Swindon Town 1, Leeds Utd. 3
13/9/08, 3pm K.O
Swindon Town lose 3-1 to 10 man Leeds United in a poor show at the County Ground. The game marked the second time in 2 home games that Town lost 3-1 and now questions are being asked what can we do to improve defensively?
The game started with the expected hype with both sets of fans in fine voice however it looked like Leeds fans would be going home disappointed within the first 10 minutes of the match.
Alan Sheehan was sent off for a rough foul on eight minutes and hit the showers without hardly breaking a sweat giving Town a 1 man advantage which given the circumstances and who we were playing, should have given us a boost. How wrong we were.
Leeds midfield was fantastic all afternoon as we predicted before the game. The scoring opened on 22nd minutes when Jermaine Beckford fired home a blistering shot after Jerel Ifil failed to clear the ball giving Beckford plenty of time and space to convert his 9th goal of the campaign.
The Swindon Town fans went very quiet after the goal as Town looked to equalise. The Leeds fans on the other hand supported their team after being quiet since Sheehan's sending off.
Just as the Swindon fans were starting to groan and slate the team instead of supporting it, Simon Cox popped out of nowhere and volleyed the ball past Leeds goalkeeper David Lucas to level things up at 1-1 going into half time.
Cox would be booked for taunting and celebrating the Leeds fans. Cox ran past them with his finger to his lip to which the referee decided Cox was over-celebrating and booked the Town striker.
HALF TIME: Swindon Town 1, Leeds United 1
The teams came out for the second half refreshed yet once again, the atmosphere at the County Ground for the most part was very quiet with a lot of people talking about Liverpool's win over Manchester United earlier in the day?
Leeds came out all guns blazing for the second half with Rui Marques leading the way for United.
On the 50th minute Leeds got very lucky Neil Kilkenny hit a 30 yard free kick at Swindon Town keeper Phil Smith. It appeared that Smith was going to catch the ball, however it would slip through his hands into the net to give Leeds a 2-1 advantage and send the travelling fans into Raptures on the Stratton Bank.
Many would see this as the turning point of the game because after that Town looked to have gone to sleep for a good part of the match.
Swindon almost equalised right after Kilkenny's goal after Anthony McNamee put in a cross to Simon Cox who head the ball goal wards only for David Lucas to make a classy save to keep the ball out from close range.
With Leeds dominating, Town boss Maurice Malpas decided to replace Jon-Paul McGovern on the 63rd minute with Mark Marshall on the wing. Town would now have a pacy winger on either side of the park in an effort to break down Leeds.
On the 75th minute things looked to be even again with Mark Mashall going in late on Andy Hughes. Luckily the referee only gave Marshall a yellow which was very lucky. Leeds fans naturally were outraged.
On the 84th minute Beckford sealed the win for Leeds thanks to some slack defending and easily put the ball past Smith in the town goal to ensure that United return to Yorkshire with all 3 points.
The Town fans left in their droves moaning and groaning whilst the Leeds fans celebrated in the Wiltshire sunshine.
Town may have been given a lifeline at the 4th official indicated there would be 5 minutes of extra time however Leeds kept the ball most of the time apart from 2 corners.
The final whistle went and the pain was gone however where do we go from here?
FULL TIME: Swindon Town 1, Leeds United 3
Phil Smith - 6/10
Jack Smith - 6/10
Jerel Ifil - 5/10
Hasney Aljofree - 6/10
Craig Easton - 7/10
Jon-Paul Mcgovern - 6/10
Anthony Mcnamee - 7/10
Kevin Amankwaah - 7/10
Lilian Nalis - 6/10
Billy Paytner - 6/10
Simon Cox - 8/10
Michael Timlin - 6/10
Mark Marshall - 6/10