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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 12 Jan 13 at 16:50 PM

Andy Williams scored a late equaliser to earn Swindon a point on a rainy afternoon at the Goldsands Stadium.

Harry Arter smashed the ball past goalkeeper Wes Foderingham after 25 minutes to open the scoring, but Williams struck five minutes from time to deny the Cherries an important win.

The hosts did however equal a club record by extending their unbeaten run to 18 games.

While David James made important save in both halves before Williams scored late on, the Cherries created the better chances and will be disappointed not to have claimed all three points.

Manager Eddie Howe made three changes to his starting line-up with David James, Lewis Grabban and Brett Pitman returning to the fold, while Wes Thomas was named amongst the substitutes.

It was the first time Thomas had been included in a squad since returning from a loan spell at Blackpool ten days ago.

With the rain pouring down, both sides went in search of an early goal. It took a fine reflex save from James to prevent Tommy Miller opening the scoring after just four minutes.

The midfielder sent in a powerful strike from the edge of the area, but could only watch on as the Cherries ‘keeper pushed the shot over the bar.

At the other end of the pitch, Steve Cook and Arter had chances, only to see their close range efforts blocked by last-ditch tackles from Swindon defenders.

The game was promising to be a pulsating contest and it wasn’t long before the Robins were on the attack again. Miller once again found some space in the penalty area and glanced a header wide.

The Cherries took the lead through Arter shortly before the half hour mark. Having picked up a loose ball on the edge of the area, the midfielder kept his cool to send a well-placed shot beyond Wes Foderingham. 

It was the first goal the Robins had conceded in over a month and the first in 465 minutes of football.

The capacity crowd would have breathed a collective sigh of relief after James Collins wasted a great opportunity to equalise ten minutes later. The striker capitalised on Cook’s slip and sidestepped round James, 
only to smash his shot well wide from 12 yards out.

Howe’s side pushed for a second late on in the first half and Pitman saw his shot blocked after a slick passing move.

The two teams left the pitch with the rain still falling heavilyand referee Phil Gibbs took the decision to extend half-time by five minutes to allow the groundstaff to improve the playing surface.

Their efforts were sufficient and the second half got underway shortly afterwards much to the delight of the Cherries supporters.

Undeterred by the conditions, the hosts made a bright start and Arter went close to scoring his second of the afternoon. The 22-year-old burst into the area before having low shot saved by Foderingham.

Aside from a shot from substitute Chris Martin, the Cherries looked comfortable and Charlie Daniels guided a header narrowly wide.

However, they once again had James to thank after another great save. The experienced ‘keeper used his feet to turn away Matt Ritchie’s shot when he looked certain to score.

The game finished as it began with chances for both sides. James collected Martin’s close range, while Pitman was unlucky to see his shot bounce wide.

Howe sent on Thomas, Wes Fogden and Richard Hughes in a bid to see out the game, but there was heart break late on as Williams forced in a leveller.

James rushed out to clear a through ball but his clearance was picked up by Williams, who found the back of the net from 20 yards.

Cherries: James, Francis, Cook, Elphick, Daniels, McQuoid (Fogden 73), Arter, O’Kane, Pugh, Grabban, Pitman (Thomas 74).

Unused substitutes: Jalal, Partington, Hughes, McDermott, Tubbs, Thomas.

Booked: Thomas.

Swindon: Foderingham, Devera, Thompson, Ward, Ritchie, Roberts (De Vita 65), McCormack, Miller (Ferry 74), Hollands, Collins (Martin 55), Williams.

Unused substitutes: Bedwell, Flint, Navarro, Rooney.

Attendance: 8, 777 (1, 374 Swindon supporters).

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