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PLAYER RATINGS: Swindon Town 1-2 Port Vale
SWINDON TOWN slumped to their second home loss of the League Two season yesterday as Port Vale secured a late victory at the County Ground for the first time since 2005. Read below as Total Sport Swindon's Ryan Walker gives his Robins player ratings following the defeat.
GK: J Wollacott (8)
Found himself involved a lot more than he would’ve liked today with Port Vale’s 12 corners putting the Swindon keeper under lots of pressure. Wollacott was confident to come off his line and claim the ball out the air amidst a crowded penalty area and produced some great diving saves to keep Swindon in the game. Could do nothing to stop either of Vale’s goals.
RB: K Kesler-Hayden (6.5)
Returning from England duties, Kesler-Hayden was a thorn in the Vale defence down the right-wing but at times rushed his final ball into the box with crosses going wayward. Utilised his pace to threaten on the counter-attack and defended well when in 1v1 situations.
CB: D Conroy (6)
Demonstrated some superb defensive qualities at times including a brilliant sliding clearance from a Port Vale free-kick when facing his own goal in the 63rd minute. However was below his usual standards when on the ball and confusion with Crichlow for Vale’s second goal saw the Robins fail to clear effectively.
CB: R Crichlow (5.5)
Was a threat from set-pieces into the Port Vale box but was too casual in possession at times and often invited unwarranted pressure through either sloppy passing or poor clearances. Defended corners into the Swindon box well but looked off the pace at times.
LB: R Hunt (6)
Got forward to contribute to attacks by giving Town and extra man on the wing but struggled defensively with the majority of Vale’s most effective attacks coming down his side. Wasn’t afraid to carry the ball out of defence and try to kick-start attacks but must do better to stop crosses into the box.
CM: L Reed (7)
Produced a solid all-round performance in the middle of the pitch disrupting attacks and forcing Vale wide with very little attacking space being given in his area. Passed simply but effectively without over-complicating his job and was one of Town’s better players.
CM: B Gladwin (4.5)
In the absence of Anthony Grant, Ben Garner attempted to deploy Gladwin as a holding midfielder however this tactical decision didn’t pay off. Gladwin struggled to adapt to the role and looked confused as to whether he was meant to get forward or stay back when Swindon were in possession. Offered little in defence and would be surprised to see Garner play him in this position again.
LW: J Williams (6)
Making his first start for the club, Williams was a threat on the wing often doing well to create space for himself before putting a cross into the box. Wasn’t as much of a danger-man as Swindon fans perhaps would’ve hoped however he will be a big player for Swindon this season and needs time to gel.
CAM: J Payne (5.5)
A disappointing performance from Payne saw him have little effect on proceedings with his usual link-up play and threat in front of goal missing against Port Vale. Like many of his teammates, Payne too often conceded possession with his one-touch passing too often failing to find a Swindon player. Had a few speculative attempts on goal from distance but didn’t trouble the keeper.
RW: A Gilbert (8)
Having impressed in Tuesday’s cup victory, Gilbert was given the nod to make his full league debut for Swindon and he didn’t disappoint. His link-up play was brilliant throughout and his willingness to take opposition defenders on often saw him create space inside the Port Vale box. Assisted Simpson’s goal with a delightful ball across the face of the Vale goal and almost got himself on the scoresheet with a brilliant effort on-target in the 53rd minute.
ST: T Simpson (8.5)
Produced his best performance of the season so far, scoring Swindon’s only goal and causing problems for the Vale defenders all afternoon. Used his strength to bully opposition defenders and his hold-up play was excellent as he waited for teammates to get upfield. Clattered the woodwork with a brilliant curling effort from the edge of the box in the 72nd minute.
Jayden Mitchell-Lawson (5)
Tried to get on the ball as much as possible after being introduced with 20 minutes left but couldn’t do much to alter the end result as Vale sat back and disrupted the flow of the game through time-wasting tactics.
H Parsons (5)
Replaced Gilbert with just over ten minutes remaining and immediately picked up a yellow card as Vale took the lead. Found it hard to make an impact as Port Vale sat deep inside their own half.
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