appears from nowhere to turn the ball over the bar. Even now I can see Kenny Allen making that save and, like the effort at Coventry on Saturday, it turned out to be a decisive moment.
Charlie Henry’s goal gave Swindon the win put them second in the table and on the way to a record breaking Fourth Division championship win.
A balmy Friday night on September 1 20 years later. Swindon at Chester and a miracle save by Peter Brezovan.
Again a shot seems certain to go in. Again an arm appears Twizzle-like from nowhere as Brez turns it round the post for a corner.
Lee Peacock went on to secure Swindon the three points which kept them top of the table with an unblemished start to what turned out to be another Fourth Division promotion season.
Could history be repeating itself? What is certain is that Wes could go on to be one of Swindon’s greatest ever goalkeepers. If not THE greatest. It depends, of course, on how long he stays before he inevitably plays at a higher level.
England honours too? His positional sense is second to none and has an incredible record of clean sheets. Long may it continue.
My top three, with all due respect to other great County Ground stoppers: Peter Downsborough, Jimmy Allan and Wes’ current mentor, Fraser Digby. All decent I think you’ll agree.
It’s one of the great pub debates, of course, like best centre forwards or wingers. Goalkeepers don’t always get the praise they deserve. Apparently you have to be crazy to be one - I think we should add incredibly talented to that too.