The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Richard Latham

UN­DER-FIRE Swin­don boss Luke Wil­liams took a swipe at his crit­ics af­ter Billy Bodin’s goal in­creased the threat of a pro­longed rel­e­ga­tion bat­tle.

In­sist­ing he would never quit, Wil­liams sug­gested that a sec­tion of fans are will­ing him to fail.

He said: “It’s the tough­est ex­pe­ri­ence of my life in foot­ball at the mo­ment, but not the tough­est ex­pe­ri­ence of my life in gen­eral, be­cause it is a won­der­ful gift to be able to work in the game.

“I’m grate­ful for this op­por­tu­nity to show my colours and prove my­self.

“I hear peo­ple try­ing to make their point and urge me to quit, hop­ing I will crum­ble un­der what they per­ceive to be pres­sure.

“That is not the man I am. I have sac­ri­ficed a huge amount to work for Swin­don Town. I live in the town and love the club.

“The group of men in our dressing room are hugely im­por­tant to me and I will never turn my back on them or stop try­ing for them.”

Bodin, who was brought up at Swin­don and whose fa­ther Paul was a Robins favourite, de­cided a low-key west coun­try derby with a 29th-minute shot from just out­side the box.

The ball hit the in­side of one post and rolled along the goalline to strike the other up­right be­fore spin­ning into the net.

It was enough to beat a Swin­don side whose best ef­forts came in the clos­ing stages when shots from Ben Glad­win and John God­dard were de­flected wide.

Rovers man­ager Dar­rell Clarke said: “It was a crack­ing strike from Billy, who has that in his locker.

“I was dis­ap­pointed that we didn’t go in at half-time with a big­ger lead.

“You have to credit Swin­don be­cause they cleared a cou­ple of balls off the line and gave ev­ery­thing for the cause.

“They came back into the game a bit in the sec­ond half, with­out caus­ing us many prob­lems.

“It’s a clean sheet, which is some­thing we need to build on.

“I thought Ryan Sweeney didn’t put a foot wrong for us on his de­but and we de­fended solidly through­out. I can’t re­mem­ber Joe Lum­ley hav­ing a save of note to make.

“We had a game plan to press Swin­don high up the field and the play­ers ex­e­cuted it re­ally well. I’m de­lighted.” Nine­teen-year-old Sweeney, on loan un­til the end of the sea­son from Stoke City, was a giant in the cen­tre of Rovers’ de­fence and al­most marked his de­but with a goal but his first-half header was cleared off the line. Matt Tay­lor hit the cross­bar with a 77th-minute rocket from out­side the box as Rovers cre­ated most of the clear chances. Swin­don’s com­mit­ted dis­play lacked a cut­ting edge and they could have no complaints.

PIC­TURES: ProS­ports/ Gary Lear­month

BILLY WHIZ: Billy Bodin takes on Nathan Thompson

BODES WELL: Bodin is mobbed by Rovers play­ers

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