Here’s a fact about our record versus Swindon Town: Giuliano Grazioli has scored in a quarter of the encounters we’ve won. Yep – the hero of the County Ground back in 1998 knows how it feels to get the better of the Robins, which isn’t something a lot of Boro’ players since can say. With a mere four wins in 13 previous meetings, there’s work to be done to balance the books. Not least when our latest guests have nine wins to their name.
Hey, it could even turn out to be the first-ever proper draw between us. Wouldn’t that be dull?
Stevenage v Swindon Town
Lamex Stadium, Stevenage — 04 September 2021 — Sky Bet League Two
To find the Robins in League Two is a rare treat; our next opposition usually slumming it in the third tier. The last time we met was a couple of seasons ago when they were last in our league. We only managed one fixture during the 2019-20 season for obvious reasons. And it ended in a narrow defeat on 22 October 2019 at their place. The return match was meant to be played on 17 March. But, by then, we were going into lockdown…
That season was the Robins’ third attempt to get out of this division. Our 2-0 home win on 12 March 2019 didn’t help their cause towards the end of the 2018-9 season. Ilias Chair bagging from inside his own half must’ve hurt a bit too? Anyway, that win also made up for our horror start at the County Ground on 27 November 2018; Boro’ going two down in only six minutes, before rallying back to lose 3-2.
So, a three-point haul that campaign wasn’t too bad really. Not if you compare it to the 2017-8 season. Not for the first time (actually this was the first time), we lost 3-2 at the County Ground on 16 September 2017 after going two goals down in the first 13 minutes. Luke Norris got two goals for them that day. And we followed that up with a 1-0 home defeat on 30 January 2018. The dreaded double defeat. You absolutely don’t love to see it.
And, yet, in between those two fixtures, we walloped them in the FA Cup by five goals to two.
First time as equals…
Our first encounter on equal terms came after we were promoted to League One in 2011. They just so happened to have slipped into League Two, however. So, this coming together was put back a year. And we could’ve done with it being put back some more.
On 27 October 2012, the Robins came to the Lamex for the first time and they cleaned up; 4-0 the score as we were given a right battering. If that wasn’t enough for them, they nearly did an exact repeat on 20 April 2013 at their place. Instead, they were left to look quite the fools; only winning by three goals to nil as our first league encounter with them left us battered.
For all our woes during the 2013-4 season, we didn’t actually fare too badly against the Robins. Obviously we lost at their place (1-0) on 10 August 2013. They got the better of us in our area semi-final win (on penalties) in the John Stones Paint Trophy on 10 December 2013 too. But a 2-0 home win on 14 January 2014 gave us one of our rare highlights against them; ending a run of seven games without a league victory at the time too. Not that it counted for much in the end.
We’ll always have the cups…
We could go on and on about our famous FA Cup win at the County Ground on 3 January 1998. But you’ve heard it all before. Long before our promotion to the Football League, cups were the only way we’d ever have a chance of meeting the Robins. Less well known compared to that iconic day in 1998, however, was our LDV Trophy trip to the County Ground on 18 October 2005. Sadly, there was no repeat of the cup heroics. And that’s why it’s less well known…