A narrow defeat last weekend but we look ahead to our trip to the County Ground, where the hosts Swindon Town have made an impressive start to the season.
In the Dugout:
Swindon Town boss Ben Garner started his coaching career at Crystal Palace in 2005 as Academy coach before becoming First Team coach seven years later.
He moved onto West Bromwich Albion and ATK in India before getting his first management job at Bristol Rovers in December 2019. He lasted less than a year in charge and was sacked in November 2020. He was appointed manager of Swindon Town in July 2021.
Ben Garner on our current form “They're a good side who perhaps could have taken more points than they have. They played really well against FGR and deserved the win. They scored twice early, and then from there their defence was resolute. Darrell (Clarke) will have them motivated, but we're going to focus on our plan and how we can hurt them”.
Man with the Armband:
25-year-old Dion Conroy captains the Robins in his sixth season for the club. In his youth career he had a short spell with Fulham before moving onto Chelsea where he spent ten years of his career including one year as a professional but did not make an appearance.
Instead, he was sent out on loan to Aldershot in 2016 before making a permanent move to Swindon from Chelsea in January 2017.
This season, Conroy has been an important part of the Swindon Town defence which kept three clean sheets in a row from the 17th to the 28th of August against Tranmere Rovers, Salford City and Mansfield Town.
Vice-captain Jack Payne has been vital to Swindon’s great start in the league playing every minute of every game and scoring three goals making him the club’s top scorer so far this season. He spent his youth career with Southend United and made his professional debut for the side in 2013 making 77 appearances before moving onto Huddersfield Town three years later.
As a Terrier he went on loan to Oxford United, Blackburn Rovers and Bradford City until he made a permanent move to Lincoln City in 2019. A year later he signed for Swindon in August 2020. This season he has three goals to his name, scoring against Scunthorpe United, Salford City and Stevenage.
Last time out and recent form:
Swindon are undefeated in their last five games, winning three times and drawing twice. Four of those games have been in the league where they picked up eight points helping them to solidify their place in the top seven in the early stages of the season. The Robins’ last game was at home to Arsenal U21s.
Swindon took the lead on 17 minutes through Mohammad Dabre but his goal was cancelled out four minutes after the half hour mark by Arsenal’s Dutch forwards Joel Ideho. Swindon got the winning goal on 69 minutes as Arsenal attacker Kido Taylor-Hart put the ball in his own net to give the Robins their first three points of the group stage.
The County Ground has a capacity of 15,728 and was opened in 1892. Next to Swindon’s scoreboard is a Rolex clock which has been a feature of the stadium since 1963 after the club was promoted to the Second Division. It is the only Rolex clock at any football stadium in the world. The ground has also hosted England women’s national team, most recently a friendly against Spain in 2019.
Travelling from the East and West
Leave the M4 at Junction 15. Take the Commonhead Roundabout. Turn left onto the A4259 Marlborough Road. Take the 2nd exit at the roundabout onto Queens Drive. At the next set of roundabouts take the 3rd exit onto County Road. The entrance to the ground is on the first right.
Travelling from the Midlands
Take the M40 to Junction 9. Then take the A43, A34 and then the A420 into Swindon. At Drakes’ Roundabout turn onto Queen’s Drive. At the next set of roundabouts take the 3rd exit onto County Road, the entrance to the stadium is the first right.
Travelling by train
From the front of the station turn left onto Station Road. Facing the White House pub, head right onto Corporation Street. At the traffic lights turn left onto Manchester Road. At the end of Manchester Road turn right onto County Road. The entrance to the stadium is the second left. This walk should take approximately 10 minutes.
There are limited spaces available at The County Ground at a cost of £10, but there are several Town centre car parks situated half a mile from the stadium. There is nearby street parking and several match day car parks. Parking for home fans is also available at Drove Primary School for £5