Swindon: Tinker, Ryan Taylor, solider, cry

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Had the Swindon game finished 3 minutes before the actual final whistle, the title of this post would have been "Wooo, yeah OMFG w00t STAYING UP!!!!" and so on. As it is, it's a more reflective but proud consideration of our performance.

The game came off the back of Saturday's disappointing goalless draw at home to Orient, where the tactics were not to lose. Understandable, but also a shame given that a victory against the O's would have seen us six points clear of them.

But there was no caution against Swindon. The team played neat, tight football and were definitely up for it. Ok, so we only managed a couple of shots on target but when they came, they were clinical.

James Dunne's mini-slalom through the penalty area to drive low into the bottom corner from Ryan Taylor's pullback was a thing of beauty that deserves to be framed and put on a mantelpiece. And Taylor junior himself had a couple of great opportunities.

Yes, had we won it would have been a smash-and-grab raid of epic proportions. But that doesn't suggest that City weren't going for it. Swindon Town were just a very good team.

Leading at the break and holding out own, Swindon spent most of the second half attacking with intent and then some. Had Danny Wilson taken his team to the kitchen to detach the sink it wouldn't have been a surprise, as they threw everything but at us.

And weren't we magnificent. Matt Taylor was every inch the captain and his anticipation to clear a certain goal off the line was pure quality. Time and again he lead to defence, heading every ball that came his way, ably assisted by two equally heroic performances by Richard Duffy, looking like the international player he used to be, and George Friend.

And then the backline was beaten, Paul Jones was on inspired form in goal. The word quality may have been used a lot here, but hen produced two saves of the highest class in the game. Jonah can take as much of the credit for keeping Town out as anybody.

It was cruel that Captain Taylor was the man who had to turn the ball into his own net, a half-shot from Pericard that caught the defender at an awkward position and left him with nowhere to go. Cruel on us, but possibly no less than Swindon deserved. On another day, the shot would have bounced differently off Matty T and we'd be discussing a heroic and unlikely win.

Dunne again showed why he's going to be a quality player and hopefully his ankle is ok after a x-rated challenge from Billy Ward. I'm not holding anything against the ref for not sending Ward off though. It's only when you see the tackle from the front angle that you see just how nasty it was.

Ryan Taylor could have also had a penalty, but it was six of one and half a dozen of the other and a possible handball by the young striker anyway. The Rotherham loanee did well on his full debut for us, although he's still very raw. You can see what Tis likes about him though.

Hopefully the players won't be too down after that. Hopefully Tis will have told the bauys what a fantastic effort they put in and that we CAN escape the drop. Hopefully.

We're within touching distance of safety, and with Gillingham's hideous run-in and Tranmere's awful goal difference, not to mention a potential points deduction for Hartlepool for fielding an ineligible player, it's looking good.

We could easily draw every game between now and the end of the season and that should see us safe. But there's no room for complacency, and if we beat Tranmere away this weekend, we are there. Not that it'll be easy. Exeter City never take the easy route out.

Come on you Reds! WE ARE STAYING UP. Ok?

PS If you're wondering why Stanno's illness isn't covered here, it's because it's on the main TFT site.

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Happy As Larry

This is an Exeter City fan blog by Gary Andrews, covering news, views and action from the real St. James' Park.

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