ROBINS TURN COOPER GREY!

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Nick Brad­shaw To com­ment on this match go to http://boards.footy­mad.net/

NATHAN BYRNE net­ted Swin­don’s win­ner as they com­pleted a stun­ning sec­ond-half come­back against Port Vale to put their play-off push back on track but man­ager Mark Cooper was not get­ting car­ried away.

Left-back Byrne fired home Swin­don’s third 20 min­utes from time af­ter goals from Nile Ranger and Spurs loa­nee Alex Pritchard had dragged the Robins back level.

Vale had been in con­trol at the break cour­tesy of strikes from cap­tain Doug Loft and Tom Pope but their frag­ile de­fence crum­bled in the sec­ond half to leave Swin­don eye­ing a place in the top six.

Vic­tory leaves the Robins four points shy of a play-off berth but boss Cooper is preach­ing cau­tion, say­ing:“Ask me af­ter an­other ten games if we are good enough to get into the play-offs.

“If we can get on a run, that'll make the dif­fer­ence but any­one can beat any­one this sea­son.

“It was a fan­tas­tic come­back. We were 2-0 down with­out do­ing a lot wrong and Port Vale scored with the two at­tempts they had.

“We told them to keep go­ing at half time be­cause we were play­ing well and we were out­stand­ing again in the sec­ond half.

“They are good play­ers but they are go­ing to make it hard for them­selves if they keep go­ing two goals be­hind – it is giv­ing me more grey hairs!”

Cooper must have been scratch­ing his head at half-time af­ter see­ing Vale stretch ahead with their only chances of the half as Loft con­verted Jen­ni­son MyrieWil­liams’ cen­tre be­fore Pope prod­ded home a loose ball in­side the Swin­don box.

But it was a dif­fer­ent story af­ter the in­ter­val as Ranger pulled one back for the Robins on 51 min­utes, head­ing home Pritchard’s cross.

Michael Smith and Ranger then both rat­tled the wood­work be­fore Pritchard, on a sea­son long loan from White Hart Lane, pro­duced a mo­ment of rare qual­ity in the match, lev­el­ling with a thump­ing free-kick from 25 yards shortly af­ter the hour mark. Vale were on the ropes and Bryne duly de­liv­ered the knock­out blow, scram­bling Michael Smith’s cross past the de­spair­ing dive of keeper Chris Neal. It was the third time in as many matches that Vale had con­ceded three goals – and boss Micky Adams has promised to ring the changes ahead of the mid­week visit of Colch­ester.

He said: “We work on our de­fend­ing ev­ery day – not just the back four, the whole unit – and to con­cede the goals we have re­cently is crim­i­nal.

“We’ll have to find the so­lu­tion some­where and if that means mak­ing changes, we’ll do that.

“Look­ing at the goals we con­ceded, we should do bet­ter for all three. We just haven’t de­fended well enough.

“We’re dis­ap­pointed. It’s prob­a­bly a lit­tle bit too sim­plis­tic to say that with the wind, we scored two goals and with the wind they scored three.We got pun­ished by some good play­ers – Ranger, Pritchard and Mas­simo Luongo all played well for them and we’ve not go close enough to them.”

PIC­TURES: Me­dia Im­age Ltd

STAR MAN ALEX PRITCH

ARD Swindo

n HUD­DLE: Swin­don play­ers cel­e­brate Alex Pritchard’s equaliser

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