Penalty kicks are without doubt entertaining. This statement is probably correct if your team are not participating! Town fans will recall the Brighton and Hove Albion disaster six years ago when Adam Virgo’s late leveller left the Swindon side totally deflated and unsuccessful in the eventual shoot-out.
However, this time around Town were had more-or-less robbed a good Charlton Athletic side from a victory in normal time after the Addicks gifted Town a goal after scrappy defending was punished by Danny Ward.
The final whistle went and the two sides prepared to take penalty kicks which were to taken in front of the home support.
DEON BURTON (Charlton Athletic)
The former Swindon Town loanee stepped up first. He looked confident has he glanced at the referee.
Burton blasted the ball low to Phil Smith’s left corner and the goalkeeper guessed right but the power and technique was too good for the Town goalkeeper.
Phil Parkinson looked animated from the dug-out screaming ‘COME ON!’ with a giant smile on his face.
CAFC 1-0 STFC
JON-PAUL McGOVERN (Swindon Town)
Looking at the footage the Town players on the half-way line look far more nervous than their opposition at this point in time (and who can blame them?)
It was the Scottish midfielder, McGovern, who stepped up first for Town. Chewing gum and looking serious but confident he went the same way as Burton by going left – However, Randolph in goal for Charlton guessed wrong and McGovern placed his somewhat scuffed effort into the effort with minimum fuss but his relief is clear as he jogs back to his team mates!
CAFC 1-1 STFC
NICKY BAILEY (Charlton Athletic
The Charlton captain has had a fantastic season for the club he supported as a youngster. Parkinson commented that he was one of the reasons why Athletic had made it this far… He also scored the late, late equaliser at Swindon a few months ago.
Bailey took the same run-up as Deon Burton, starting from the edge of the box and like Burton opted for power.
However, Bailey decided to put his kick to Phil Smith’s top right but misjudged and the ball went high and wide. The replay indicates that Bailey realises his error as soon as he takes the kick.
CAFC 1-1 STFC
CHARLIE AUSTIN (Swindon Town)
The ‘Story’ of the season for Swindon. The kid picked up from five tiers below League One. 20 goals have been scored by Austin in the league and play-offs.
Austin looked quite nervey during the moments before his attempt at goal. Randolph went for his left but Austin went just right of centre.
Charlie Austin returns to the centre circle with laughing while a shot shows how Town players are beginning to relax a little bit.
CAFC 1-2 STFC
NICKY FORSTER (Charlton Athletic)
I imagine you could have blind folded Forster, told him to down 10 pints and spin around on the spot for 30 seconds and he would have still scored his attempt. He’s Nicky Forster and he always scores against Swindon!
He did. His effort was calmly placed to Smith’s left corner. Smith went the wrong way.
CAFC 2-2 STFC
KEVIN AMANKWAAH (Swindon Town
In the post-match analysis on BBC One’s Football League Show, Steve Claridge commented that he looked at Town’s list of penalty takers and feared the worst as they the likes of Amankwaah and Darby played in positions not known for goalscoring.
Amankwaah did look understandably nervous stepping up. But he scored in penalty shoot-outs this season against Exeter City and Norwich City so why not Charlton?
The defender defied the jeers and the whistles to hit his effort into Randolph’s right-hand corner. The Athletic fans gutted as for a moment it looked like their ‘keeper had done enough to keep it out but Amankwaah’s technique was too good.
Amankwaah celebrates with an almighty shout of ‘COME ON!’ to the the home fans.
CAFC 2-3 STFC
CHRISTIAN DAILLY (Charlton Athletic)
The veteran and former Scotland international made no mistake with his effort placing it perfectly into the right-hand corner.
For knew where it was going before he even took it but it was an unstoppable penalty.
CAFC 3-3 STFC
DANNY WARD (Swindon Town)
The young Bolton loanee put his effort into successfully into the net after Randolph again guessed incorrectly.
His effort was met with excitement by Charlie Austin and ‘What a peno’ from Jonathan Douglas.
CAFC 3-4 STFC
FRAZER RICHARDSON (Charlton Athletic)
Richardson had the pressure of HAVING to score his effort and did exactly that.
The perfect penalty blasted into the top right hand corner. Unstoppable.
CAFC 4-4 STFC
STEPHEN DARBY (Swindon Town)
Look up ‘Apprehensive’ in the dictionary and I dare say you’ll see a picture of Liverpool defender Stephen Darby!
It was all on him – Score and Town are going to Wembley. Miss and it’s going to sudden death.
A glance and the referee and Darby is on his way. The young Liverpudlian places his effort into the right hand corner of Randolph’s goal.
He runs, in what almost looks like disbelief, in celebration towards Phil Smith.
It’s all over!
CAFC 4-5 STFC
Swindon Town are victorious!
A Season in Pens
This was Swindon Town’s fourth penalty shoot-out this season.
The first took place way back in August at Premier League Wolverhampton Wanderers. Town lost 6-5 in sudden death after Gordon Greer hit the post. Town’s successful penalties were taken by Callum Kennedy, Mark Marshall, Craig Easton, Lloyd Macklin and David Lucas.
(Andrew Surman, Daniel Jones, David Edwards, Andy Keogh, Sam Vokes and Neil Collins scored for Wolves)
There were two penalty shoot-outs for Swindon in the JP Trophy this season. Success in the first attempt at Exeter City. Town had led for the majority of the game thanks to a 17th minute effort by Anthony McNamee but Stuart Fleetwood equalised in injury-time to take the fixture to penalty kicks which Swindon won 4-3 after Phil Smith saved efforts from Neil Saunders and Fleetwood (Richard Logan, Danny Seaborne and Matt Taylor scored for the Grecians).
Town’s spot-kicks were scored by Jon-Paul McGovern, Michael Timlin, Gordon Greer and Kevin Amankwaah.
However, Town were knocked out of the competition at the County Ground by Norwich City. The Canaries won 5-3 on penalties after Craig Easton missed the only effort. Town’s successfull penalties were taken by Billy Paynter, Charlie Austin and Kevin Amankwaah while Owain Tudur Jones, Stephen Hughes, Michael Nelson, Jens Askou and Jamie Cureton scored the Norwich attempts.
So, going into the League One Play-Off Final Swindon have a 50% penalty kicks record… May we hope it doesn’t go all the way again!
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