The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Nick Web­ster

SCIN­TIL­LAT­ING Swin­don lit up the County Ground in a seven-goal thriller to de­mol­ish Sh­effield United and send their big­gest hint that yet they could be gen­uine pro­mo­tion can­di­dates this sea­son.

At odds of 38-1 for pro­mo­tion at the start of the cam­paign, Town now look a shrewd bet to chal­lenge the top six. Boss Mark Cooper isn’t get­ting car­ried away though and is wor­ried about his side’s soft cen­tre.

“As well as we’ve played we’ve not de­fended prop­erly again and could have drawn this,” he said.“It needs to be ad­dressed but it was a fan­tas­tic spec­ta­cle and we played some fan­tas­tic foot­ball.

“We to­tally con­trolled the first half and the only down­side was it was just 1-0.

“At 3-0 up the game should have been over but we let them back in.

“It was too easy for them to get crosses in the box and we didn’t mark prop­erly.

“For­tu­nately, we changed the mo­men­tum of the game. They were all tremen­dous and we could have had more.”

Smith was at his ram­pag­ing best up front and gave the United back four prob­lems right from the off.

His cool right-footed strike past Howard on 14 min­utes opened the scor­ing. But it was the im­pres­sive Aussie Mas­simo Luongo who won the sec­ond after jink­ing into the box be­fore he was hacked down by Neil Collins.

Luongo was left with a nasty gash on his knee, but Smith stepped up to stroke his penalty past Howard with ease. Two goals from Michael Smith sent Town on their way be­fore three goals in an ac­tion packed ten min­utes set up a fran­tic fi­nale.

Dead­line day sign­ing Jon Obika smashed his shot past Mark Howard to give the Robins a three-goal lead. But dozy de­fend­ing from the home side gave United a foothold when Marc McNulty pounced on a loose ball and blasted high into the roof of the net from close range.

And it was 3-2 just min­utes later when sub­sti­tute Ryan Flynn floated a ball into the back post leav­ing Ben Davies with a sim­ple right footed fin­ish.

Town re­trieved their two goal cush­ion when Andy Wil­liams was played through after an inch per­fect pass by Louis Thomp­son. His left­footed strike past Howard wasn’t per­fect, but enough to fire Swin­don into a 4-2 lead.

Louis Thomp­son rounded off the goal fest with a thun­der­bolt strike into the top cor­ner.

Blades boss Nigel Clough said: “We’ve let in seven goals now in two games, that is the big­gest worry.

“We need to get new play­ers in and we will have to work on be­ing bet­ter or­gan­ised.

“If peo­ple don’t do their ba­sic jobs then it all goes out the win­dow.

“Scor­ing two goals away from home should be enough to get at least a point.

“There was a spell where we could have gone on to get a third.

“Swin­don are a good foot­balling side and con­fi­dent at home. But we have to com­bat that and be bet­ter on the ball.

“We gave it away too cheaply.”

PIC­TURES: Blades Sports Pho­tog­ra­phy

PARTY TIME: Michael Smith cel­e­brates Swin­don’s third

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