Swindon Town are now top of League Two after a hard fought victory this afternoon at Darlington with goals from Christian Roberts and Paul Evans.
Town made one change to the team that started against Rochdale. Michael Pook was dropped and replaced by Paul Evans and the change paid dividends right away.
The first goal for Swindon came for Swindon on the 6 minute mark after Christian Roberts was fouled by former Town loanee Patrick Collins. Ex- Nottingham Forest midfielder Paul Evans stepped up to curl in the free-kick to give Town an early 1-0 lead.
A fiercly attacking Swindon side quickly doubled their lead on the 31st minute as Christian Roberts converted a Lee Peacock flick on from Andy Monkhouse to give the visitors an unexpected 2-0 advantage.
Darlington managed to get one back thanks to a Jamie Vincent error just before half time when Gaetano Giallanza managed to score on a loose ball that got away from Vincet to make is 2-1 going into the break.
Darlington looked a revived side after the break and were lucky not to equalised as they hit the post early on. Andy Monkhouse left the game with a hamstring injury and was replaced by Andy Nicholas early in the 2nd half. Darlington manager David Hodgson then brought on new signing Julian Joachim to boost his attack. Joachim would go into midfield.
The Swindon fans roared as another Peter Brezovan wonder save prevented Darlo from scoring towards the end of the match. The inevitable chants of “We are going up” and “We are top of the league” roared from Swindon’s away support of approx 500.
Town would hold on to get the 2-1 win and take them 2 points clear at the top of League Two. Swindon Town have equalled their away win total for last season.
Peter Brezovan – 7
Did not have to do too much but was good in goal and made a fantastic save towards the end of the game to seal the 2-1 win.
Jack Smith – 7
Smith put some decent tackles in and did his job well.
Jamie Vincent – 6
Vincent’s error lead to the Darlington goal. He did not let this get him down and put in a good solid performance.
Ady Williams (C) – 8
Very vocal at the back and played very well. Organised the team well and it paid off.
* Jerel Ifil – 9
Ifil played very well and has been a pleasure to watch this season. Tackled when he needed to and played more than the hoofball we were acustomed to last season.
Curtis Weston – 8
Played as well as he did all pre-season. Bags of potential and was able to show what he can do, playing alongside good players.
Paul Evans – 8
Gave the team something it had been missing in midfield. Leadership. A huge upgrade on Michael Pook and took his goal well.
Andy Monkhouse – 6
Played well, however took a while to pass the ball which often found it going out of play. Left game with hamstring injury.
Christian Roberts – 8
Finally got on the scoresheet. Never gave up and ran the whole game. Player of the Season so far.
Ricky Shakes – 7
Fast on the wing, put some decent crosses in. Has secured his place in the team.
Lee Peacock – 7
Typical Peacock performance. Never stopped running and set up Roberts goal in the first half.
Dennis Wise (8)- Wise got it perfect today. By bringing on Paul Evans for Michael Pook is brought something to the team that was missing. Williams has been fantastic for Swindon as captain. Candidate for Manager of the month.
David Hodgson(5) – made some interesting choices. New signing Julian Joachim even though he is red hot at the minute, started on the bench while David Duke was made captain. It appeared Jepson knew he got it wrong in the end and appeared to be trying to fix it. Should Darlo put their best team out they will be up there at the end of the season.
96.6 TFM Darlington Arena
The stadium’s atmosphere is poor at best. The stadium is so big at 27,000 while Darlo are averaging just over 4,000 a match. With crowds so low it’s impossible to get any atmosphere there. The Scoreboard is fantastic and the sound is brilliant however this is a Premiership standard stadium. It’s not the fans fault that they cannot generate any atmosphere. The stadium simply is too big for a club Darlington’s size. On a positive note the pie selection was fantastic!
The Darlington Fans
Absolutely fantastic. The enjoyed a sing song in Bar 66 located outside the ground. The fans were very friendly and keen to talk to the away fans about how things are at our club. Both sets of fans enjoyed banter about our 1-0 win over Hartlepool 2 weeks ago. The fans at Darlington were first class all the way.
Carling Cup: Swindon Town V Brentford @ The County Ground, Tuesday 22 August 2006, 7:45 pm Kick-Off.