Wimborne again suffered quick fire heart ache late on as Swindon score twice in the space of a minute to take all three points at the Webbswood Stadium.
Tuesday night’s Southern League clash saw Wimborne travel to Swindon on a chilly evening. The pitch looked brilliant, achieved with lots of care and maintenance. Paddy Hester made a first start since recovering from injury at left back with Matty Oldring and Scott Arnold as the two centre backs. Curtis Young was unavailable, having called off with illness earlier in the day.
After some disappointing corners, Swindon’s Brad Gray struck a low ball towards the middle of the goal which Gerard saved in the 7th minute. A great cross from Luke Burbidge from the right-hand side headed towards star striker Toby Holmes, who had the far post all to himself, but couldn’t get to the ball in time as it went out for a goal kick. Again, Stefan Penny lobbed a ball over for Toby as he just ran past the defence, but goalkeeper Kevin Sawyer collected the ball before he could even strike.
From Gerard’s long clearance, a scramble within the box saw Toby darting towards the keeper and fired a low ball. It rebounded off Sawyer to Jerel Ifil who decided to be Wimborne’s twelfth man as from lying on the floor he swiped his boot to the ball in the direction of the goal and scored an own goal to give the visitors the lead. The unfortunate Ifil covered his face in astonishment of his own actions in the 36th minute.
An eye dazzling volley from Swindon’s Joe Shepherd almost caught Wimborne off guard when the ball bounced off from the bar. Wimborne retaliated with a quick counter attack, as Toby was played through once again but was unable to get to the ball in time.
Swindon made a double substitution at half-time and it nearly paid an immediate dividend when a dangerous low cross was played for substitute Ryan Campbell who curled a first-time shot just over the bar. But the Wimborne fans relief did not last long. A misjudged decision for a corner by the linesman allowed Swindon to run on the counter attack for Conor McDonagh to equalise in the 54th minute.
The visitors regained their lead just 8 minutes later. Running on to a defence-splitting pass from Luke Holmes, Hester dribbled past Swindon’s defence on the by-line and pulled the ball back to Stefan Penny who buried it in the 62nd minute.
However, scoring the second goal only gave Swindon more motivation to come back into the game and it was evident within the last 15 minutes. Campbell received a through ball on the left side of the box and again struck a low shot which came back off the post in the 75th minute. Moments later saw Gray whip in a similar low ball for striker Stuart Fleetwood who missed a golden opportunity as it just went wide.
On 82minutes, Swindon levelled the game again as Gray slotted the ball towards the bottom left corner past Gerard. Hopes of the visitors holding on to at least gain a point were dashed a minute later when the unmarked Stuart Fleetwood fired home from a cross.
Not for the first time this season the Magpies have conceded late goals which have snatched a deserved result away. On Saturday they travel to Basingstoke once more for an F.A. Trophy game. Let’s hope for a better result this time.
Swindon, who hadn’t scored in their three previous meetings against Wimborne, ran out 3-2 winners and make it three games unbeaten and climb to 17th. Wimborne sit 19th, one point ahead of Kings Langley though with two games in hand.
Max Emes reports.
1. Kev Sawyer 2. Dan Williamson 3. Michael Hopkins © (12. Ryan Campbell 46’) 4. Joe Shepherd 5. Matt Coupe 6. Jerel Ifil (17. Babz Jarra 46’) 7. Brad Gray 8. Brad Hooper (15. Luke Williams 70’) 9. Stuart Fleetwood 10.Conor McDonagh 11. Connor Thompson
Subs not used: 14. Dave Bampton 16. Zak Westlake
Goalscorers: Conor McDonagh 52’, Brad Gray 82’, Stuart Fleetwood 83’
Yellow Cards: None
Red Card: None
Wimborne Town FC
1. Gerard Benfield 2. Jordan Lee 3. Paddy Hester (12. Louis Kellaway 75’) 4. Scott Arnold © 5. Matty Oldring 6. Franklyn Clarke 7. James Stokoe 8. Luke Holmes 9. Toby Holmes 10. Luke Burbidge 11. Stefan Penny
Subs not used: 13. David Walsh 15 Rhys Owen** 16.** Aiden Shepherd
Goalscorers: Jerel Ifil o.g. 36’, Stefan Penny 62’
Yellow Cards: Luke Holmes 40’, Matty Oldring 73’
Red Cards: None
Referee: Dale Wootton (Bishops Cleeve)
Assistant Referees: Alan Overthrow (Abbeydale), Graham Pugh (Stroud)