MATCH REPORT: Swindon Town (2) v (1) Barrow
SWINDON TOWN managed to snatch victory late inside the County Ground as Louie Reed cancelled out Matt Platt’s 85th minute equaliser with a powerful finish into the bottom corner as Swindon ran out 2-1 victors over Barrow and climb back into the League Two playoffs. Total Sport Swindon’s Ryan Walker gives his match report.
A fairly quiet start to proceedings inside the sunlight County Ground failed to materialise any notable chances for either side with Tom Beadling putting his header past the post in the 11th minute as Barrow attempted to cross at every opportunity.
Following the raucous midweek atmosphere that saw Swindon overcome league leaders Forest Green, this was a must-win match but during the opening exchanges felt like a fairly mundane affair.
Louie Barry failed to find the targets with speculative shots after cutting inside from the left-wing, before Josh Davison spurned a golden chance from six-yards out after getting on the end of Jack Payne’s low cross but hitting his shot directly at the keeper.
Davison then made amends for his miss by showing more desire than defender Matt Platt and steer Akin Odimayo’s cross past Farman to give Swindon the lead in the 22nd minute.
Swindon had exploited the space gifted to them by Barrow and continued to do following the goal with Louie Reed dictating play and spreading the ball with ease.
Having successfully secured divisional safety last weekend, taking on a Swindon team struggling for the playoffs was always going to be an uphill task for 22nd placed Barrow, and they did very little to cause any concern amongst the Town ranks.
Top scorer Harry McKirdy should have further increased Swindon’s advantage in the 39th minute after initially doing well to arrive into the box and meet Egbo’s cutback but failing to control his shot that sailed into the Stratton Bank.
McKirdy opened the second-half by sending a shot immediately following the restart just wide of the upright as Farman scarpered across his goalmouth.
A rare Barrow attack created some cause for concern that ended with Josh Kay’s shot on the turn hit wide as the visitors sought to restore parity.
Barry and McKirdy both did well to create chances for themselves but neither could put the ball in the net with the latter doing all the hard work to round the keeper but then opting to shoot from a tight angle whilst Davison stood unmarked.
Nerves began to surge inside the County Ground as Swindon’s slender lead hung in the balance and were made to rue their missed chances with Matt Platt getting on the end of Rooney’s free-kick and score with a late header in the 84th minute.
Swindon looked to have surrendered the chance to force themselves into the playoffs in a match that they had been firmly in control of, but Reed stayed calm when it matter most to dribble in the box before finishing with a powerful strike into the bottom corner.
Swindon Town managed to navigate their way through 8 minutes of stoppage time and hold on to claim their most important victory of the season that takes them into the playoffs with one game remaining.