Swindon played Bell upfront instead of Pericard.
I had a load of questions:
Would Fletch last 60 minutes?
How was Austin going to play?
Would Bournemouth turn up at the kick off?
Is Pearce, Terry Butcher long lost sibling or love child? (the bandage was great!!!!)
Lots of questions were soon answered, it was like a different dog, the hare was released and we were up for it.
Pugh and Pearce somehow both missed in the first five minutes. Then unseen by many Austin gave away a penalty on ten minutes, and Pugh took it, Phil Smith saved it but the ball came back to Pugh who popped it into the net.
Now the secondary school teacher who was refereeing decided that every decision he should make either way should be a tad confusing, controversial ,if not totally barmy! I had teachers like him!!!!
Whilst he was having his funny half hour, with twenty minutes gone, Bell laid the ball off to Matt Ritchie who scored an excellent goal. I still think he (that is Ritchie) would be an asset and the way he acted at the end of the game was gracious and sporting and a credit to the young man.
After thirty minutes Pugh was fouled the ball ran to Taylor just inside the box (who throughout tried and you just feel he is a goal away.) At which point a defender want to check what he was wearing under his shorts, Taylor fell as if someone was trying to remove his trousers. The ref decided he dived. Booked him, at which point many thought that the referees strike had come south of the Border and we had a ref sponsored by specsavers.
A couple of further missed chances for Fletch and Taylor left you feeling anxious about the second half.
The second half started slowly until the impressive Smith broke down the right and ended up in a wrestling match with Sheehan. Sheehan was rightly booked but I believe he has applied for the intake of “NXT” in the WWE.
Around the 60th minute it all gets tasty Taylor who did well is replaced by Ings Pericard who has also come on ensures Jalal pulls off the save of the game absolutely game saving and changing. .Soon after the referee decides that a fair tackle from Marvin deserves a booking.
Timlin comes on for Swindon and the game is stretched, Pruttons influence has gone. Timlin decides to remove the legs of Smith the poor lad had only fifteen minutes earlier he had been wrestled to ground. Timlin is rightly booked.
Near the 80th minute Ings has a shot deflected and from the resulting corner a throw ensues and Terry Butcher scores the best goal of his career(sorry Jason). An outstanding overhead scissor kick into the top right corner.
After which the game peters out and Pugh is replaced by Bradbury, and Swindon prove themselves worse than us when a goal down.
You might have noticed no mention of Austin, in my opinion you could see he has talent and he tried to hard, and he always went for the spectacular and when one wayward shot went for a throw the jeers he received were “ Mitchell Johnson esq.
In conclusion .....
Some players I seen play better Pugh, Feeney and Wiggins but they were ok.
Cooper, Bartley, Robinson, Fletch, Taylor and Ings all did well.
Sometimes a MOM goes to the obvious candidate and although Smith was excellent, Pearce a man mountain. I have given my man of the match to Jalal.
It might seem strange but the save from Pericard was world class and at a time when I felt like may others "the next Goal wins".
AFCB: Jalal, Smith, Cooper, Pearce, Wiggins, Feeney, Bartley, Robinson, Pugh, Fletcher, Taylor
Subs: Stewart, Cummings, Arter, Hollands, Symes, Ings (for Taylor, 59 mins), Bradbury (for Pugh, 81 mins)
Clive Deverill, Swindon