COOPER AFTER GOALS GALORE
MANAGER Mark Cooper believes a lack of goals is behind Swindon Town’s stuttering promotion push as they were pulled to pieces by a stirring second-half fight back by Scunthorpe United.
The Robins went in front a minute before half-time courtesy of Michael Smith’s curling 20-yard finish, but failed to kick on after the break and the Iron ran out deserved winners, scoring three times in 17 minutes.
No-one has picked up more points on their travels in League One than Swindon, but this was their third successive away loss and the first time they have been beaten in back-to-back matches this term, on the back of a 2-1 defeat at Oldham four days previously.
“While it’s only 1-0 and you’re dominating and creating chances, you know there is going to be a sting in the tail,” groaned Cooper.
“If you don’t finish the game off when you’re on top, you often leave the back door open. The amount of opportunities and pressure we had around the box, we shouldn’t have been scoring only one goal.
“I don’t know if the players are getting edgy but we’ve scored two goals in our last three away games when we’ve dominated for large periods.We have to score more.
“Whatever team we pick for the next game, we’ve got to have scoring goals in mind.”
Swindon shaded an entertaining first half, with Smith firing in from outside the penalty area barely a minute before the break. They almost snatched a second straight after, but goalkeeper Luke Daniels brilliantly tipped over Andy Williams’ header.
Scunthorpe had much more of a purpose to their play after the break and forced the visitors into some sloppy defensive play – which they then punished.
Neal Bishop headed against the bar during a spell of pressure which ended with Paddy Madden finding the bottom corner in the 62nd minute.
The Iron survived a scare when Williams smacked the face of the bar with an effort from range and then completed what had looked an unlikely turnaround when Niall Canavan headed in from a corner.
Striker Kevin van Veen, signed from Dutch second division outfit FC Oss in January, bagged his first goal for the club with a cheeky chip – after capitalising on a mistake by Swindon skipper Nathan Thompson – to round off the victory.
Not surprisingly, Iron boss Mark Robins was beaming at the final whistle.
“I thought we were brilliant in the second half.The difference to the first half was we really meant what we were doing,” Robins said. “The players have been magnificent. From what I’ve seen this season, Swindon are the best in the division. They are up there on merit. I like the way they play, but we nullified it.
“They were always going to get chances, but we limited them to few and took ours when they came along. Some of the goals were fantastic and I’m delighted we got one from a set play.”
HITTING HARD: Michael Smith scores the first goal for Swindon HEADS UP: Niall Canavan scores the second goal for Scunthorpe