WITH Swindon Town seemingly on the ropes throughout the first half of their clash at Bradford City on Saturday, head coach Luke Williams made a purposeful tactical change at the break.
The Bantams’ 4-3-3 line-up was causing Town no end of problems at Valley Parade, with Charlie Wyke and Mark Marshall the chief reasons for those headaches.
Operating as the number nine, Wyke was grappling with both of Town’s centre-backs as neither of Raphael Branco or Dion Conroy ever really got to grips with him, while Marshall switched between flanks with regularity and was a nightmare for both full-backs.
In one instance, he skipped past Nathan Thompson with apparent ease on the Town right before cutting in a low ball that goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux was luckily able to gobble up at the feet of Jordy Hiwula.
In another, Marshall left Fankaty Dabo for dead and the Swindon left-back was fortunate to only give away a free-kick as he felled his man inches from the penalty area.
Dabo, in particular, was having a torrid time and having already been booked for that trip, Williams opted to take the young Chelsea loanee out of the firing line.
Bradley Barry was sent on as Swindon switched from 4-4-2 to 5-3-2 in an effort to give the hosts less space out wide to work with.
That left Town to play on the counter and the ploy worked perfectly when Nicky Ajose fired the visitors into an unlikely lead – it was just a shame for Williams that his troops could not hold on.
Swindon continued to look shaky when up against set-piece deliveries but balls into the box from open play had begun to dry up as a result of their more defensive set-up.
That was until the final minutes when the best laid plans of the Town head coach seemingly vanished from the minds of his players as they conspired to capitulate in the most crushing fashion imaginable.