MATCH PREVIEW: Chippenham Town vs Swindon Town | Wiltshire Premier Shield | Tues 10th January 2023
Sam Hart previews our upcoming Wiltshire Premier Shield tie against League Two side Swindon Town
The Bluebirds are back at the Thornbury Surfacing Stadium in the first of a series of home games after a brief spell on the road, most recently travelling to Chelmsford City picking up all three points thanks to a spectacular strike from Joe Hanks. Gary Horgan’s men have started gaining momentum as they have gained 8/12 points over the Christmas period which sees Chippenham hop outside the relegation zone and into 19th. The Bluebirds take a short stint away from the league however, and turn their focus to Swindon Town in the Wiltshire Premier Shield quarter-final.
Last year, Salisbury defeated Chippenham in the Wiltshire Premier Shield at the first stage knocking The Bluebirds out of the competition last season. The competition went on to be won by Swindon Supermarine as they defeated Corsham Town 5-2 at the County Ground. Chippenham will be hoping for a bit more success this season aiming to beat Swindon at the first time of asking and looking to progress into this year’s semi-final.
Swindon have had a tough time recently, with the Robins having only picked up two wins from their last eight games, yet they sit in 8th position. As this is being written, U18’s head coach Lee Peacock is expected to take charge of a youthful Swindon side with Scott Lindsey expected to be appointed the new head coach of Crawley Town.
The last time Swindon were to play in this competition, they fielded the U18’s team against Westbury United where they lost 4-0. I believe we can expect to see another youthful side this year featuring players like attacker Abu Kanu and midfielder Anton Dworzak, who is tipped to be the next big academy product following the footsteps of Scott Twine. However, we may also see a few of the younger fringe players in the first team like Oscar Massey and a potential return for Harrison Minturn.
Swindon tend to be a more dominant side in the upper echelons of league two. They dominate in the possession stats but struggle with the final product. Following the clubs philosophy, we can expect possession based football to flow through down to the U18’s.
A few Chippenham players will be licking their lips at the opportunity to play their former club, including goalkeeper Will Henry, who made 10 appearances for the Robins, attacker Jordan Young, who made five appearances and Will King who came through the Swindon academy before joining the Chippenham academy which helped him break into the first team.
Statistics (according to FotMob)
Swindon have scored 28 goals in their current campaign with 22 goals from open play. The Robins also have an xG (expected goals) of 28.9. They have an average of 1.1 goals per match, and an average of 1.0 goals conceded per match. They do have the highest average possession in league two with 59.4%. These stats present Swindon as a very strong in possession team who however lack in the final third which can be developed with new addition and former Robin Charlie Austin.
Chippenham have scored 22 goals in the National League South this season and also have an xG of 0.96 per match while having an xG of 1.48 goals conceded per match. Despite what stats suggest, Chippenham have really started to improve the last two weeks and we can hope to see even more improvement in the weeks to come.
One To Watch
Providing this player starts for Swindon, Anton Dworzak is a talent to watch out for. Having been on loan at Highworth in the earlier part of the season, Anton impressed and made his way back to Swindon, appearing on the bench against AFC Wimbledon and coming off the bench against Barrow making his League Two debut at just 17 years of age. He has previously made appearances in the Papa Johns Trophy with his first taste of the competition coming last season off the bench at just 16 years old.