Saunders’ tin­ker­ing back fires big time

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By John Brind­ley

DEAN Saunders ad­mit­ted his bold ap­proach mis­fired as Ch­ester­field slumped to a fourth suc­ces­sive de­feat and the Welsh­man paid with his job.

The man­ager’s five changes in­cluded a three­strong front line, but his ex­per­i­men­tal line up were ripped apart by a free flow­ing Swin­don and Saunders was sacked hours af­ter the full-time whis­tle.

Saunders said: “I picked a side with a lot of sprint­ers and at­tack minded play­ers and we cre­ated nu­mer­ous chances – but de­fen­sively we were shock­ing.

“It was a really bad day for us. I know we can’t af­ford to lose 4-0 at home.

“We got a grip on the game at 2-0 and took the game to them only to be caught cold again at the start of the sec­ond half.

“I put the team out to at­tack and it’s back­fired on us. I understand the fans’ frus­tra­tion and that their com­ments aren’t per­sonal. But I’m as frus­trated as them.”

The hosts barely had a kick be­fore the slick visi­tors took a third-minute lead. Classy Ben Glad­win’s sweep­ing ball ex­posed a gap on the left side of Ch­ester­field’s de­fence and Bradley Barry’s low cross was tapped into an empty net by lead­ing scorer Nicky Ajose.

Ch­ester­field also con­trib­uted to their down­fall af­ter 14 min­utes. Louis Thomp­son found the same un­guarded space as Barry and goal­keeper Tommy Lee fum­bled his shot into the net at his near post.

Full-back Dan Jones tried to make amends but volleyed Liam O’Neill’s cross over from close range, and a 25-yard blast by Jay O’Shea rat­tled the bar as Ch­ester­field threat­ened close to the in­ter­val.

That fire was doused less than three min­utes af­ter the break when an­other good Glad­win pass re­leased Jon Obika who showed com­po­sure to find space for a low left­footed shot.

Jones’ dif­fi­cult af­ter­noon ended on a stretcher with an an­kle in­jury that will add to Ch­ester­field’s prob­lems be­fore Ajose added a fourth ten min­utes from time.

Cel­e­brat­ing his third win in four games in charge, Swin­don boss Martin Ling high­lighted his strik­ers’ form.

“It was a com­plete per­for­mance,” said Ling. “We de­fended well, we kept pos­ses­sion and the two up front were tire­less.

“Play­ing two up there al­lows the ball to stick and the oth­ers to pick their passes. Jon Obika was our best player in my view.

“We wanted to make a fast start as they’d lost three in a row and we man­aged that and they never es­caped from our stran­gle­hold all game.

“It’s not of­ten you can sit on the bench re­laxed – but that’s how it was to­wards the end.”


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