Saturday 15th March 1958
Colchester Utd 1-3 Swindon Town
Divsion Three South
Swindon completed the double over Colchester following a hard fought and sometimes physical encounter at Layer Road.
One has to feel a degree of sympathy for the home side who had to play nearly 80 minutes with just 10 men after centre-half Chic Milligan broke a shoulder blade in an 11th minute tumble. It was hard luck for the lad as he’d just come back into the team following a month’s absence. And what with the implementation of a substitute still a good 8 seasons away, Colchester had to regroup and reorganise.
The match produced some rugged, no-quarter tackling and in the middle of the first half tempers became so frayed that the ref was compelled to speak to 3 or 4 troublemakers.
One incident that stood out involved Town centre-forward James Kelly. He was sent reeling from a blow on the jaw. It happened when he was charging goalkeeper Percy Ames, who was in possession, and another defender coming across to assist. Kelly staggered and fell but following treatment was back in good health.
Colchester’s defence fought with spirit but gaps were beginning to appear. In the 35th minute Bob Edwards put Town ahead with a point-blank effort from an opening created by left-back Walter Bingley.
Swindon clinched the game following a quick two-goal burst early in the second half. The home side had tried to remodel their emergency defence but they were cut open when Edwards fed John Richards a shrewd pass straight through the middle in the 56th minute. Richards stormed clear and beat Ames with a powerful shot.
Kelly made it 3-0 in the 63rd minute. With perfect timing he moved in to meet a corner and beat Ames with a superb glancing header into the far corner of the net. This was his 4th Town goal in 3 games.
Colchester’s consolation followed almost immediately. Left-winger, Peter Wright – who’d actually started the second half as a temporary left-back – went on a long and mazy run before chipping over a short centre. Sam Burton got his fingers to the ball but it lifted and dropped behind him into the goalmouth. Neil Langman was quickest to react and was on the scene to bundle home.
United did their best to give Town some busy and anxious times for the remainder of the half but their 4-man attack was unable to press home at close quarters against a set of tough-tackling defenders not interested in taking any prisoners.
Following this game Swindon suffered a couple of disappointing home defeats against Walsall and Norwich but on the road they recorded some remarkable victories. Three of their last four games were won and Town finished the season in 4th place – Just 3 points off the top!
Sam Burton, John Neal, Walter Bingley, Maurice Owen, Garth Hudson, Jack Fountain, John Skull, John Richards, James Kelly, Bob Edwards, Arnold Darcy.
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