Feb 5, 2014 at 7.15pm UK at ‚ÄčLondon Road Stadium
PeterboroughPeterborough United
2-2
SwindonSwindon Town
Branco (10' og.), Vassell (14')
Vassell (40'), Rowe (45'), Bostwick (53')
FT(HT: 2-2)
Ranger (31'), Brisley (45' og.)
Thompson (24'), Kasim (70')
McEveley (34')

Live Commentary: Peterborough United 2-2 Swindon Town - as it happened

Bobby Olejnik of Peterborough United saves from Nile Ranger of Swindon Town during the Johnstone's Paint Southern Area Final on February 5, 2014
© Getty Images
Relive an eventful night at London Road as Peterborough and Swindon draw 2-2 in the Football League Trophy in a match overshadowed by a serious incident in the stands.

Peterborough United and Swindon Town played out a 2-2 draw in the first leg of their Football League Trophy Southern Area final this evening, although the match was overshadowed by a serious medical incident in the stands.

The hosts took the lead in calamitous fashion when Raphael Branco powered a header into his own net, before Kyle Vassell doubled their lead shortly afterwards with an accurate finish into the bottom corner.

Swindon pulled a goal back through Nile Ranger just after the half-hour mark, but their chances seemed to take a hit when James McEveley was shown a red card for a high foot on Britt Assombalonga.

However, they drew back level with the game's second own goal right on the stroke of half time, this time Shaun Brisley slicing the ball past his keeper.

Towards the end of the match the referee halted play and sent the players into the dressing room as a fan received urgent medical attention, before eventually re-emerging to finish the game in a subdued atmosphere.

You can read how an action-packed yet sombre night panned out with Sports Mole's live coverage of the match below.


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6.45pmGood evening! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for tonight's Football League Trophy Southern Area final between Peterborough United and Swindon Town. This competition has a reputation for goals and drama and, with a place at Wembley on the line, tonight should be no different, so we are expecting an action-packed match!

6.47pmWe'll start with a look at our hosts tonight, and if there is one thing you can be sure of with Peterborough at the moment, it is that you will get goals. Darren Ferguson's side have not played since January 25, when they lost out to Oldham in a cracking match that was decided by the odd goal in nine. The match before that, they beat Notts County 4-3 in another thriller, so they certainly aren't the most boring team around at the moment.

6.49pmIn fact, their last five matches have yielded no less than 27 goals, with Peterborough scoring 14 of them and conceding 13. The last two alone have accounted for 16 of those and, however exciting it is for the neutrals, Darren Ferguson will surely be looking to put a spot to such high-scoring affairs - at one end of the pitch at least.

6.51pmFerguson's aims at the start of the season were to get promoted into the Championship and to win the Football League Trophy, and as things stand he is in pretty good shape with both aims. Peterborough are currently seventh in League One, one place and one point outside the playoffs, but they have a game in hand which would take them into the top six, so their fate is very much in their own hands.

6.53pmIt won't surprise you, given the latest flurry of goals in their matches, that Peterborough have both scored and conceded plenty throughout the season. Only two teams outside the runaway top three in League One have scored more than them this season, with Ferguson's side finding the net 48 times in 28 games. At the other end, however, they have the worst defensive record in the top eight having conceded 40 goals this season. That also amounts to the worst goal difference in the top eight, which could prove important in a tight race for playoff spots.

6.55pmThey come into tonight's match having won just two of their last nine matches in all competitions, with six of those games ending in defeats. Needless to say, that is not great form, but they have been better at home, amassing 29 points from 15 games in front of their own fans this season - the fourth best tally in the division. They have overcome Brentford (2-1), Dagenham & Redbridge (1-0) and Newport County (3-0) to reach this stage in the Football League Trophy.

6.57pmOne place below Peterborough in the hunt for a playoff spot are Swindon, who also come into this match in fairly average form. They have only won one of their last five matches and, perhaps even more worryingly, have only scored four goals in that time - with three of them coming in one game. They trail tonight's opponents by four points in the league, but it is worth noting that they have also played a game more, so that gap could be increased to seven if Peterborough win their game in hand.

