MATCH REPORT: Swindon Town 0-0 Tranmere Rovers
SWINDON TOWN failed to record their first home win of the season as a chance-packed encounter at the County Ground saw spoils shared withTranmere Rovers extending their winless streak over Swindon to 11 matches as either side failed to get on the scoresheet. Total Sport Swindon’s Ryan Walker gives his match report below.
Getting the game underway and attacking towards the Alan Mcloughling Town End, Swindon started on the front-foot with Harry McKirdy enjoying lots of possession on the right-wing but too often making the wrong-decision as passes went astray.
Louis Reed helped to nullify the threat of Tranmere’s midfield trio, putting in a crunching tackle on summer addition Callum McManaman in the centre of the pitch during the opening exchanges as Micky Mellon’s Rovers looked to establish a foothold in the game.
However, whilst solid through the central areas, Swindon looked susceptible down the flanks and a deep cross from Dacres-Cooley tested the nerve of the Robins defence as Manchester-born Emmanuel Dieseruvwe saw the ball glance past in front of him.
Two minutes later and Tranmere were presented with a golden chance to open the scoring as Anthony Grant’s heavy touch gifted McManamn the ball with his eventual shot from the edge of Swindon’s box straight at Wollacott.
End-to-end action saw McKirdy do brilliantly on the byline as he managed to keep the ball in play with a cross to the back-post seeing Simpson get a touch, with Parsons needing to simply tap past Murphy from close-range only to find his teammate on the floor and in his way.
Dieseruvwe had a similar chance to his earlier opportunity as he looked to test Wollacott with a close-range header but his effort was wide as Tranmere continued to look dangerous.
Shaky defending from a Tranmere corner gave Ryan Watson a close-range chance after Simpson lost him inside the box with the Rovers midfielder somehow managing to blast his shot over the bar. Simpson sought to immediately make amends with a chance inside the Tranmere box but was left watching on as Murphy got down well to save his powerful effort across goal.
Skilful play from Payne 10 minutes before half-time saw him nutmeg Josh Dacres-Cooley on the edge of the Rovers box before blasting a shot towards Murphy’s near-post with the keeper spilling his save and McKirdy’s first-time follow up effort ricocheting off the post.
Tranmere rounded off a first-half packed with chances but no goals with a smart-looking counter-attack creating space for McManaman on the wing but with the eventual passage of play ending with Wollacott coming off his line to gather the ball well.
Half-time blew and somehow this game was still goalless as chances went missing for either side.
Continuing in the same vein to the first-half, McManaman again looked dangerous as he stretched to connect with Cooley’s box but putting the ball out of play.
Tom Davies was shown the first yellow card of the game after coming through the back of Rob Hunt and hacking down the defender as the game began to get more physical.
Dieseruvwe had the chance of the game so far forcing Wollacott into a world-class save as his header from inside Swindon’s six-yard box was somehow kept out.
A minute later and the visitors had another decent chance to try and beat Wollacott as McKirdy’s foul saw him shown a yellow card and Tranmere with a dead-ball chance from the edge of Swindon’s box. However the opportunity was wasted as Watson’s shot was hit straight into the Town wall.
Ben Gladwin replaced Harry Parsons in the 65th minute and was immediately involved setting up Payne with a shot from 20-yards out that was on-target but comfortable for Murphy between the sticks.
The Tranmere keeper was again in the thick of the action as McKirdy forced him into two outstanding saves in the space of ten minutes.
Firstly denying the Swindon attacker as he got onto a reverse through ball from Payne and attempting to tap the ball into the net, and then minutes later guessing the right way as McKirdy chested a pass down from Gladwin inside the box and shooting towards the near post with the Tranmere keeper parrying the effort round the post.
After missed chances in front of goal Jonny Williams came off the bench to make his Swindon debut replacing McKirdy but struggled to have much of an impact.
Scrappy half-chances in front of either goal rounded off the game with Tranmere coming closest to scoring but neither team could find the golden touch as the match deservedly ended goalless with points shared at the County Ground.