On a blustery afternoon, Town travelled to a Kingsdown School in Swindon to play on the 3G surface, looking to gain revenge for a disappointing 1-0 defeat in the reverse fixture at Tucker Park earlier in the season.
Pre-match preparations were hampered when Town began to get changed in the wrong changing rooms, following the lack of information from the home club, so a walk around the school facility was required for the squad.
The game kicked off, with Town having the wind in their faces and started on the front foot in the opening minute, the returning Dave Coleman just failed to connect with Matty Pill’s cross from the right. However, on the next attack in the 3rd minute Town took the lead as Sam Saunders created space for Jack Green, who drilled a great cross into the area, which wasn’t cleared and Coleman reacted quickly to stab the ball home. From the kick-off, Robins had their first chance, which Town keeper Connor Guinness-Smith did well to smother down to his left.
Robins felt they had scored in the 5th minute when the home keeper launched a wind-assisted free-kick from midway in his own half down the pitch, which skipped off the surface and over Guinness-Smith and into the net, only for the referee to deem the restart was an indirect free-kick and the goal was crossed off.
The home side were using the wind to their benefit and had two similar 20-yard efforts, which Guinness-Smith did well on both occasions to send the ball wide of the goal. On 24 minutes it was Town with the next chance, as Coleman broke through the Robins backline, but his goal-bound effort was well saved and turned round the post for a corner by the home number one. Town let their guard down on the half-hour, as Robins equalised when the home midfielder hit a good strike from 20 yards which Guinness-Smith failed to gather and the onrushing number 6 scored from close range.
Town were playing the neater football and created an opening for Pill, with a nice move down the left, but somehow he cleared the fence and the school grounds with his effort at goal. With ten minutes remaining of the half and the home side took the lead, as the skilful number 9, scored a great effort from outside the Town penalty area giving Guinness-Smith no chance. Town continued to play and were unlucky not to equalise when a good move saw Saunders hit a great strike which struck both posts before being cleared and then centre half Andy Goodchild played a neat one-two with Coleman, but his effort was straight at the keeper as the half-closed.
The half time chat was to keep the play simple, high press and not to panic and Town did this as they forced numerous errors from Robins, matched with good interplay as Guinness-Smith was a spectator for the half. Adam Sly was the main tormentor as he created chances for himself and his teammates and he was to score the equaliser 10 minutes into the second half, following good interplay and finish.
On the hour skipper, Josh Forth failed to hit the target with a header from a Saunders corner. On 67 minutes Sly was fouled on the edge of the Robins penalty area, but Saunders free-kick was well saved. In the next three minutes, Sly had a great run from the left, but his goal-bound effort was again saved before a similar run moments later saw his shot deflected into the goal to give Town a 3-2 lead.
Five minutes later and it was 4-2 as Saunders drilled a free-kick into the bottom corner of the goal, to register his third goal in three games. The home side couldn’t cope with the onslaught and the match was killed off on 83 minutes when a superb Saunders cross-field pass, found Sly who left his marker in his wake on the touchline, before pulling the ball back to Pill, who finished high into the goal for 5-2.
Final Score: Swindon Robins 2 – 5 Faringdon Town
Town totally deserved the three points and played some neat football in difficult conditions and with the squad depth being tested today, this was a good performance and 8th game unbeaten.
Town Squad: C Guinness-Smith, A Rudman, A Lynham (sub 80 J Tomes), W Bazen, J Forth(c), A Goodchild, M Pill, J Green (sub 75 L Hares), A Sly, D Coleman (sub 80 M Morris), S Saunders.