THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

 

Glenn Hoddle’s promotion-chasing Swindon blow a lead late on against local rivals Oxford, but reach the Premier League via the play-offs

3 February ~ Swindon go into their local derby with Oxford on Sunday having slipped to 20th place in League One, two points above the relegation zone. Their opponents, meanwhile, are comfortably mid-table having won six of their previous seven games, including a 3-0 victory over Newcastle in the FA Cup.

For Swindon, the situation is a far cry from when the two teams met at the County Ground in September 1992. Then the Robins, led by player-manager Glenn Hoddle, were challenging for a promotion to the newly created Premier League.

It was Swindon who took the lead just before half time in front of a crowd of 8,110, Martin Ling picking the ball up on the edge of the area and drilling home a low shot. Andy Melville levelled for Oxford early in the second half, bundling the ball into the net after Swindon keeper Fraser Digby had flapped at a corner.

However, it didn’t take long for the home team to restore their advantage, Hoddle looping a high ball into the box for Shaun Taylor to head in off the underside of the bar. For the second game in a row, though, Swindon conceded a late equaliser – David Penney with a spectacular scissor kick in the 84th minute which found its way past Digby via a deflection.

The result left Swindon sixth and they managed to finish fifth in the end before beating Tranmere and then Leicester in the play-offs to reach the Premier League. Oxford, meanwhile, finished 14th but were relegated the following year.

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