Such a cruel end to night of hope for Town fans
IT was a night of heartbreak for Swindon Town fans, whose dream of another Wembley final is in tatters.
And it ended in the cruellest way possible – a penalty shootout, which had fans on both sides biting their nails as the tension mounted.
With Town on top for much of the game, an equaliser from Peterborough in the second half forced the shoot-out.
This is what a place in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final at Wembley on March 30 rested on, but the Posh ended Town fans’ hopes.
The Robins played well in the first half but by the 76th minute it was all square at 1-1, and Peterborough went on to win by a single penalty.
Martin Pook had travelled all the way from Pembrokeshire to watch the game in his home town.
He joined thousands at the County Ground watching the match after more than 4,500 tickets were sold for the game.
The 50-year-old said: “I thought the ref was a bit one sided. It should have been a penalty in the first half and it should have been 2-1.
“It was good in the County Ground. I was in the Town End and it was really good. The atmosphere was great.”
Meanwhile hundreds of others around the town were glued to television sets to watch the match kick off at 7.45pm.
Pubs were also popular venues to watch the game live on television, and one of the more popular haunts was The Merlin in Drove Road, just a short distance from the County Ground.
Mike Sullivan was one of the fans who watched the game from the comfort of the pub.
The 51-year-old from Greenmeadow, said: “I think in this case the best team won. Peterborough was in possession for most of the second half “We had a good first half but Peterborough held all the possession and that’s the key thing.”
But fans were once again left disappointed at not having the chance to make up for previous defeats to Millwall and Chesterfield at the home of football in 2010 and 2012 respectively.
During the first half, spirits were high in the Merlin, while Swindon Town led by a goal scored by man of the match Alex Pritchard.
The match was also good for business, with the night bringing in plenty of customers.
At half time Nigel Turrell, landlord at the Merlin, said: “It went really well, it’s better than it was on Friday.
“We had both Swindon and Peterborough fans in and with no problems.
“Everyone seemed to be happy and to be having a good time.”
Nigel, a Swindon Town fan himself, seemed positive at half time that the Robins could make it to the final.
He said: “It was up to them really. It’s all up to them.
“It really depends on how heavy the pitch is and how tired they are.”