Crewe Alexandra 3

Swindon Town 1

Swindon continued their poor run of form at league leaders Crewe Alexandra, writes Peter Mitchell.

If this display and result showed anything it was to illustrate just how hard it will be to get out of this league.

Town fielded an unchanged team from the Plymouth game, with both Keshi Anderson and Lloyd Isgrove being declared fit.

From the off Crewe didn’t allow Swindon to settle into their favoured passing game and mounted non-stop pressure. On the half-hour mark Danny Rose replaced Keshi Anderson, so Swindon’s attacking options became limited. At times the defence was run ragged and it was a huge shock when the Town went ahead, after 37 minutes, from their first attack and first shot of the game. Eoin Doyle picked up the ball near the penalty spot and drove it home.

The second half continued in much the same vein and, after an hour, the almost inevitable equaliser came when Chris Porter headed home from close range. Just when it seemed Swindon might somehow come away with something, Porter grabbed his second after a valiant effort from keeper Steven Benda had kept out the initial effort. The space and time Oliver Finney had to put in the cross was unbelievable.

Well into injury time, a poor mistake from Rob Hunt allowed Charlie Kirk to come through and wind things up.

In the end Crewe managed 21 shots compared to Swindon’s measly three. A true measure of the one sidedness of this game.

Post-match, a downbeat Richie Wellens said the team had lacked energy and, although they might have grabbed a point, they really didn’t deserve anything. He also seemed to imply that perhaps Anderson hadn’t been fully fit. Surely the coaching and medical staff at the County Ground are capable of assessing who is, and who isn’t, fit to compete and play a full part?

It’s almost November, so they need to put all these pre-season fitness excuses behind them and move forward. The players looked perfectly fit and capable four weeks ago, so what’s happened since?

The last two Saturdays has seen Town pitted against two teams who appear far superior in terms of all-round capability. Plymouth looked in such a different class that I put a small wager on them yesterday!

Swindon need to get back on track – and fast – and then find a semblance of consistency. Their first opportunity comes along quickly as they entertain bottom club, Stevenage, on Tuesday. It’s imperative that they break the Tuesday curse this time around.