In case you missed it see what’s in this section
MATCH REPORT | Swindon Town 2-4 Stockport County
Could Swindon topple the league leaders Stockport and could new signing Kokolo be the needed plug in a leaky defence?
Swindon manager Michael Flynn made two changes from the disappointing loss to Colchester, Liam Kinsella and Tyrese Shade dropped to the bench and in their place, Saidou Kahn was back in the starting eleven along with a much-needed signing. Williams Kokolo had been announced by the club in the morning and was making his debut the same day.
When looking ahead to the game the one thing you do not want in the midst of a torrid run of form is to play a team on a long winning streak. Swindon played host to league leaders Stockport County who just happened to be on a 12-game winning streak.
After an impeccably observed minutes silence the game got underway. Within 60 seconds of the off Stockport had their first shot of the game, Tanto Olaofes shot going wide of the Swindon goal but already a glimpse into how dangerous Stockport are.
Remeao Hutton would provide the first shot on target in the fourth minute his left-footed effort from beyond the area was saved fairly comfortably by Ben Hinchliffe. Moments later Olaofe had Stockport's first shot on target the forward raced by the Swindon defence but his effort was saved well by Murphy Mahoney.
Mahoney was going to have a busy day and in only the 11th minute he did well to keep the game goalless. A cross into the box was headed clear only as far as Antoni Sarcevic who then unleashed a strike from inside the area that needed to be pushed behind by Mahoney.
The resulting corner should have seen the opener for the visitors, the corner was poor but it hit a Swindon man and the ball fell perfectly to Ethan Pye who lifted it up onto the bar and Swindon scrambled it away, an action-packed opening 15 minutes.
In the 31st minute, Swindon’s defensive resilience paid off. Kahn played Dan Kemp into space and the man who is involved so heavily with Swindon's attacking play decided to embrace his inner Steven Gerrard, his strike from range took a deflection on the way through and gave Swindon a 1-0 lead.
Kemp opens the scoring (Photo Credit - Robert Noyes)
Swindon nearly doubled their lead minutes later Kemp’s lovely dinked pass found Jake Young in the area, the forward took it over the head of a Stockport man before trying his look at chipping it into the far corner but it dipped wide of the post.
Since the goal Young had been everywhere and was pulling out all the stops to get himself a goal, his next foray forward saw him pulling out a Cruyff turn in the County area before being robbed of a wonder goal.
Stockport has not gotten back the control they had before Kemp’s opener and things got worse when Sarcevic went down injured and was forced off being replaced by Ibou Touray.
Half time approached and Stockport provided their best chance of the half. Macauley Southam-Hales’ ball across the six-yard box found Kyle Wootton who would have levelled the game but for the heroics of Mahoney who pulled out a sensational save from point-blank range to keep Swindon ahead.
Mahoney saves from close range (Photo Credit - Robert Noyes)
The first half would come to an end and Swindon would go in at the break a goal up against a Stockport side that had not stopped finding the net as of late, but the Swindon defence and a monster performance from Mahoney kept the score at 1-0.
The second half got underway and a huge 45 minutes was needed from the Swindon defence that had been conceding goals in second halves for fun.
Just five minutes into the second half Swindon were back to being Swindon. The Hatters were playing the ball around the Swindon area uncontested before a ball was played through to Southam-Hales who was wiped out by the rushing Mahoney and Stockport had a penalty.
Will Collar fired low to the bottom right corner, Mahoney was inches from saving and may have gotten fingertips to it but the penalty was perfectly placed and Stockport levelled the game at 1-1.
Stockport draw level (Photo Credit - Robert Noyes)
The home side had an immediate chance to retake their lead some great work from Young saw him go for goal at close range but was blocked by the keeper, the ball fell for debutant Kokolo who only got a knee to it and the ball dribbled wide of the gaping far corner.
Swindon weathered a short run of pressure from the visitors and went on the attack a Hutton cross bounced around the area before Kahn recovered it out wide and found Young free who turned and powered the ball into the back of the net making it 2-1 to Swindon.
Young restores the lead (Photo Credit - Robert Noyes)
Kemp had been impressive once again for Swindon and won a free kick after taking on two defenders before being cut down. His resulting free-kick took a deflection and went just over the bar and out for a corner.
Mahoney had a moment of madness that could’ve cost Swindon dearly. A ball down the right was ahead of the Stockport man and Mahoney already on a yellow for assinating Southam-Hales, came flying out and nearly cleaned out the attacker and one of his own as well as missing the ball completely.
Stockport had not had many chances but they did not need that many to get goals and some lackadaisical defending gave them the equaliser. Nobody was tracking Wootton in the six-yard box who had a free header to make it 2-2.
Two minutes later Olaofe has a chance to give the visitors the lead but Mahoney does well to stop the striker who had the box to himself. Stockport had clearly smelt blood and was going for the kill.
Just a minute later Stockport found their third goal through a beautifully curled effort from Odin Bailey making it 3-2 and a third successive game where Swindon had given up three goals in the second half.
Bailey gives Stockport the lead (Photo Credit - Robert Noyes)
The home side were trying to fight back in a game they had completely thrown away but half-chances were all that was coming as the game entered the final ten minutes. Kemp had a chance from range again that fell just wide of the post.
Callum Camps who had been a late substitute for Stockport killed the game in the 89th minute, he had all the space and time in the world in the box to pick out the near post and Mahoney isn't quick enough to deny him and Stockport their 4th goal.
Stockport seal the win (Photo Credit - Robert Noyes)
The game would come to an end with Swindon somehow throwing away the lead on two occasions as they fell to a 4-2 defeat.
It's been a horrific seven days to be a Swindon fan. Battered 7-4 in the FA Cup by Aldershot.
Then led at half-time and gave up three goals in the second half against Colchester losing 3-1.
Finally leading at half-time against league leaders Stockport giving away a stupid penalty to level the game then taking the lead again and conceding three more goals to throw it all away losing 4-2.
Three games in seven days, three losses, 14 goals conceded, and 10 goals conceded in the second half of all three. Five losses in a row, winless in seven. It's not sugarcoating it to say something dramatic has to change.
Dan Kemp and Jake Young combine for 21 goals and nine assists. They have 30 goal contributions between them and that is great the only issue is they are on loan and the man behind them in goal contribution, is Charlie Austin with 9.
Keeping Kemp and Young is imperative to staying afloat because even with them the team is sinking I can’t imagine what life would be without them.
Weather in Swindon