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…On the pitch, I was quickly impressed by left back Nathan Byrne who was full of pace and running. It looked like he was playing as a wing-back for this game, spending much more time virtually up front and trying to cut into the box as often as he could. Also a real talent is centre forward Jonathan Obika, a massive handful who looks like he could play at a much higher level.
On 15 minutes, I stifled a cheer as Leicester went 1-0 up against Swansea. It was the weirdest feeling not screaming out, and I channelled my excited energy into loudly “oohing” as Obika missed an absolute sitter with the goal completely at his mercy. Swindon should have been one up, and they kept up the pressure on a Yeovil team who could barely get out of their own half. Yeovil keeper Artur Krysiak wasn’t helping his own team with some incredibly wayward kicking, with three straight clearances going out for throw-ins on the left hand touchline.
Ben Gladwin hit the post for Swindon with a great curling effort from outside the box and it seemed like it was only a matter of time before they’d be in front. It took 40 minutes for Yeovil to have their first chance (and just after I’d stifled a celebration for Burnley going behind at Everton) as Kieffer Moore aimed a decent header at goal but it was saved by Wes Foderingham.
I couldn’t believe that it was still goal-less at half time with Swindon completely bossing the game. Our entertainment during the break was one of those target shooting things, where a series of fans aim for holes in a tarpaulin suspended in the goalmouth. Everyone who had a go wasn’t the best, including a girl who I willed to show us all how good she could be… and she then proceeded to be utterly terrible. Credit to the fans around me though, there was none of the catcalling and whooping that there would have been ten or twenty years ago.
Some schoolkids were doing a lap of honour in their little team kits, and they got a great reception. I wish I’d have had chance to do that as a kid, although five years ago this week I did manage to run two laps around the pitch at the King Power Stadium to help Alan Birchenall raise money for charity (and I recorded it for my then radio show). I was 31 at the time and that experience was mind blowing, so if you;re ten it must be simply amazing. When there’s a load of kids, there is always one who knows how to play to the crowd properly; you’ll see him, kissing his badge and patting his chest as he implores the crowd for more noise…