6.59pmSwindon also come in one spot below Peterborough when it comes to goals scored this season as well. Despite there recent troubles finding the back of the net, they have been quite prolific in general this season. They have netted 46 times in 29 matches, with is the fourth highest tally outside the top three in the league. Their defensive tally is by no means formidable, with 39 goals conceded, but it is marginally better than the teams immediately surrounding them in the League One table.

7.01pmTheir away form will be a particular worry for manager Mark Cooper, and it also threatens to derail any hopes they have of sneaking into the playoffs at the end of the season. Swindon have picked up just 10 points from 15 matches on their travels in League One, the joint fourth worst record in the entire division. They have only won twice away from home, drawing four times and losing nine, while they have also only managed seven goals in their last 10 away games.

7.03pmThey have very much edged their way along in this competition so far, beating both Plymouth Argyle and Wycombe Wanderers by two goals to one, before relying on penalties to get past Stevenage in the last round after they drew 1-1. However, while they may not have been the most convincing of wins, you can be sure that Mark Cooper will take another single-goal victory in this tie.

7.05pmPETERBOROUGH STARTING XI: Olejnik; Alcock, Bostwick, Brisley, Knight-Percival; Swanson, McCann, Rowe, Payne; Vassell, Assombalonga

7.05pmPETERBOROUGH SUBS: Day, Little, Newell, Anderson, Kearns

7.06pmSWINDON STARTING XI: Foderingham; N Thompson, Branco, Ward, McEveley; Kasim, Luongo, L Thompson, Gladwin; N'Guessan, Ranger

7.06pmSWINDON SUBS: Belford, Byrne, Harley, Reis, Barker

7.08pmSo, Little only makes the subs bench for Peterborough having recently returned from a shoulder injury, while Foderingham starts in goal for Swindon in place of Tyrell Belford, who was the team's hero in the penalty shootout in the last round. He must be gutted to miss out this time around.

7.10pmPREDICTION: Right, we're nearing kickoff at London Road, so it is about time I made my prediction for the match! This competition rarely disappoints in terms of goals, and given Peterborough recent form at both ends, I don't see a goalless draw in this one tonight! I expect both teams to find the back of the net, but Swindon's away form is too poor to ignore for this prediction, so I'm going to have to go for a home win. I'll say 3-1 to Peterborough.

7.12pmThese two did actually face each other less than a month ago in League One, and it was Swindon who came out on top on that occasion. However, that was at the county Ground, whereas Swindon have not won here at London Road since 2004.

7.14pmA reminder that Chesterfield were victorious in the first leg of the Northern Area final last night, putting one step in the Wembley final on March 30. Barring an impressive Fleetwood comeback, these two will be competing for a place to join Chesterfield in the National final. The second leg of this tie will take place on February 17.

1 minKICKOFF: Referee Paul Tierney blows his whistle to get us underway in this match as Peterborough and Swindon both look to gain a first-leg advantage in the race to Wembley. Very little separates them in the league right now, will anything separate them tonight?

2 minKnight-Percival has the first shot of the evening, but it is not one that will be featured in the highlight reel. The full-back ran on to a loose ball from 30 yards out after a cross into the box was cleared, but dragged his effort well wide.

4 minThere were worries over whether this match would go ahead today, but the pitch looks in decent enough condition considering the spate of recent postponements. The most troubling weather feature tonight looks like being the wind, which is swirling about inside the ground.

6 minSwindon have an early corner, but it is easily cleared by Peterborough. Set pieces could cause real problems today, especially if they are hung high up into the wind, which is so strong that they are struggling to get the ball to stay still long enough to take them.

7 minSwindon ask the first major questions of the opposition defence with a dangerous ball into the box that N'Guessan almost latches on to, but Peterborough just about deal with the danger and eventually get it clear.

10 minGOAL! Peterborough 1-0 Swindon (Raphael Branco og)

10 minOh my word, Branco has just scored a thumping header, but he's done it at the wrong end of the pitch! Peterborough have a second corner in quick succession and McCann floats it into a good area. Branco briefly loses his man and, in his efforts to get back, leaps to the ball and plants a fine header past his own keeper, who has helpless.

12 minSwindon look to respond immediately with McEveley leading the charge before going down on the edge of the box. He looks round to referee Paul Tierney, but he is having none of it. Surely, though, that should be a yellow card for a dive if he isn't going to give a free kick?

