Ben Garner hails Swindon players after win at Scunthorpe
Head coach Ben Garner heaped praise on his Swindon side after they came from behind to win 3-1 at Scunthorpe
It has not been the easiest of preparations at the County Ground and Garner and director of football Ben Chorley have only had two weeks to get a squad together following the takeover of the club by Australian businessman Clem Morfuni.
The Iron took the lead through Ryan Loft’s penalty, but the Robins rallied and levelled through Jack Payne’s own spot kick shortly afterwards, before Ben Gladwin’s superb strike nestled in the far corner and Harry McKirdy tapped home late on to earn the points.
And for Garner it was just rewards for all the work his players have put in since he arrived in Wiltshire.
“The character to come back from a goal down and win was exceptional,” he raved.
“Today was for everyone at the football club. The amount of work that’s gone in since I came into the building has been incredible and we all got we deserved today.
“Their goal galvanised us a little bit, because we had no choice but to play from then on. We’d been a little bit hesitant until then, but then our penalty gave us momentum to go on and win.”
A poor first half saw very few chances created between the sides with McKirdy going closest for Swindon, but he fired over from a tight angle on the left.
The hosts were dealt their first blow of the afternoon when debutant Tyrone O’Neill limped off after half an hour.
Further bad news at the break, meanwhile, saw goalkeeper Tom Billson unable to continue as well.
Loft appeared to put the Iron’s woes behind them though as he converted a penalty just after half time after clashing with visiting goalkeeper Jojo Wollacott.
The lead did not last long, however, as Kaine Kesler-Hayden was brought down by George Taft and Payne expertly dispatched from the spot to level.
A 68th-minute strike from Gladwin then sparked pandemonium in the away end as the midfielder gathered possession and unleashed an unstoppable shot into the corner from 20 yards.
“Ben Gladwin does what Ben Gladwin does,” enthused Garner afterwards.
“He’s only had 45 minutes all pre-season, but then produces a moment of magic like that.”
The lively McKirdy wrapped things up with two minutes to go after he followed up after Tyreece Simpson’s initial effort had been parried into his path.
Scunthorpe boss Neil Cox was left to rue his side’s luck.
“I had to change things at half time because of the two injuries, and I had leave Devarn Green on even though he wasn’t feeling well because we only get three substitutes again this season,” he explained.
“We got the goal and I expected us to kick on, but Swindon had nothing to lose, we missed a chance to go two up and then gifted them a penalty.
“The momentum soon swung their way and it’s a decent strike for their second and they were able to see the game out and capitalise on a mistake at the end for another.”
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