Cooper forced to fo­cus on play-offs

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Chris Spit­tles

SWIN­DON Town boss Mark Cooper ad­mit­ted his team’s au­to­matic pro­mo­tion chances are as good as over af­ter they suf­fered a shock de­feat against rel­e­gated Yeovil.

On a day when MK Dons thrashed Ley­ton Ori­ent, the Robins were waste­ful in front of goal af­ter dom­i­nat­ing pos­ses­sion and ter­ri­tory through­out.

Yeovil scored from a rare attack in the sec­ond half when James Ber­rett beat Wes Foder­ing­ham from the edge of the penalty area.

And af­ter Swin­don saw Ben Glad­win hit the post and a Michael Smith ef­fort de­flected on to the cross­bar, Cooper in­sisted Town must now fo­cus on the play-offs de­spite still har­bour­ing a math­e­mat­i­cal chance of fin­ish­ing sec­ond.

He said: “We can’t af­ford to be that sloppy in the fi­nal third of the pitch. We’ve picked a bad time to fluff our chance.

“But we know what we’ve got to do now.We know where we are and we’ve got to get ev­ery­one rested up be­cause our chance will come through the play-offs.

“We have to try to re­main calm. There’s a lot of frus­tra­tion about, none more so than my­self and the play­ers, but we’ve got to come back to train­ing and make sure we get things right and fresh for the play-offs.

“We need to go into those games in good spirit and good form. Foot­ball’s a strange game and some­times when you think you have an open­ing it’s slammed in your face.”

Swin­don had a great chance early in the game when Nathan Byrne’s cross pre­sented Jon Obika with an open goal, but the striker’s shot hit the side-netting.

Glad­win was next to threaten as his curl­ing shot rat­tled the post, while Obika also headed wide.

But on 58 min­utes it was Yeovil who went ahead as Ber­rett’s shot from 25 yards beat Foder­ing­ham at his near post. Swin­don con­tin­ued to pour for­ward but were un­able to find a goal, their clos­est at­tempt com­ing when Smith’s shot was cleared to safety by Josh Shee­han via the cross­bar.

Yeovil are now un­beaten in three games un­der new manager Paul Stur­rock and have won two games in a row against teams in the play-off po­si­tions in Sh­effield United and Swin­don.

Stur­rock said: “I'm very pleased.

“We worked hard on our sys­tem to com­bat Swin­don’s strengths and we de­fended very well.

“We knew we would have to hit them on the counter-attack and in the sec­ond half we man­aged to do that with James’ goal.

“The boys were a bit low on con­fi­dence but so far we've man­aged to cut down their mis­takes and the re­sults have im­proved.”

STAR MAN BEN GLADW

IN Swindo

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