STFC: Unbeaten Run Ends
Would it be harsh to say that this was on the cards?
I'm not going to type a completely critical piece here because we've just enjoyed an unbeaten run in the league of eleven matches - compared to last seasons effort that's some achievement.
Unfortunately far too many of them were draws. After the 5-0 drubbing at Gillingham (which seems an eternity ago now), we've beaten Southampton, Southend United, Yeovil Town and Brentford - but we drew with the following...
Draw 1: 0-0 Milton Keynes Dons
(Home) Decent result given the Gillingham result days before.
Draw 2: 2-2 Oldham Athletic
(Away) We scored in injury time and then conceded in injury time - disappointing although it was a 'freak' equaliser.
Draw 3: 1-1 Colchester United
(Home) We fell behind but equalised just before half-time. Colchester are a good side so it would be unfair to bemoan this result.
Draw 4: 1-1 Walsall
(Away) A late equaliser by Billy Paynter gave Swindon a good point away.
Draw 5: 1-1 Wycombe Wanderers
(Home) A home draw against a struggling side - the equaliser came in the 89th minute. Not good.
Draw 6: 1-1 Exeter City
(Away) Reasonably comfortable throughout - conceded in the 87th minute. Disappointing.
Draw 7: 1-1 Millwall
(Home) In truth, it was a good result despite conceding late-on AGAIN.
So there we have it. I believe the problem many will have is that four of those results occurred at the County Ground where we should be trying to get maximum points.
However, at the start of the campaign I believe that the majority would have taken away draws against sides like Oldham and Walsall and that many wouldn't have bemoaned home draws against MK, Colchester and Millwall either.
So for me, only Wycombe and Exeter were truly poor results.
The real negative is perhaps our depth, especially post-January when Obadeyi, Hutchinson, Revell and Ferry have gone. Firstly, many would state that they wouldn't be massively concerned if all of them returned to their full-time employers - only Simon Ferry has shown any real consistancy whereas Tope Obadeyi has shown signs and Ben Hutchinson has sadly looked like a man who feels he shouldn't be playing in League One.
Again on the notion of squad depth, many have observed that Jonathan Douglas' absence was worryingly clear against Hartlepool. He is a great player but we cannot rely on him to the point where nobody can fill the void when he is unavailable.
It was kind of surprising to see Michael Timlin and Craig Easton sat on the bench together today, I would have preferred to see one of those two players cover the Irishman but I'm a football fan not a coach.
Next up we have Norwich City, we're lacking clinical finishing up front and there's only so much the defence can do. It's up to players like Ferry, McGovern and McNamee to create more. Wilson hasn't found his ideal strikeforce (which is also a worry) yet but they must also get in the box more and take their chances.
Results went Swindon's way today but if we start losing we will drop like a stone and we'll be in the similar situation to last season.
On a side note: I tuned into Sky Sports this week to see our 15 year old 'whizkid' Alex Henshall in action - he was the stand-out player on the pitch by a distance and this was ackowledged by the pundits. He's far too young and probably nowhere near ready but his vision and crossing was really impressive - would it be the worst decision in the world to stick him on that 7-man bench and perhaps if we're in need of a bit of creativity stick him on for 10-15 minutes? I don't think.
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