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MATCH REPORT: Swindon Town (5) v (2) Northampton Town
SWINDON TOWN played out a 7-goal thriller at the County Ground as Ben Garner’s Robins inflicted a damaging 5-2 defeat on Northampton Town. Total Sport Swindon’s Ryan Walker gives his match report following the New Year’s Day performance.
Harry McKirdy handed Swindon an early lead in the 28th minute but had his effort cancelled out by Sam Hoskin’s 37th minute strike. Jon Guthrie scored quickly in the second half to put The Cobblers in control before three more goals from McKirdy and a single from Tyreece Simpson ensured Swindon secured victory.
Chances for the home side in the opening ten minutes presented Swindon with opportunities in front of goal, most notably Harry McKirdy’s volley in the 4th minute that was hit powerfully but off-target.
Quick passing through Northampton’s midfield got Swindon on the front foot in the early exchanges with Jordan Lyden enjoying lots of the ball as the Australian made his first league start of the season.
Northampton soon found their stride as they started to enjoy spells inside Swindon’s half, however the home side were makers of their own problems with slow passing allowing Northampton to press high and win the ball back in attacking areas.
Mitch Pinnock pounced on a poor pass from Rob Hunt in the 11th minute and recorded the games first shot on target as Wollacott made a save down low.
Tyreece Simpson looked set to find the back of the net minutes later after creating space for himself inside the box before being tackled by Fraser Horsfall with a last-ditch slide tackle to disposses the Swindon attacker.
End-to-end action created an attractive game with Swindon making ground playing through midfield and Northampton preferring to attack down the wings.
Jonny Williams looked to kick-start a counter-attack through the middle of the pitch in the 17th minute but was pulled back by Shaun McWilliams who was subsequently shown a yellow card.
Swindon had been the livelier of the two sides and managed to capitalise on a host of positive attacking play in the 27th minute as Jack Payne’s low driven cross bounced off McWilliams and into the path of McKirdy who finished from close-range to score his 6th goal of the season.
Midfielder Louis Reed looked to quickly double the hosts' advantage with an effort from 30 yards moving in all directions before ending up over the bar.
Jack Sowerby was shown a yellow card for a rash challenge on Jordan Lyden as Northampton struggled to get back into the game but weren’t made to wait long as Swindon squandered their lead in 11 minutes.
A simple long ball from McWilliams was brought down by Sam Hoskins who took a couple of touches before firing hard past Wollacott as Iandolo struggled to make up the ground to put in a challenge.
Mitch Pinnock nearly handed Northampton a shock lead after shooting from inside his own half with Wollacott scrambling to tip the effort over his bar as the scores remained level at half-time.
Jon Guthrie gave Northampton the perfect start to the second half as he got on the end of a free-kick delivery into the Swindon box despite appearing to be offside. However, any joy for the travelling fans was short-lived as Swindon proceeded to score four times in under 20 minutes with McKirdy scoring three times.
McKirdy bagged his brace with a brilliant finish on the half-turn just inside the box, before getting the better of a ball that popped out from a collision between Simpson and Horsfall in the 55th minute to complete his hattrick.
Simpson inflicted further misery after delicately bringing down a long ball from Reed before taking on Northampton’s defence and shooting hard past Liam Roberts to give Swindon breathing space.
McKirdy then topped off a special afternoon for those in attendance by reacting first to Robert’s save from a Reed free-kick as the attacker remained aware to slot his effort into a virtually empty net.
Simpson and McKirdy both had chances to increase their goal tally’s further as both hit the post with the latter denied by a brilliant fingertip save.
Northampton failed to rally as the clock ran down with Swindon running out deserved victors, getting their first win since November and climbing up to 5th in the League Two standings.
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