Match Report


Sat 10 Apr 10

The U's got back to winning ways on what might turn out to be a pivotal weekend for their hopes of a play-off spot.

Having ridden plenty of pressure in the early stages, with Swindon seeing plenty of the ball, the U's got their noses in front.

And it was to be a position they wouldn't surrender, as two second half goals from Anthony Wordsworth made it a resounding 3-0 triumph.

The Robins would be left to rue not making more of a commanding start, but the U's got the breaks their efforts deserved.

With Huddersfield losing 3-0 at Brentford, there was also a six goal swing in the goal difference between the two teams as the excitement certainly picks up with five games to go.

The U's made just one change to the starting eleven from the game against Millwall on Monday.

Franck Queudrue was unable to make the match due to his hamstring injury, so Danny Batth retained the centre half berth that he inherited at the weekend.

It was a fairly even start to the game and Swindon's hot shot duo of Paynter and Austin lifted the volume in the away end in anticipation of something happening when they got on the ball.

But it was midfielder Douglas who was to have the first chance on six minutes, travelling unchallenged towards the area and driving a shot just over the bar.

Whilst the U's had opportunities to break forward, the Robins were more incisive in the early stages.

And midfielder Ward twisted and turned his way through the U's midfield before firing in a low shot on ten minutes that fizzed past the post.

The U's had a sight of goal on thirteen minutes, as Lisbie brought the ball down on his chest and volleyed the ball wide of the target from distance.

Ward was the visitors main danger man early on and set off on a footrace against White on fourteen minutes.

It looked like the Swindon man would get to send in a dangerous cross, but the U's man showed great determination to get back in and block.

And White defended well again as a Swindon corner was eventually put into the box and seemed destined for the head of Austin, before the U's man acrobatically intervened.

It was becoming a pattern of the first quarter of the game that Ward and White would face up against each other and, although twisted and turned, White's persistence was always seeing him come out on top.

But whilst White was winning his battle, Swindon were pinning the U's right back and should have been in front on 21 minutes.

The ball was crossed to the far post where both predators awaited and, after Paynter scuffed his volley, it dropped to Austin two yards out and under the bar, but he could only lift his effort over from close range.

Having ridden that extended spell of pressure, the U's had a chance midway through the half as Lisbie tested the pace of Greer and crossed to Vincent, who got a shot in on target, but was flagged offside whilst doing so.

However, the U's got their noses in front on 24 minutes.

A superb through ball from Prutton saw Vincent shake off Sheehan and get in by the byline. From a narrow angle, he forced two quick saves out of Lucas and the ball came back to him for a third time.

This time he made no mistake, striking home from the narrowest of angles to put the home side in front.

Douglas was unhappy about something in the build-up to the goal and his protestations were enough to see him go into the referee's book.

The U's obviously fancied the ball between Cuthbert and Sheehan and twice in quick succession Lisbie was flagged offside in contentious circumstances.

The home team were on the front foot now as they sought a second goal to give themselves some breathing space.

The U's had another sight of goal on 36 minutes, as Lisbie wriggled free by the byline and hit a low cross-cum-shot across the goal that no one got on the end of.

As the half drew to a close, the U's sat in and let Swindon come onto them, so much so that centre half Greer advanced into the home half and played a one two, which ended with him crashing a shot onto the bar.

And Ward, the visitors star player in that first forty-five, ended the half with a shot across goal that fizzed past six or seven bodies facing towards the net, before going eventually wide.

The U's went in ahead at the interval, but the visitors were to boss possession after the restart as they sought the equaliser.

The home side had to contend with that early pressure without Okuonghae, who missed some of the action after a clash of heads with fellow defender Batth.

But he returned to the action with his side still in front, and Vincent nearly got his second against the general flow of play as he just missed a header from a corner.

And whilst Swindon threatened, the U's remained resolute at the back.

A rare Robins mistake allowed Wordsworth to break towards goal and when his low shot was pushed away from danger, Platt was pulled up by the officials for a foul as he tried to slide home the rebound.

There was an injury worry for the U's as the hour mark approached. Batth stretched to clear the ball and grabbed his leg as he went to ground.

The Wolves man was able to carry on, but had to help the U's contend with a free kick after a foul by Tierney.

Williams then kept the U's in front with a superb save. Okuonghae miskicked his clearance and Paynter chose to square the ball back to the onrushing Ward.

The strike was clean and true, but Williams was able to divert the ball away from danger as the visiting fans waited for the ball to hit the net.

The visitors were cranking up the pressure, and boss Aidy Boothroyd decided it was time for a change midway through the half.

It was a further injection of pace for the U's, as Platt came off to make way for Steven Gillespie. With the Robins pressing forwards, there was certainly room in behind for the home side to break.

And it paid instant dividends.

With Lisbie back in the middle, he nodded the ball back down to Wordsworth, who composed himself and struck a fine strike into the bottom corner beyond Lucas.

The midfielder was delighted to grab his ninth of the season but saw yellow for his celebrations as he wheeled away in front of the away support.

The U's had got their two goal cushion, but nearly had one pegged back as the ball pinged around their area.

Goalscorer Ashley Vincent was replaced with twenty five minutes to go, as Phil Ifil came on to replace him.

And, in an attempt to get back into the game, the visitors took off Darby to bring on the powerful Vincent Pericard.

The U's were keeping Swindon at bay and shots were instead coming from distance. Sheehan hit one on eighty minutes which seemed destined for goal, but Williams plucked it out of the air with a fine stop.

The Robins then took off the prolific Austin - still no doubt rueing his first half miss - to bring on Frank Nouble for the last ten minutes.

Lisbie gained applause from the home fans for forcing Swindon back from the halfway line right back to the keeper with persistent pressure on the ball.

And the U's were harrying well as the clock began to run down and defending strongly to maintain their advantage.

Rather than defending deep, they were pressing further up the pitch and, with Gillespie a constant threat, had danger up front.

Five minutes of additional time were indicated to make it a lengthy finish to the game for the home team.

But it was to be a celebratory finish to the game as Wordsworth added a third.

They broke away from goal with Lisbie and he squared the ball for the midfielder to finish with a great strike past Lucas.

At the other end, Williams pulled off a fantastic stop to turn the ball away from a Nouble shot.

U's: Williams, White, Batth, Okuonghae, Tierney, Wordsworth, Prutton, Izzet, Vincent, Platt, Lisbie

Subs: Cousins, Ifil, Heath, Henderson, O'Toole, Fox, Gillespie
    Data provided by Press Association

    Recent Match Reports