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MATCHDAY LIVE: Swindon vs Crystal Palace U21s

Follow along with live coverage as Swindon Town open their EFL Trophy campaign by welcoming Premier League academy side Crystal Palace to the County Ground. Total Sport's Joe Acklam is reporting live from the match.


That's full-time on a match that will live absolutely no time in the memory. Swindon should have won but didn't take their chances before Lewis Ward did Lewis Ward things and they conceded twice. In reality, getting knocked out of this thing would be a good thing.


The game has very much fizzled out, but nobody actually cares.


90- 5 minutes added on when everyone clearly just wanted to go home and pretend this didn't happen.


90- Man of the Match by the sponsors has gone to Darcy, a brief look at the game would tell you it was clearly Shade.


GOAL 2-0 Palace, Gordon again

Red Card

85- Cian Harries has been sent off for a second yellow and much like Chris Kamara, I did not see it Jeff.


82- Jonny is telling me that this makes Sonny Hart the youngest ever Swindon players at 16 years and 26 days. Feels like one for to confirm.


80: ON: Sonny Hart, Harvey Fox

OFF: Remeao Hutton, Ciaran Brennan

As I say that, one of two senior attackers comes off.


79- Almost the entire Swindon attack consists of youth players at this point, so I would find an equalizer somewhat unlikely and the goal is hardly being peppered with shots right now.


74- Aguiar from downtown fires a free-kick which has to be tipped over by Whitworth. Resulting corner comes to nothing.


71- It is an absolutely astounding finish from Gordon, but equally an example of why Ward is on the bench, as he passed straight to the striker before Gordon promptly curled it into the postage stamp.




68- Brennan has got bored of everyone else messing about and made a huge run up field and delivered a cross that was put behind. First time I have really noticed Brennan but it was a lovely run, barreling up the field.


65- It appears as though Dabre has gone through the middle and Cowmeadow out wide since that change. Poor Dabre is supposed to be a midfielder but gets used anywhere but most of the time.


61: ON: George Cowmeadow, Anton Dworzak

OFF: Ronan Darcy, Tyrese Shade

There goes our hope of a goal.


58- We are stating to have chances. Aguiar received the ball wide from Hutton and switched onto his right foot and shot across goal only to be denied by the post. 0-0.


56- First change as Tom Wynn-Davis come on for Abu Kanu.

Kanu has put himself about but has failed to really impress. Wynn-Davis has his socks rolled down, so he is clearly good.


55- Swindon failed to deal with a corner and a second ball in left Ward and Baudry frantically fighting with Balmer on the line to stop the defender forcing it over the line. Arguably the closest either side has come.


53- DARCY CRASHES THE POST. Good feet in the area from Darcy saw him make his way through a few bodies and he lashed a shot against the base of the post. The sound of it slamming the upright could have been heard back at Selhurst Park.


49- In the unlikely event that a goal is scored tonight (or possibly ever again) then it will definitely be because of Shade. He and Hutton link up well down the right and his driven cross skids off a defender and clear despite being surrounded by a few attackers.


48- The second half has begun with that same pattern of Swindon keeping the ball without doing much. As I write this Kanu gets the ball in the area and tries to find space before committing a foul having been muscled off the ball.


The attendance tonight is 2021 (40 of which are way fans) and I imagine all of them are question every decision they ever made which brought them here tonight.


The second half begins.


The teams are back out and let me tell you I could not be less excited to watch the rest of this.


An update from the other game in our group, Plymouth and Bristol Rovers are also drawing 0-0 at half-time.

I feel like we always have those two in our group.


Half-time thought:

  • Tyrese Shade is prime O Fenomeno Ronaldo when played through the middle
  • Harrison Minturn looks like a very solid holding midfielder, he has been aggressive in the challenge and is yet to misplace a pass
  • Remeao Hutton and Ronan Darcy have shown flashes of quality
  • Overall, it was unwatchable garbage, you made the right call reading this terrific live blog

HALF-TIME! And aren't I glad to see it. I just keep thinking about the old officer from Hot Fuzz saying he thought it was a whole load of ****. 0-0.


