WHAT A WEL­COME HOME FOR LING

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Ge­orge Thorpe

MARTIN LING’S re­turn to the County Ground was a suc­cess­ful one as he saw his Swin­don Town side beat Scun­thorpe United.

In Ling’s first home game in charge, cap­tain Raphael Branco and lead­ing goalscorer Nicky Ajose made it a mem­o­rable day as their goals in the space of four sec­ond-half min­utes set up the vic­tory.

Jor­dan Clarke gave the hosts a scare when he pulled one back in the 73rd minute, but the Robins were able to hang on to record their first home win since the open­ing day of the sea­son.

The 49-year-old Ling, who ap­peared 190 times for the club as a player, said he was de­lighted to see the side he be­came man­ager of on Novem­ber 3 se­cure a con­fi­dence boost­ing win.

“In the first half we looked very nervy,but we grew into the game,” he said.“The side hasn’t won too many games and that does cause nerves to come out.

“But some­times you have to stick to your phi­los­o­phy and I don’t think the play­ers lost faith and this win will give them a bit of con­fi­dence to move for­ward to Fleet­wood with.

“I would love to say it was free-flow­ing and we strolled the game, but we had to grind the re­sult out and you need that other side of the game some­times and the re­silience the lads showed was good.”

Us­ing a 3-5-2 for­ma­tion, Town’s de­fence played a dan­ger­ous game at the back, pass­ing the ball around with Iron for­wards breath­ing down their necks, but the hosts were not tak­ing ad­van­tage of this go­ing up­field.

Just as supporters’ anx­i­ety lev­els were peak­ing eight min­utes be­fore the break,Town took a more direct ap­proach and from a cor­ner nearly took the lead as David Mirfin’s at­tempted clear­ance cre­ated a goal­mouth scram­ble, while just be­fore the break Bradley Barry sent a header just wide.

Paddy Mad­den nearly gave the Iron the per­fect start to the sec­ond half as he forced a save from Lawrence Vigouroux.

Their re­ward came in the 55th minute when from Ben Glad­win’s free-kick on the right wing, Ajose forced a de­light­ful save from Joe Anyon, but fol­low­ing up was Branco who made no mis­take.

One soon be­came two as four min­utes later Town won the ball in mid­field and Glad­win put Ajose through and the striker bagged his sixth of the sea­son.

This prompted a shift which saw the Robins drop back and get men be­hind the ball, but de­spite this, the Iron got back in the game with 17 min­utes left when Clarke was crim­i­nally left free in the box at a cor­ner and the de­fender headed home.

Gary McSh­ef­frey came ag­o­nis­ingly close to equal­is­ing as his free-kick crashed off the post, but Town held out.

Iron boss Mark Robins said: “We weren’t good enough, right from the start all the way through the game.

“We could have won that game in­side the first 20 min­utes but for what­ever rea­son we de­cided to wait and take our time.

“We made a lot of poor de­ci­sions and the first goal they scored was poor from us.”

PICS: Ac­tion Im­ages

STAR MAN

BEN GLAD­WIN

Swin­don ROCKIN’ ROBINS: Paddy Mad­den and Swin­don’s Raphael Branco com­pete for the ball while, inset, Nicky Ajose cel­e­brates Town’s sec­ond goal

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