13 minMcEveley has another chance to come forward, this time down the left, but his attempt cross is shanked horribly over the bar and almost over the stand. Cue the old look down at the pitch, searching desperately for a bobble.

14 minGOAL! Peterborough 2-0 Swindon (Kyle Vassell)

14 minThe hosts double their lead within 15 minutes! This is a very messy goal, but Vassell won't care one bit as he celebrates his first goal for the club. A long goal kick beat the defence until Thompson got back to make a really good challenge. A scramble ensues and the ball eventually pops out to Vassell, who drags his shot into the bottom corner. It lacked power, but was placed right into the corner and past the despairing dive of Foderingham.

16 minThis is a long way back for Swindon, but they certainly won't think that all is lost just yet. Peterborough have been leaking goals lately and they still have 75 minutes to hold out here, as well as another 90 in the second leg.

18 minMcEveley comes forward down the left again and swings a good ball into the box, but there is a lack of red shirts in the area and Peterborough are able to clear. That only needed a touch.

19 minAt the other end, Peterborough win a free kick in a really good position, around 25 yards from goal slightly over to the left. What can they make of this?

19 minCLOSE! Swanson is the man who goes for it, and he is not far away at all. He swings it towards the goalkeeper's side but it just doesn't dip enough, rippling the top of the net on its way behind.

21 minIn truth, Swindon haven't done a lot wrong tonight and are unfortunate to be two goals down. The first goal was a calamitous own goal that happens very rarely, while the second had a element of misfortune about it as the ball fell perfectly for a blue shirt following a goalmouth scramble.

23 minYELLOW CARD! Nathan Thompson makes a positive burst through midfield, taking the ball past three men but then just taking too heavy a touch. He lunges into the tackle in an attempt to get it back, poleaxing Swanson and getting a yellow for his troubles. He can have no complaints with that, and is perhaps a little lucky that it wasn't a red.

25 minCHANCE! Peterborough come forward again, stringing a few passes together around the edge of the box. They seem to have lost it when Branco intercepts, but they he gives it away, allowing Vassell to curl an effort over the bar from the edge of the box. He should have done better there.

27 minCHANCE! Fantastic run from Gladwin as he scurries past two or three challenges to create space to shoot, but his finish just lets his down as he puts it over the bar. Everything about that was top quality apart from the final product.

28 minCLOSE! Oh my word, we almost have another calamitous own goal! A terrible delivery is played in towards the near post, but a sliced clearance from the defender there almost creeps over the line, with the keeper just about scooping it up in time. It will be interesting to see that again as I thought it was over at first.

29 minCHANCE! At the other end Peterborough almost extend their lead even further as Vassell shoots from a tight angle, but Foderingham makes an important stop. This is end-to-end stuff at the moment!

31 minGOAL! Peterborough 2-1 Swindon (Nile Ranger)

31 minSwindon are right back in this match courtesy of Nile Ranger. The striker races away from the defence having been slipped through, although there is a question over whether he was offside. The linesman keeps his flag down, however, and Ranger makes his way to the edge of the box before opening his body and curling the ball into the bottom corner. The keeper got a hand to it, but it wasn't enough to keep it out.

33 minThe hosts give the ball away carelessly and Gladwin is immediately looking to take advantage and drive forward. He has teammates in support but wants to do it all alone and eventually gets crowded out inside the box. That was very selfish from the winger.

35 minRED CARD! James McEveley (Swindon Town)

35 minHuge blow for Swindon as they are reduced to 10 men, and it is a tough one for the ref. McEveley only had eyes for the ball as it bounced through from midfield, but he caught Assombalonga flush in the face with a swinging boot. It is a really nasty collision, but there was no malice from McEveley, while the Peterborough striker also ducked into it a little.

37 minAssombalonga is still receiving treatment on the field after that incident, with particular attention being paid to a troublesome right eye. There was certainly no fault on his part - there can be no accusations that he made the most of that collision - but you can see why McEveley feels hard done by.

39 minAssombalonga finally walks off the field, with his right eye still half closed. It remains to be seen whether he will be able to continue, although it does seem like the type of injury that may get a little better with time. He may wait until after half time.