45- HUGE SAVE. Really not great defending from Baudry allowed David Omilabu to play John-Kymani Gordon into the box and he had a big chunk of goal to aim at, but Ward got down and pushed it out for a corner.


45- Some more composed play by Minturn in midfield set Hutton in out wide and his low cross just couldn't find Shade in the middle.

Yellow Card

45- Fionn Mooney gets a booking for holding almost all of Dabre's shirt. Someone is angry he didn't pre-order the home kit in time.


45- Unless Tom Wynn-Davis turns out to be a real baller then this is ending 0-0.


45- Decent chance as a truly horrific mix-up from Harries and Baudry left Victor Akinwale free on the edge of the box, but he failed to make Ward really work with his shot.

Yellow Card

45- I forgot to add that Harries and Grehan both got booked to the fight, or as my co-commentator at Bath City used to say "handbags".


45- 7 minutes added on and all of it has presumably come from that injury after 3 minutes.


41- A very strange scuffle suddenly broke out as I was looking away. Sean Grehan and Harries are being talked to by the ref.


40- It is Shade again, this time looking a good few miles offside, being slipped in down the right and he cut the ball across from the angle but Kanu couldn't follow up. Aguiar is about to take a free-kick. Still 0-0.


39- I must say that apart from Shade looking like a Year 11 stealing the Years 7s ball and lunch time, this game has not been great. It will be a slog to fill the match report.


34- Swindon have done well at attacking quickly, but are failing to truly trouble in the penalty area without a true striker, Kanu is getting into areas but it is tough to cross to him. They worked the ball across the field once again, with Aguiar finding the galloping Hutton at full tilt, he surged beyond his full-back but couldn't find anyone with a cross.


30- All my comments are clearly getting to Shade as he drifted out to the left and played a first time travela cross which has been cleared for a corner.


28- Another Crystal Palace injury gives us an unscheduled water break. The early takeaway from this game is that, even though it is an academy team, Tyrese Shade has looked far more engaged and properly utilised in this striker role. He is clearly physically suited to it, and he has buzzed around and done well so far. Something to look at for a league game.


24- It is that man Shade again. He receives a pass from Hutton in the middle, turns sharply into space out wide and drills a shot from an angle that forces a save from Whitworth.


23- Another early standout would be Minturn. He has looked very assured in possession and keeps the ball moving quickly when it comes to him. A very assured start as he steps into midfield.


21- Best chance of the game. Ricky Aguiar played a ball over the top with wicked backspin to set in Shade, but as he came across his defender, he poked it towards his own goal and it rolled just wide. I think striker might be Shade's position. 0-0


19- Shade being the only senior attacker on show here is becoming apparent as he could have found the corner again as his quick feet found space on the edge of the box and he flashed just wide of the bottom left corner.


18- Swindon having some not-quite-half-chances here as Shade found Kanu in the box on the counter who laid it back to Aguiar from a good 30 yards out, who drilled it first time before a deflection took a sting out of the shot.


17- Not a bad passage of play there as Ronan Darcy wriggled into the box and it ended with Shade doing a wicked shimmy to get past his marker, but then sliced his shot well wide from the corner of the box.


15- Incisive play from Sean Grahan saw him come in from the right side and try to slip in John Gordon, but Baudry covered across well and cleared it for a throw in.


13- Hutton skins his full-back down the right and plays in an inviting cross, but as Kanu went to go for it, he was smashed by Koshi Balmer and allowed Joe Whitworth to claim the ball. Twice now Balmer has been unnecessarily aggressive.


10- Lindsey was asked pre-match about a physicality advantage in this game but that hasn't been the case for Dabre, who has taken three heavy challenges already.


9- From that corner, Harries got up well at the back post to head it back across, it was flicked clear only as far as Baudry, who promptly volleyed it into the houses behind the Stratton Bank. 0-0


8- I would imagine the pattern of the game is beginning to form as Swindon are dominating possession and forcing all of the Palace players into their own half. Aguiar lines up a corner...


