Just for a moment there, our hopes flickered a little brighter in the mundane darkness that is League Two. We might just be having a breakdown, sure – we’ve been listening to a lot of Ed Sheeran recently. But we’re kinda thinking the pressure (if there was any) is off us now. Our hopes of making the playoffs have receded as much as the hairline of Bobby Charlton in his World Cup-winning pomp.
There’s still that flappy bit, but it does not look good.
Stevenage v Swindon Town: The Lowdown
Next up at the Lamex is a Swindon side sitting a point and a place above us. With a match in hand to play with, their promotion hopes still burn – maybe a little brighter than ours. But we both look as if we’ll need a blindin’ last 10-or-so games to gatecrash this particular party now. For us, that means finding consistency and putting two wins together. So that ain’t happening. For the Robins? They’ve shown they can lately, to be fair.
And let’s face it – if we’re level on 90 minutes, there’s every chance Swindon are taking home the points.
P11 W3 D0 L8 F14 A21; last result: Swindon Town 3-2 Stevenage, 27/11/2018
If it’s a good omen you’re after, our head-to-head record against the Robins is much like Luton – not the place to be. A return of three wins in 11 outings is bad enough, but two of them came in the FA Cup – so that means one was back in the 1990s. Weirdly enough, the one time we beat them in the league was on the way to being relegated from League One in 2014. We’re not in a survival scrap or the Cup here, so don’t get your hopes up.
Expectation management, innit.
P4 W2 D0 L2 F7 A5; last result: Stevenage 0-1 Crewe Alexandra, 20/10/2018
Type in ‘referee Craig Hicks‘ into Google and the fourth link (that we got) is this tweet, which is enough to fill you with confidence innit? There’s a first time for everything, and – this time – we hope it’s the first time our current gaffer gets a win when this ref is involved. It’s match five in our short, shared history and it’s two wins for Darren Sarll and two defeats for Dino so far. To be fair, one of those was against a strong Norwich side.
Going five without a win isn’t the type of form that catapults you into the promotion picture, which is pretty much why our hopes are now gone. For our oppo, it’s 14 points from a possible 24. Not too shabby, is it? But they come to us off the back of a 2-1 defeat to Carlisle. And with the Cumbrians sitting seventh as things are, they’re the one team you don’t want to be losing to if you’re on the hunt for their seat at the playoff table.
The Robins’ home form is letting them down this term, with half of their 50 points coming on the road. It’s no wonder, therefore, they’ve scored in 75% of their matches away from the County Ground. For Boro’, striking early could be the key as the Robins are seemingly vulnerable early doors; more than a quarter of the goals let in have come in the first 15. Our big issue here is that, out of our 40 goals this season, just two came that early.
And we don’t even wanna begin to think about our new habit of conceding at the death.
• MORE ABOUT ‘EM: Swindon Town club profile