40 minYELLOW CARD! Meanwhile, as his strike partner goes down the tunnel for further treatment, Vassell goes into the referee's book.

42 minPETERBOROUGH SUB: Assombalonga is not going to be able to continue, and he makes way for Daniel Kearns, bring it back to 11 vs. 10 in this match. We can only hope that Assombalonga's eye injury is not too serious.

44 minThat red card may unfortunately take some of the sting out of this game as Swindon look to protect their one-goal deficit. They will be confident of overturning that in the return leg, so playing for a 2-1 defeat may not exactly be as self-defeating as it sounds.

45 minThere will be five minutes of added time at the end of this eventful first half.

45+1 minFoderingham gets away with one there as he comes a long way off his line for a ball that he is never going to win. He collides with Vassell, who just stands his ground, and wins the free kick.

45+2 minYELLOW CARD! Tommy Rowe goes into the book for a late aerial challenge. Once again, it appeared to be a genuine attempt to get the ball, but he did catch his man and a yellow is probably the correct decision.

45+4 minGOAL! Peterborough 2-2 Swindon (Shaun Brisley og)

45+4 minOh my word, what is happening here?! It is a second shocker of an own goal in this match as Gladwin's tame low cross into the box is sliced horribly into his own net by Brisley! He was under no pressure there and it looked to be a simple, routine clearance, but instead to span away past the keeper and in off the post. Incredible scenes.

45+5 minHALF TIME: Peterborough United 2-2 Swindon Town

8.12pmWell, I promised you action tonight, and these two sides have certainly not let us down! What a first half that was between Peterborough and Swindon, who go into the break all square at 2-2. It is hard to think what else we could have had in that opening 45 minutes, with two calamitous own goals, a red card, and a comeback from two goals down from the team with 10 men. Does the Football League Trophy ever disappoint?!

8.14pmThings are certainly never dull when Peterborough are involved, and that makes it 20 goals in their last three games now - with a half still to come. The hosts went into a two-goal lead courtesy of an own goal from Branco and a slightly scuffed strike from Vassell four minutes later. The own goal was really one for the howlers DVDs as Branco planted a firm header past his own keeper, who was helpless to resist. It was a superb finish, just at the wrong end! Vassell's goal also had an element of luck to it as the ball fell to him after a mad scramble in area, but it was a well-placed shot in the end, even if it did lack a bit of power.

8.16pmSwindon got a goal back through Nile Ranger just after the half hour mark when he raced clear of the defence before opening his body to slide it past the keeper. The second goal was another shock of an own goal as Brisley sliced the ball horribly past his own keeper with what should have been a routine clearance. That equaliser came once the visitors had been reduced to 10 men, so could prove to be a vital moment in this match.

8.18pmThe red card was a contentious one as McEveley caught Assombalonga square in the face with a high foot, although his eyes were fixed firmly on the ball the whole time. It is easy to see why the ref opted for a red card, but you can also see McEveley's point that he was simply going for the ball. There was no malice involved at all and, although it was a nasty collision, he is slightly unlucky to have been dismissed.

8.20pmThe second goal for Swindon will have been an unexpected present for Mark Cooper, who would have been happy with a 2-1 defeat going into the second leg once they were reduced to 10 men. Now, they are likely to defend the draw and calm things down a little after a frantic first half, but that doesn't seem possible when Peterborough are involved. It is hard to imagine a goalless second half after that opening 45 minutes.

8.22pmAs for Peterborough, they will want to regain their lead and probably build up a two-goal cushion for the second leg if possible. They don't have the best away record this season while Swindon are very strong at the County Ground, so if it stays like this then Swindon would be favourites to qualify for the National final ahead of the second leg. Against 10 men, though, they will fancy their chances of adding to the scoreline further in the upcoming 45 minutes.

8.24pmPETERBOROUGH SUB: The hosts are making a change at the break as McCann makes way for youngster Jermaine Anderson.

46 minKICKOFF: Peterborough get us back underway for the second half as they look to regain their lead. From a neutral's point of view, more of the same please! If this half is anywhere as good as the first, we are in for a treat.

48 minBright start from Peterborough as they come forward in numbers down the right flank. A cross is only cleared as far as Payne on the edge of the box, and he unselfishly slips a pass out wide to Knight-Percival. However, the full-back takes far too long over his shot, allowing the defence to come across and make a block.

