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PLAYER RATINGS: Swindon Town (1) v (1) Harrogate Town
SWINDON TOWN managed to keep their unbeaten November run alive as Jack Payne's late penalty rescued a point for the Robins in a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Harrogate yesterday. Read below as Total Sport Swindon's Ryan Walker gives his player ratings.
Manager Rating: Ben Garner (5)
Garner has been brilliant with Swindon this season but got his tactics all wrong yesterday as he tried to employ a system of encouraging Harrogate on to Swindon with JoJo Wollacott often receiving the ball at his feet. Garner decided to drop in-form Harry McKirdy for Ben Gladwin and the decision failed to make the required impact as Gladwin struggled before being replaced in the second half.
GK: Jojo Wollacott (6.5)
Received the ball way more often than usual as Swindon employed a new tactic but looked lost when being asked to dribble the ball out of his box before hoofing a long ball upfield that rarely found its desired target. Made some smart saves to keep Swindon in the game but wasn’t his best afternoon when in possession.
RWB: Kaine Kesler-Hayden (6)
Was at fault for the first goal after allowing Jack Diamond to outmuscle him as the striker got on the end of a goal-kick and slotted his shot through the legs of Wollacott. Kesler-Hayden was bright down the right-wing and got kicked by numerous Harrogate players who struggled to deal with the attacking full-back. The Aston Villa loanee is a threat down the wing for Swindon but must improve his shooting.
CB: Rob Hunt (6)
Kept his place in the team despite Romoney Crichlow recovering from injury and endured a difficult afternoon as Harrogate played man-for-man and Hunt was limited of time on the ball. Did brilliantly to hook Diamond’s early effort on goal off the line to keep Swindon in the game.
CB: Dion Conroy (5.5)
Making his 100th appearance for the club, Swindon skipper Dion Conroy struggled for large parts of the match as he was hounded whenever in possession which denied him the opportunity to carry the ball out of defence in his usual fashion. Nearly cost Swindon a goal after a breakdown in communication with his keeper in the opening 10 minutes as Hunt had to clear the effort off the line.
CB: Akin Odimayo (5)
Was the main ball carrier out of defence for Swindon but took too long on the ball at times as Swindon found it difficult to get into the game. That being said his tackling was good and his doggedness to put pressure on opposition players helped Swindon win back possession on countless occasions.
LWB: Ellis Iandolo (4)
Iandolo has seemed off the pace lately and put in another below-par performance against Harrogate as he struggled to put dangerous crosses into the box. Was given very little support on the left-wing however and did seem to have to do lots of the work himself down that channel whenever balls were looped over the top for him to chase. Should’ve had a penalty at the end but was instead shown a yellow card for simulation.
CM: Louis Reed (6)
The fact that Reed struggled to have the influence he usually does on proceedings is a credit to the intense press of Harrogate. Reed was still one of Swindon’s better players but his passing wasn’t at its best as he looked to play first-time balls round the corner for Swindon’s attackers. Failed to work the keeper with a few shots from range but improved as the match went on and Harrogate’s energy levels dropped.
CM: Jack Payne (6.5)
Scored from the penalty spot to score for the third consecutive game, taking his tally for the season to 8 and rescuing a point for Swindon. Would’ve had a contender for goal of the season after dribbling past two defenders, nutmegging one of them, and having his shot blocked in the 54th minute.
CM: Ben Gladwin (3)
Came into the starting XI for Harry McKirdy and failed to impress as he too often gave the ball away and seemed to take too long on the ball when quick play was required. Made up for his error in the 6th minute after first giving the ball away in midfield and had to chase back to put in a key tackle on Jack Diamond as the attacker was about to pull the trigger.
CAM: Jonny Williams (7)
Was one of the few bright sparks for Swindon frequently kick-starting attacks and demanding the ball as he dribbled at Harrogate’s defence. Seemed to pop up all around the pitch and at times acted as a support striker to Simpson but didn’t test the keeper as much as he would have liked to.
ST: Tyreece Simpson (5)
His lack of movement around the Harrogate defence made it easy for the opposition defenders to keep Simpson under control as the striker endured a difficult afternoon with a lack of service into him not helping things. Simpson has scored 8 goals for Swindon this season and will be hoping a congested December will gift him the chance to be on double digits by Christmas.
Harry McKirdy (6)
McKirdy would have been frustrated after being dropped in favour of Gladwin but was introduced in the 58th minute as Swindon went in search of an equaliser. Didn’t make an immediate impact on the game but started to have more influence with his runs off the ball causing problems as Harrogate started to tire. McKirdy has been one of Swindon’s best players this season and will surely be back in the starting line-up for next weekends FA Cup game.
Jayden Mitchell-Lawson (6)
Brought on in the 79th minute and two minutes later had won Swindon a penalty after being brought down by Lewis Page in the box. Mitchell-Lawson hasn’t played as many minutes as he would’ve liked this season but now back to full fitness will be hoping to force his way into the thoughts of Ben Garner.
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