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MATCH REPORT: Forest Green Rovers (0) v (2) Swindon Town

Harry McKirdy and Tyreece Simpson scored impressive second-half goals to take Swindon to 2nd place in the League Two table as Ben Garner’s Robins produced their best attacking performance of the season beating Forest Green Rovers two-nil at The New Lawn Stadium. Total Sport Swindon’s Ryan Walker gives his match report following the victory.

Second-choice Swindon keeper Lewis Ward had to produce a double-save to keep the scores level inside the opening 10 minutes after denying Jack Aitchison before pouncing at the feet of Jamille Matt with defender Rob Hunt having to intervene with a goal-line block.

Tyreece Simpson looked to have scored his fourth goal of the season in the 13th minute after Forest Green goalkeeper Luke McGee spilled Harry McKirdy’s edge-of-the-box strike, with the forward shooting into an open net but having his goal chalked off after it was deemed he fouled defender Dom Bernard in the build-up.

Swindon cut a deflated figure after the questionable refereeing decision with not much action in front of goal as the hosts dominated large parts of possession but failed to threaten in front of goal as Swindon were restricted to counter-attacking opportunities. 

McKirdy’s shot on the half-turn inside the Rovers box in the 28th minute forced McGee into an impressive diving saved that saw the shot-stopper tip the ball round his post as Ellis Iandolo followed with an acrobatic effort that was deflected out of play minutes later. 

Nicky Cadden almost opened the scoring in spectacular fashion after his free-kick from 25-yards out looked destined for the top corner with Ward getting across goal and tipping the set-piece effort behind for a corner. 

Action followed in the closing exchanges of the first-half with Swindon Captain Dion Conroy charging into midfield and playing a one-two with Payne before unleashing Simpson, with his low-cross awkwardly cleared by Bernard.

Dan Sweeney was shown the first yellow card of the match by referee Paul Howard after pulling back Simpson, as Conroy then followed suit going into the book for an act of simulation to bring the first-half to a close.

Having settled into the second-half both sides had goalscoring opportunities but only Swindon were able to make theirs count. Jack Aitchison pounced on a mistake between Conroy and Odimayo with the attacker then having the simple job of slitting past Ward. However his shot from a tight angle didn’t even the test the keeper with him putting the effort well wide.

Gladwin and McKirdy then punished the hosts in the 54th minute with the former creating space for himself in midfield and putting a delightful ball into the box. McKirdy did excellently to outmuscle his opposite man and guide the ball on the volley into the bottom right corner to give Swindon the lead.

The goalscorer nearly had his second of the game minutes later, rising highest in the box to meet Payne’s near-post cross but sending his headed effort wide.

Rob Edwards manager attempted to get his side on equal terms with a host of changes with substitute Jake Young coming closes to scoring with his deflected effort in the 73rd minute forcing a spectacular save from Ward. 

The Swindon keeper then made an even better reactionary save from Josh March to keep Town’s lead in tact as he denied the attackers headed attempt from six-yards out.

Having already got his goal, McKirdy then assisted Simpson for Swindon’s second. Breaking upfield, McKirdy got to the by-line on the right-wing and floating a cross into the box that saw an unmarked Simpson run onto and score with a tap-in.

Swindon closed out the final ten minutes in professional manner limiting the hosts of chances to get back into the game and stringing together a series of passing moves. Forest Green were handed a last-gasp lifeline as Ward was judged to have brought down March inside the penalty box. 

However after a stellar performance, Ward guessed right and saved the spot-kick with a great dive to his right to keep Swindon’s clean-sheet intact as Swindon secured all three points at The New Lawn Stadium.


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Swindon Town FC

Swindon Town Football Club

STFC are Swindon's top football team, based at The County Ground Stadium.

The County Ground, County Road, Swindon, Wiltshire , SN1 2ED

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