7- The game is back underway with Swindon having the ball at the back.


6- Omilabu must be in some pain as he is still down here and has been down for longer than we were actually playing.


3- Stoppage in play as David Omilabu has gone down injured in the Swindon box.


For those who haven't seen Abu Kanu before, think Mo Dabre but even smaller.


1- First chance of the game is very out of the blue as a ricochet from the half way line forces Lewis Ward to scurry across his box and make a save. Keep in mind when ajudging quality of chances, that was probably counted as on target.


1- KICK-OFF! We have begun here


Ronan Darcy getting a start tonight is quite interesting. I imagine he will enjoy being allowed to go back into midfield, but given that he is at present the first choice right-back, he would have been one of the players I would have thought would be given a nice rest.


The players have emerged from the tunnel, kick-off is imminent.


I would quite like to ask any Palace fans here tonight who aren't related to players in the team, why not just watch the Brentford game?


I will say that the Arkells Stand is well filled at the moment as clearly there is a modicum of appetite for this match, and there were even two people wearing Crystal Palace shirts in the away end as I walked up to the press box (bizarrely not sat together), so take that live televised Premier League football of the evening.


The Swindon players were just running back down the tunnel from their warm-up and given the size of some of them, I briefly thought a mascot was one of them.


On Adeloye, we have been told that he has a knock and so that's he isn't playing and then with Massey you would imagine that him not being in the squad hints at a loan exit in the coming days, likely already agreed but not announced.


The other interesting part of this 352 is the strikers, Tyrese Shade and Abu Kanu will be leading the line for Swindon. Lindsey has mentioned Shade being able to play up front before, but is more of a winger and the only time I have ever watched Kanu, he came on as a sub at wing-back. Fair to say then that neither are naturals at the position and it will be interesting to see how on earth this is going to work.


A lot of Googling and dead ends later, I have a semblance of an idea about the Palace team, but tough to know for sure.


I have made my way up to the press-box, and to say it is shoulder in here this evening would be a bald faced lie. Bear with the updates for a while as I try to figure out who the Crystal Palace players are.


A chat with the media man has brought to light that it is Harrison Minturn holding and Dabre at LWB, so option number 2.


We are having a very long chat about the various combinations that that team could be. My best theory is that the Twitter post is in position order (as it is not in number order) and Minturn is playing LWB with Dabre in the middle and the shocking front two of Shade and Kanu. However, Dabre could easily be playing as a wing-back and has done before, with Minturn potentially filling in as a holding midfielder.

Tomi Adeloye is also nowhere to be seen in the squad, is this a clue that he might start against Gillingham? Or has he picked up an injury which Lindsey neglected to inform us of.


Crystal Palace line-up (as per Twitter):

Whitworth, Addae, Balmer, Grehan, Watson, Ozoh, Wells-Morrison, Omilabu, Mooney, Gordon, Akinwale

Subs: Izquierdo, Ola-Adebomi, Vigor, Bartley, Siddik, Cadogan, Imray


Good luck to you if you can figure that one out with any confidence


Swindon Town team:

Lewis Ward (GK); Cian Harries, Mathieu Baudry, Ciaran Brennan; Harrison Minturn, Mo Dabre, Ronan Darcy, Ricky Aguiar, Remeao Hutton; Tyrese Shade, Abu Kanu

Subs: Sol Brynn, Tom Clayton, George Cowmeadow, Anton Dworzak, Sonny Hart, Harvey Fox, Tom Wynn-Davis


I await the team sheets in order to figure out what the hell is going to happen in front of me.


It is a 7pm kick-off, which is a strange time by normal standards, but does mean that I don't have to stress about catching my train home tonight, so in many ways I prefer it.


Good evening from the County Ground. Presumably most people following this game won't be in the ground tonight, because you know it's the EFL Trophy. However, it should be an interesting evening for the youngsters and fringe players and you know what happens when you feed the Cow(meadow)... he will graze.


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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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