Monday’s second leg clash in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy South Final is evenly poised as Swindon Town and Peterborough United are locked at 2-2 following the draw at London Road.
Swindon have a depleted squad for the crucial second leg at the County Ground with last year’s player of the year Nathan Thompson suspended after picking up his tenth yellow card in Friday’s 0-0 draw with Colchester and Nile Ranger is a doubt after suffering a hamstring injury in the same game. Swindon’s defensive problems continue with Tottenham loanee Grant Hall still injured while Jay McEveley remains suspended following his red card in the first leg. Jamie Reckord, a new defensive loan signing, is also out with injury while striker Michael Smith, signed from Charlton in January, is cup-tied after featuring in the competition for AFC Wimbledon earlier in the season. Central Midfielder Yaser Kasim from Iraq is expected to return though and Tijane Reis is gradually returning to full fitness.
Peterborough on the other hand could give new loan signing Josh McQuoid his full debut following his recent move from Bournemouth however new defenders Ben Nugent and Jack Baldwin are cup-tied having played in this season’s competition for Brentford and Hartlepool respectively. Striking pair Nicky Ajose and Connor Washington are also cup-tied, Ajose played for Posh’s opponents Swindon in earlier rounds while Washington turned out for Newport.
Swindon made their way to the brink of Wembley by knocking out Plymouth, Wycombe, and then Stevenage on penalties. All of these at the County Ground which has become a bit of a fortress in recent years. The Robins boast the second best home record in League 1 this season, only Brentford have done better.
Posh on the other hand saw off Brentford, Dagenham and Redbridge and Newport County to book themselves an area final spot. Both teams received a bye in the first round.
The Reds overcome the Cambridgeshire club 2-1 in the league meeting between these two sides at the Country Ground with goals from Ranger and Kasim while Peterborough overcome the Wiltshire side at London Road thanks to a single goal from then debutant Britt Assombalonga on the opening day of the season.
The victor of Monday’s game will meet the winner of the all League 2 match up in the Northern section where Chesterfield lead Fleetwood 3-1 after the Spireites defeated the Cod Army in the first leg in Fleetwood.
Should Swindon and Chesterfield both reach Wembley it would be a repeat of the 2012 final where Chesterfield ran out 2-0 winners following an own goal from Oliver Risser and then Craig Westcarr sealed the tie.