50 minThompson does well down the left, taking advantage of a few lucky bounces to cut inside to the box, but he attempts to drill the ball towards goal from a tight angle and sees his effort blocked.

51 minVassell battles away up front for the hosts and is eventually awarded a free kick in a dangerous area. This is a bit further out than their one in the first half, so they may choose to cross it this time.

52 minThey do cross it and the ball is flicked into a dangerous area, but after a messy period of play in which neither side can really get control of it, Swindon eventually scramble it clear.

53 minYELLOW CARD! Cynical challenge from Bostwick as he leaves a trailing leg behind him to trip Luongo after the midfielder had burst past him. No complaints about that one.

54 minCLOSE! What an effort this is from Darren Ward. The skipper rises highest to win a header from 20 yards out, and his effort almost loops over Olejnik, bouncing just past the post. The Peterborough keeper was not expecting to be tested with a header from that range, but Ward almost pulled off a spectacular finish.

56 minBracno brings Vassell down on the left side of the area, although he is a little hard done by as he just used his strength to ease the striker off the ball. Still, Peterborough have another free kick in a good crossing position.

57 minThe ball is swung into the box and very nearly drops to Rowe in a good position inside the box. He just can't adjust in time to meet it, but Payne comes steaming in behind him to hammer a shot goalwards, only for Branco to throw himself in the way of it with an important block.

59 minThe second half has been a scrappy affair so far, and the referee is blowing his whistle far too often for the game to get any real flow to it. He doesn't have much choice really as every free kick he is giving is warranted, but it isn't making for a great spectacle after such an exciting first half.

60 minThompson struggles to deal with a long ball upfield before getting back in front of his man, falling over, and then grabbing the ball asking for a free kick. Instead, the ref awards the free kick to Peterborough for a handball. Good decision from Paul Tierney.

62 minThe hosts waste the resulting free kick, which once again was in a very good position to put a testing ball into the box. Instead, they tried a training ground routine with a short pass into the box along the floor, but it was easily picked off by the first defender.

63 minCHANCE! Big chance for Swindon as Luongo races forward to latch on to a long ball forward. He holds it up against two defenders before their challenge sees the ball drop to Gladwin, who hammers a first-time shot over the bar from the edge of the box.

65 minIt is worth noting at this point that away goals do not count in the Football League Trophy, so Swindon have no extra advantage for having scored twice at London Road. Should things stay like this for the remainder of this match and the second leg ends 1-1, we would have extra time and then, if necessary, penalties.

67 minDreadful effort from Thompson as he picks up the ball in midfield and sees a shooting chance open up for him from 30 yards. However, he completely scuffs his shot and sends it trickling well wide of the post.

68 minSCRAMBLE! Nervy moment for Swindon as a header that looks like going over the bar hangs up in the wind and results in a goalmouth scramble. Foderingham is knocked to the ground by Vassell, but then manages to hook it back into his arms with his feet while sat on his backside.

69 minYELLOW CARD! Kasim becomes the latest player in the book, and this is a significant yellow as it is his 10th of the season, meaning he will miss the next two games. It is a silly booking as well as the referee has enough of his dissent and shows him the card.

71 minIt must be said that Swindon have coped with being a man down remarkable well so far. They haven't looked like they have had 10 men at all and are matching their opponents quite comfortably at the moment. However, as the match goes on they are likely to tire and then the chances could start to open up for Peterborough.

73 minThe visitors would be the happier side with a 2-2 draw, but they certainly aren't playing for it. They are still committing plenty of men forward on every attack and look just as likely to score as Peterborough at the moment. Their 10 men could well go on to nick this game.

75 minSelfish from Gladwin again as Branco has made a long run into the box and he has the Brazilian's height to aim for in the middle. However, he turns down the chance to cross it first time, instead trying to beat his man when he didn't need to, only succeeding in losing the ball. The winger went on one good run earlier, but since then he has looked like he is trying to repeat that and has had a poor game.

77 minPETERBOROUGH SUB: Brisley won't have fond memories of this game after that horrendous own goal at the end of the first half, and his evening is over now as he trots off to be replaced by Joe Newell. That is an attacking change from Darren Ferguson.

