Brian Caffarey - 5th November 2009
FA Cup 1st Round
3pm on Saturday 7 November 2009
The Cards travel to the County Ground on Saturday in the knowledge that they are very much the underdogs in this tie against League 1 opposition but buoyed by their superb away form this season. Swindon, for their part, are boosted by their 4-1 away win at Tranmere last Saturday but have not been in such free-scoring form at home so far. (NB The coaches leave Kingfield at 11.45am but please be there by 11.30am)
I spoke to Graham Baker earlier this morning for an update. The good news is that it looks as if he will have no injury worries for Saturday apart, possibly, from reserve keeper, Matt Pegler. Those who saw Matt with his arm in a sling last night at the FA Youth Cup game may well have assumed, like me, that he would definitely miss Saturday’s game but, apparently, his injury is not as bad as it seems and he may well be fit enough to be on the bench. Moses Ademola is now back in full training and, though probably not ‘match fit’ enough to play 90 minutes, may well have a place on the substitutes’ bench too. Mark Ricketts and Jon Boardman have both had slight injuries but Graham is confident that they will be OK.
Graham is looking forward immensely to the tie. As he’s already said, it will be nice for his side to be underdogs for a change. They are aiming to enjoy their big day on Saturday but are certainly not going there without hope. “It’s a cup game”, he told me. “Every year, in every round, there are surprises, and there’s no reason why it couldn’t be us this time. We’ve been playing well away from home and will be doing our best to make a real game of it. It will be difficult, though. Swindon have recovered their early season form, are a solid, capable outfit and Danny Wilson will almost certainly put out a very strong side.”
Graham hopes that his senior side will play with the same spirit and endeavour as the Youth Team showed last night in defeating Dagenham and Redbridge 3-1 at the equivalent stage in the FA Youth Cup. He was delighted with the young Cards’ performance: “I thought that it was an excellent display. They showed great spirit and skill to come back from 1-0 down. They were the better side on the night even in the first half and thoroughly deserved their win and can now look forward to an exciting evening at The Valley.”
The Cards have reached this stage of the FA Cup by the following route:
FAC2Q Hythe Town 2 Woking 2
FAC2QR Woking 5 Hythe Town 1
FAC3Q Woking 2 Maidstone United 0
FAC4Q Hendon 0 Woking 5
The Cards will be hoping that they have more joy than when they travelled to Swindon in the FA Cup Third Round in 1996 when Geoff Chapple’s side went down somewhat tamely in a 2-0 defeat in front of a crowd of over 10,000, with Wayne Allison and Paul Bodin grabbing the goals.
The Robins lie in 8th place in League One with 22 points from 15 games. At home they’ve won two, drawn four and lost one, scoring and conceding six goals. As the ‘goals against’ column suggests, Swindon have a solid defence in front of experienced keeper David Lucas. JP McGovern and Anthony McNamee provide pace down the flanks, while Billy Paynter (ex-Port Vale, Hull and Southend) represents the biggest threat up front, returning last Saturday to notch two of the Robins’ goals at Tranmere.
Swindon’s recent form is as follows:
29 Sep: Exeter City 1 Swindon Town 1
3 Oct: Brentford 2 Swindon Town 3
6 Oct: Exeter City 1 Swindon Town 1 (JPT, Swindon won 5-4 on pens aet)
10 Oct: Swindon Town 1 Millwall 1
17 Oct: Swindon Town 0 Hartlepool 2
24 Oct: Norwich City 1 Swindon Town 0
31 Oct: Tranmere Rovers 1 Swindon Town 4
Swindon Town FC
The County Ground
Leaves 11.45am but please be there by 11.30am. Members £14; non-Members £19. Phone the Club Shop (01483 772470) to book.
Leave the M4 at J15. Take the Commonhead roundabout. Turn left onto A4259
Marlborough Road. Take 2nd exit at roundabout onto Queen’s Drive. At the next set of roundabouts take the 3rd exit onto County Road. The entrance to the ground is the first right. There is very little parking at the ground but there are matchday car parks in the vicinity and some street parking.
You can get to Swindon via Basingstoke and Reading. A possible journey is to catch the 11.35 from Woking to Basingstoke, arriving at 11.58, and then the 12.07 to Reading, arriving at 12.31. The 12.41 from there gets to Swindon at 13.15. (Direct trains to Swindon from Paddington run every 15 minutes, taking about an hour.)
It’s about a 10 minute walk from the station to the ground. Turn left out of the station onto Station Road. Facing the White House pub, head right onto Corporation Street. At the traffic lights turn left onto Manchester Road. At the end of this road turn right onto County Road. The entrance to the stadium is second
Admission is by payment on the day. Admission prices are:
Come on, you Cards!