SHAUN SEETHING AT SOFT PENALTY
ATHREE-GOAL second half burst enabled Swindon Town to reboot their faltering automatic promotion challenge, although Notts County boss Shaun Derry felt the Robins were afforded a helping hand.
This was only Swindon’s second victory in seven outings, but one which lifted them one place to third in the table, two points behind Preston North End.
Teenage Chelsea loanee John Swift eased Swindon’s nerves with the opening goal ten minutes into the second period.
Referee Gavin Ward and his assistant then intervened to help the Robins double the lead moments later, awarding Swindon a soft penalty as veteran goalkeeper Roy Carroll was adjudged to have felled Andy Williams in the box, the Swindon man dusting himself off to score from the spot.
County midfielder Liam Noble then collected a stupid red card – his third of the season – for two bookings in the space of a minute for arguing with the officials.
This then allowed space on the pitch for Harry Toffolo to add a third on the break late on.
And while admitting that Noble only has himself to blame for seeing red, Derry pointed the finger at the officials for giving his side a mountain to climb.
“I’ve looked at the video four or five times and it was never a penalty,” Derry said.
“It’s changed the whole complex of the afternoon.
“That second goal killed us and we couldn’t recover.
“I can’t stand by Liam Noble. Liam’s got himself sent off for the third time this season, it’s not sensible.
“I can’t back him. He’s got a problem in his make-up. He’s got a flaw in his character.
“I can’t help with this. I don’t think anyone can, other than Liam. He needs to look at himself very deeply.
“He’s a young footballer who is trying to stay at League One level. And has done really well when he plays but he’s not played enough.”
But while Derry was understandably aggrieved, Swindon boss Mark Cooper was delighted with result.
Particularly considering the manner in which Swindon had collapsed to a 3-0 defeat to Gillingham in midweek.
“This shows our character,” Cooper said.“I thought we played quite well never looked in danger and ran our worthy winners.
“At half-time I thought we needed to be cleverer in the final third and produce that extra bit of quality to lead to the goal.
“We didn’t pull the trigger enough in the first half but we managed to do that after the break.”
Swift, 19, who made one substitute appearance for Chelsea against Cardiff City late last season, caught the eye throughout and engineered most of the Swindon moves.
“It was brilliant goal from John Swift,” added Cooper.
“He’s made himself a yard and bent one in the corner. It was a lovely finish. He’s got tremendous ability.”
STAR MAN JOHN SWIFT
n Swindo FLYING HIGH: John Swift celebrates his goal for Swindon