79 minThere are just over 10 minutes to go in this match, and neither side have really looked like scoring for a while. Swindon have done an excellent job with 10 men so far, but this final straight will be the hardest part as tiredness begins to kick in.

80 minCHANCE! Huge chance for the hosts! Swindon fail to deal with a corner as the wind takes it over the first huddle of players and into the middle, where Knight-Percival meets it with a header from six yards out. However, he can't keep his header down when he probably should have scored.

82 minSwindon are still not sitting back and defending this result, and you have to admire that. They have a good outlet in Ranger, who is showing impressive strength to just hold the ball up whenever necessary, slowing things down and waiting for his teammates to get up in support.

84 minAs for Peterborough, if they can't get a winner late on here it will have to go down as a missed chance. They have had a man extra since the 35th minute but have not been able to take advantage of that, instead giving a goal away in that time. Swindon will be the favourites to reach Wembley if things stay the same.

86 minIncredibly, just 13% of this second half has been played in Swindon's third. They have done so well with 10 men, keeping 64% of play in the middle third and 23% in Peterborough's third. In fact, they are the team who look most likely to get a late winner here. What a result it would be for them if they could do that.

88 minConcerning scenes as Swanson picks the ball up in the middle of play to draw the referee's attention to a spectator who seems to be receiving medical treatment near the pitch. Hopefully that is nothing too serious, although the ref is going over to the two managers to discuss something now. This doesn't look good.

89 minSWINDON SUB: Gladwin's evening is over as he makes way for Nathan Byrne.

90 minThe players are visibly shaken by whatever has happened to this fan in the stand. Play has been halted for now, and a deathly hush has engulfed the stadium. This looks to be a very serious issue.

90+2 minI wonder whether we are going to be able to complete this game here. Football comes a very distant second to health issues, and there is a great deal of concern around the place for this fan.

9.13pmThe players are being brought in now, although I'm not sure whether they have agreed to end the game or not. It remains to be seen whether they will re-emerge, but that hardly seems important right now.

9.15pmCredit must go to Swanson for stopping the game and drawing the referee's attention to the situation.

9.16pmWe understand that referee Paul Tierney is speaking to his assessor now over what to do in this situation. As things stand this game has not been called off or ended, and the referee is unlikely to make a final decision until the spectator in question is attended to.

9.18pmI'm still not quite sure what has actually happened, other than a fan is receiving medical attention. It looks to be very worrying and very serious, however, judging by the reactions of the players and the referee, who has called the players into the dressing rooms.

9.20pmThere are some reports suggesting that a fan has suffered a heart attack, although they are as yet unconfirmed. Sky Sports News are reporting that an ambulance has been called and they are now waiting for it to take the fan to hospital.

87 minThe fan has indeed be taken to hospital and the teams are now back out on the pitch and will play out the final five minutes of this game. We are back underway, but it is hard to see how the players will be able to focus fully on this match.

89 minThis is likely to be very much a case of going through the motions in these final stages. Are thoughts are with the fan who required the urgent medical treatment, and I can only hope that he or she recovers from whatever the problem was.

90+1 minWe are into stoppage time now, but it has not been signalled how long there will be. The referee stopped his watch as soon as the incident was highlighted to him, so I can't imagine there will be too long added on.

90+3 minFULL TIME: Peterborough United 2-2 Swindon Town

9.28pmThe referee brings an end to the match, but it is hard to focus on what was a very entertaining game overall after play was interrupted as urgent medical treatment was give to a fan in the stands. Peterborough took a 2-0 lead before Swindon scored a goal either side of a McEveley red card that saw them reduced to 10 men. They held on to the draw for the entire second half and take a good result back into the second leg, which will be played on February 17.

9.30pmRight, that is all we have time for this evening. Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for an absorbing match that was marred by what appears to be a serious incident in the stands. Stick around for our match report, and be sure to check back in for the second legs of both Area finals as four teams compete for two spaces at Wembley. For now, though, our thoughts are with the spectator who needed treatment in the stands.

Caretaker manager of Swindon Town Mark Cooper in action during the pre season friendly between Tottenham Hotspur and Swindon Town at the County Ground on July 16, 2013
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