Casuals 2 Swindon Supermarine 4

The Stags slumped to their fifth defeat on the spin, going down 4-2 to a well organised Swindon Submarine.

After an uneventful first 20 minutes, Rohdell almost caught Swindon napping, running on to a Dave Fitzpatrick through ball and nipping it from the grasp of ‘keeper Horsell, but the touch was just too heavy.  Moments later, James Edge who was causing problems from the start, took a shot on from 25 yards which whistled high and wide, but then Swindon unlocked the Casuals defence on 26 minutes, Conor McDonagh advancing onto a through ball and touching it round the oncoming Alex in the Casuals box.  Despite players rushing to the line, McDonagh somehow managed to sidestep them before smashing it home from all of two yards.

Swindon doubled their lead on 34 minutes, Ryan Campbell being taken out by Brad Pearce on the edge of the area, the ref pointing to the spot despite the Casuals protests.  Michael Hopkins made no mistake, sending Alex the wrong way.  Casuals hit straight back, Rohdell whipping a cross from the right byline and finding Cheyce Grant, who nipped in front of the defender to bundle it home from six yards.  Both Cheyce and Rohdell looked lively throughout, however it was Swindon who struck next and restored their two goal lead just minutes later, Edge putting a corner to the far post, Henry Spalding volleying in low and hitting the inside of the post, with the rebound unfortunately hitting Alex’s leg and going in.

Alex kept Swindon at bay twice early in the second half with a couple of good saves, before the excellent George Dowling rattled the bar from 30 yards just moments after Matt Williams had an effort cleared off the line.  Joe Morrison had a good game in the Stags defence and won his fair share of aerial duels, then a penalty to the Stags saw the deficit cut again to one and it looked like it was game on.  Williams wrestled Gasson to the ground while a corner was being taken and it seemed the whole ground had seen it other than the ref.  His assistant flagged though and after some confusion as to who actually committed the offence, Williams was eventually booked and Rohdell smashed it home from the spot with half an hour to go.

Swindon kept threatening and were playing a number of neat one-twos in and around the Casuals area and they eventually wrapped the game up in style with just over 10 minutes to go, a lovely passing move culminating in Conor McDonagh volleying home Spalding’s cross for his second of the game and capping off a solid performance.  The Stags pushed forward from then on, Andrew Ofosu injecting some pace and energy into the attack from the bench, but the result was never really in doubt as Swindon comfortably saw out the game, deservedly taking home the points.

The Stags slip down to 18th place, six points off the drop zone but having played at least three more games than all but one of the teams below.  Next up, it’s Farnborough away on Saturday 11th Jan.