Swindon Town kicked their 2007/08 League One campaign off with a 1-1 draw at Sixfields thanks to a Christian Roberts penalty.
Town started the game with most of the possession however you could tell very early on that de to the clubs lack of a prolific striker it was going to be a long afternoon if they were to get anything more than a point from the game.
The home side took the lead early with Andy Kirk smashing a powerful header into the town goal to make the score 1-0 to the Cobblers.
To be fair to Swindon, their heads did not drop and the team continued to apply the pressure onto the Cobblers and were almost rewarded on several occasions with the team going just wide.
Town would finally be rewarded for their hard work in the 43rd minute after Colin Larkin handled the ball inside the box and the referee rewarded a penalty to the visitors which Christian Roberts slotted home to make the score 1-1 going into the break.
Town almost took the lead after half time with a powerful Christian Roberts shot slamming against the post.
Town suffered an injury scare just after the 70th minute as Sofiene Zaaboub was carried off with a leg injury and replaced by the pacy Frenchman Miguel Comminges.
Comminges showed his pace and had a couple shots on goal. If Town are to grind out wins, goals from midfield will be required and Comminges could very well be the man to do that.
Town got lucky on a few occasions late in the game as Northampton attacked the Swindon goal several times, however several fantastic saves by Phil Smith ensured that Town got a share of the points to send most Swindon Town fans home happy.
Many Town fans had expected the club to struggle in front of the goal and would have taken a 1-1 draw prior to kick off.
Paul Sturrock is keen to bring in new faces and it is blatantly clear to everyone that Town will need to find a prolific striker if they are to do more than make up numbers in League One this season.
* Phil Smith – 9
Couldn’t do much about Andy Kirk’s goal but put in a fantastic display and showed why he has been handed the number 1 shirt ahead of Peter Brezovan by Paul Sturrock.
Jack Smith – 7
Again a rock in the defence. Smith has improved by leaps and bounds since arriving from Watford 2 seasons ago and has not even reached his peak yet.
Hasney Aljofree – 7
Aljofree did well in his Town debut despite suffering a mild hamstring problem earlier in the week, Him and Ifil make a exceptional pairing at the back.
Jerel Ifil – 7
Again a typical Ifil performance, got stuck in and kept Northampton’s strikers at bay. Ifil and Aljofree could very well be one of the best defensive pairings in League One.
Jamie Vincent – 6
Looked a bit sloppy at times and doubled back on himself when under pressure. Did not look bad at all though and see no reason why he should be dropped.
Christian Roberts – 7
Roberts looked great to be honest. Since accepting he is now a winger he looks as if he can be something special on the wing if he keeps putting in performances like he did during this match. Took his penalty well and unlucky not to score again just after half time.
Steve Adams – 7
Adams had been out of the game for 2 seasons due to injuries whilst at Sheffield Wednesday. Looked very solid and obviously has not missed a beat since being off. Looks a great signing in midfield.
Michael Pook – 7
Depsite some of the abuse Pook gets he performed very well against Northampton, got stuck in and made tackles in all the right places. Perhaps one of Pook’s better performances in a Swindon shirt.
Sofiane Zaaboub – 6
Looked fairly poor at times. Sofi looked as if he wanted to take on half the Northampton team instead of passing at times howver he did put some good crosses in before going off injured.
Blair Sturrock – 5
It is clear after this match that Blair Sturrock is not the answer to our goal scoring crisis. He could get the ball forward but was well off target. Would be more effective coming on late in the game. I fully expect Ibona to start our next match.
Lee Peacock – 8
Typical Lee P performance. Ran his heart out and got up front to try and score goals. Still looks as if he is using his striking instincts however without a bonifide striker this is not a bad thing.
Miguel Comminges – 8
Wow is all I can say. He can run, shoot and perhaps even score goals from midfield. Miguel fully deserves to start against Luton Town. This player could be something very special.
Kaid Mohammed – N/A
Wasn’t on long enough to really rate but did run around a bit and passed the ball about a bit. Time will tell if this potential gem comes up trumps.
Next League One Fixture
Wasn’t on long enough to really rate but ran about a bit and got up in front of the goal. Scored 5 out of 5 in pre-season and could help with our lack of goals if given the proper service.
Paul Sturrock 7/10 – Perhaps made a mistake choosing Blair Sturrock to start up front over Ibona Arieta but the rest of his team looked very solid. If Sturrock can get in a prolific striker as he aims to do, this team could do very well in League One this season. The rest of the team looked well up for this match and should not fight relegation if they show the same grit and determination as they did against the Cobblers.
Stuart Gray 8/10 – Gray played decent football and looked as if he preferred an all out attacking style. Has some options up front with some tall strikers who continued to ply the pressure on the Swindon defence. Northampton should safely be midtable if not higher this season based on the performance against Swindon.
For all the match stats from this fixture please CLICK HERE
UP NEXT: Charlton Athletic
Tickets are now on sale for the Carling Cup First Round visit of Charlton Athletic on Tuesday night.
Alan Pardew’s men will be looking for a quick return to the Premiership after their relegation from the top flight at the end of last season and an exciting encounter is in store at SN1.
The Addicks visit The County Ground on Tuesday 14th August 2007 and tickets are now on sale from the STFC Box Office.
Swindon Town vs Charlton Athletic, Tuesday 14th August 2007, KO 7.45pm
Arkells / Kingswood Stand
-OAP/ Student £8
-OAP/ Student £7
Please note Arkells / Kingswood Stand prices increase by £2 on Matchday
Visiting Supporters have been allocated the Stratton Bank
Next League One Fixture
Coca Cola League One Swindon Town V Luton Town, Saturday 18 August 2007, 3:00 Kick off at the County Ground
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