Patience is a virtue as Town ease to victory

Andy Williams scores Town’s second goal in his first home start of the season.

Andy Williams scores Town’s second goal in his first home start of the season.

First published in Sport The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy sports editor

IF Swindon Town are to dominate sides like they have done in the opening few weeks of the season, then all around SN1 are going to be happy.

Saturday’s 2-0 success over the team that now resides at the foot of the League One table was built on patience.

Yes, at times it appeared turgid as it looked like there wasn’t any go forward ambition from Mark Cooper’s men, but what they did was affective.

There will, of course, be sterner tests to come, but all Swindon can do right now is deal with what is put in front of them.

For the third match in succession, Cooper’s men saw their possession stats over the 60 per cent mark. And anyone will tell you that you can’t get beat if the opposition don’t have the ball.

But when they come up against stronger teams they will need to make sure that they have made all that possession count.

Against Crewe, a team unlikely to remain in League One next term on this showing, it mattered not. Steve Davies’ side only had one shot on goal, but when they face the likes of Peterborough United and Sheffield United they won’t be able to keep hitting the ball sideways – there is going to be a need to find that early goal and have their opponents chasing the game.

Right now though, with a squad that is threadbare and not much money around to bring in new faces, Cooper is rightly pleased with how his side have started to the League One campaign.

They are building a reputation of being a good footballing side and what is more they are doing it with an inexperienced squad.

Mistakes are bound to happen, there weren’t any of note on Saturday, but if patience is being shown on the pitch, then it does need to be shown in the stands.

Many of the 6,513 who made their way to the County Ground expected Town to win comfortably and they went home with that expectation fulfilled.

But after 20 minutes there were some that were getting agitated, expecting Swindon to be home and dry – after all Crewe had conceded five goals at their Gresty Road home of Tuesday night.

Sometimes, as the saying goes ‘all good things come to those that wait’.

Town have a new strike partnership in Michael Smith and Andy Williams. They are building up their understanding of each other’s game.

Alex Pritchard is no longer at the club, meaning that there is a missing creative link between Town’s midfield and front two and they are having to find another way to get in beyond the opposition’s back-line.

Against Crewe, Swindon were without their Australian international Massimo Luongo. The midfielder was taken off at Gillingham with a tight hamstring but had not recovered enough to play any part at the weekend.

However, Cooper was able to recall Louis Thompson to the team after the midfielder completed his one-match ban following his harsh dismissal against Crawley the previous weekend.

As both teams looked to settle, there was a lack of urgency, a flat feeling around the County Ground.

And as Town began to dominate possession, Crewe looked to hustle their hosts off the ball.

It all made for pretty turgid stuff. Then a heavy shower midway through the first period woke Swindon up and they found some momentum.

But they also found the Crewe stopper Ben Garratt in fabulous form – he was equal to anything that Town could throw at him.

Then the moment that many expected arrived – a Swindon goal.

Louis Thompson charged forward only to be crudely brought down 25 yards out by Jamie Ness.

And while the Crewe midfielder played no further part in the proceedings, the treatment he received allowed his keeper to take his time in lining up the wall.

But it also gave Yaser Kasim his time to pick out his spot, and when referee Lee Collins gave the go ahead to resume the match, the Iraqi international curled the ball over the Alex’s wall and past Garratt – it was the least that Town had deserved.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

Town's players congratulate Yaser Kasim on his goal

The second half mirrored the first, turgid looking at the beginning with the lively finish.

Michael Smith came close to doubling the Town lead on 55 minutes when his header rattled the crossbar after Brad Smith’s cross.

The game was finally put to bed 13 minutes from time when Ben Gladwin, who is looking good at the heart the Swindon midfield, threaded through Williams.

The striker, who spent much of last season in the treatment room with a cruciate knee ligament injury, drove into the box and slid the ball beyond Garratt for his second goal of the campaign.

The two-goal margin could have, perhaps should have been more, but patience was key to this success and it will key to this campaign.

Comments (1)

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5:47pm Mon 25 Aug 14

london paolo says...

I know, I'm becoming a pedant in my old age. But Reeves seems determined to outdo Bassam in spelling and grammar howlers. Even being benevolent, there are at least 13 errors here. It makes for ugly reading, and if journalists are getting paid to wreak havoc with the English language, what hope is there for the rest of us?
I know, I'm becoming a pedant in my old age. But Reeves seems determined to outdo Bassam in spelling and grammar howlers. Even being benevolent, there are at least 13 errors here. It makes for ugly reading, and if journalists are getting paid to wreak havoc with the English language, what hope is there for the rest of us? london paolo
  • Score: 3

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