Half time but must do better
Swindon Town 2 Charlton Athletic 1
I don't know about you but the game didn't fill me with an awful lot of confidence. We looked very lucklustre from the off and Swindon were finding all manor of holes in a rearguard that gave Darren Randolph little protection. Swindon should have been ahead at half-time but they weren't and I took encouragement from that thinking that we had to be better in the 2nd half.
Sure enough we started the 2nd half much brighter and I thought Bailey had scored with our first shot on goal, only to see the ball bounce back from the post. Much better I am sure we all thought until Alan Sheehan had all the time in the world to send in a fine cross and simply Charlie Austin just wanted it more than Borrowdale and Sodje. 1-0.
This did spark our best bit of the game up until that point but we lacked any edge (again). Sam just wasn't being utilised and Mooney and Burton played like strangers. Out of the blue we were one against two on a counter-attack. Why we left ourselves so exposed I'll never know and the impressive Ward scored a goal that Lloyd Sam can only dream off.
My brother text me and suggested it was all over, certainly even with 120 minutes of the tie left I had to agree with him but five minutes later a brave Deon Burton beat Swindon's keeper to a huge clearance from Randolph and we were back in it. Burton on his knees in front of the away end rallied Addicks everywhere. Minutes later he really should have got an equaliser but he just couldn't get his head on what was to be fair a swirling powerful cross.
At that point Parky's side which according to him is packed with experience and character should have taken the game to Swindon with the home crowd silent and fearing the worse but despite some decent possession and good midfield sweep-up play led by the inspirational Semedo we never looked like scoring again despite Forster, Akpo and Waggy all coming on.
The clock ticked down but a goal in the last few minutes either way would have been pivotal and three times Swindon nearly scored at the death, and Pericard should have booked their Wembley tickets for them when he headed against the post with Randolph well beaten.
My heart is out of my mouth and back in it's rightful position but it is half-time and we have not been the better side. The Valley needs to be rampant on Monday and we have to get goals from somewhere. Just two shots on target today despite a stack of well positioned free-kicks and 13 corners. Time for Nicky Bailey to move into the middle and to start with Kyel Reid. Come on you reds let's have it.