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Monday, May 17, 2010

Swindon Town - Part Two..


The most important game in our history? You'd have to ask Richard Murray because only he and a few others know for sure what another season in League One will mean to Charlton Athletic. All we know is that if this game is not won then finances next season would be seriously stretched and desperate measures would be needed to ensure we survive.
Swindon's Away Form
Swindon's away form has been average over the last 5 games without a win in the last three. A 2-3 defeat at the den in their last game, which, if replicated tonight, would be enough for them, was preceded by a 2-2 draw at lowly Wycombe. Before that there was an even more encouraging 0-3 defeat at Colchester. So 8 goals conceded in their last 3 games away from the County Ground with a goal let in every 33 minutes makes our prospects look a lot more healthy.
Before the Colchester game however, they had 4 successive away wins, all without conceding a single goal, at impressive places like Leeds, 3-0 (which was Leeds' fourth defeat in a row), and at Southampton, Hartlepool and Brighton all by 1-o.

So which Swindon do we expect tonight?


The Addicks Home Form
Looking at the Addicks last 6 home games over the last 2 and a half months, we've had 4 wins (Stockport 2-0, Carlisle 1-0, Colchester 1-0 and Leeds 1-0), a draw (2-2 the Gills) and only one, undeserved, defeat, 0-1, to Champions Norwich. So 7 goals scored and 3 conceded.

So overall it looks a bit mixed. The Robins have conceded 8 in their last 3 away whilst in our last three at home we have only scored twice but then we've only conceded one.

The Team
Deon's first goal, in open play, since December couldn't have come at a better time but the fact reminds that, unlike the opposition, we lack a cutting edge. And this is a game where, even if we can stop them scoring, we'll need to score twice to avoid the stress of extra time, something we've only done once in the last 10 games.
But this is not the time to analyze our strikers results but perhaps the time to remember our performance on Boxing Day when Swindon couldn't beat us when we had ten men for 20 minutes, after Sam Sodje was sent off and then nine men for a further 50 after Burton saw a second yellow for a stupid Maradona-type handball. We started that day without Richardson and Dailly in defence and also without the suspended Sam. Reserves Basey, Spring and Llera played the full 90 minutes and the last two combined to snatch the equaliser at the death. The Robins had both Austin and Paynter playing that day and I don't remember any terrifying moments except letting in the inevitable second goal. They were very complacent that day, not believing that nine men could come back and equalise. They were wrong.

So what's the team? After Fridays heroics it would seem unlikely that Sam Sodje will play, especially after Parky's comments about his defence but it's the selection of his strikers that will be more crucial. Mooney seems to have the nod over Forster at the moment but its surely a time to consider width and play both Sam and Reid from the off. Come on Parky, revert to our early season - successful - 4-5-1 with Deon on his own and Nicky Bailey, Semedo and Racon in the middle.

That will mean that if things don't go well we can't introduce Reid against a tiring defence but its the first goal that is most important here and we should remember that Swindon are one of only four teams in League One that have still not won after going behind.

Summary

It'll all be about controlling the nerves, ours as well as the players, so an early goal is a recommended answer although we may need to wait until the 20th to 30th minutes which this season is our most prolific spell of the 90. But the most important things to remember for tonight are Noise, Passion and Patience. Swindon have to know where they are and the fans, as well as the team, have to keep believing till the end - not something we've had a problem with so far. So lots of noise and its 2-0 to the Addicks.

1 comment:

Daggs said...

What makes you think Swindon losing tonight by 3 goals to 2 would be good enough for them?
The away goals rule does not apply in the play-offs.