Football: Robins rise

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The Independent Online
Blackpool 1 Barlow 61 Swindon Town 1 Horlock 14 Attendance: 9,175 One point was enough for Swindon Town to ensure promotion back to Division One and continue their remarkable roller-coaster ride through the Endsleigh League and Premiership. This is the fifth successive season they have either been promoted or relegated. Blackpool will have to sweat a little longer on an automatic promotion spot.

Steve McMahon, the Robins' manager, was understandably jubilant at his team's performance. "This is a brilliant feeling," he said. "Even better than winning things as a player. I'm really enjoying my job and I love going to work every day." There will be even more celebrations if Swindon get the point they need to win the League outright.

Swindon may even feel disappointed that they did not win this game. They went ahead in the 14th minute when Mark Robinson crossed from deep and Wayne Allison nodded down in the area for Kevin Horlock to drive the ball past the wicketkeeper Eric Nixon's left hand.

Thereafter, it appeared unlikely that Blackpool would be able to break down Swindon's well-organised defence. They coped comfortably with Blackpool's poor crossing, and David Preece was a perfect creative outlet for Swindon. Blackpool only created one chance in the first half when James Quinn's shot was blocked and Andy Watson hit the rebound over the bar.

Blackpool pressed forward with more urgency after half-time, with Quinn making dangerous runs down the right and having one good chance, which he could only stub weakly at goal.

But Blackpool's goal on the hour was special. The left-back Andy Barlow found himself free at the corner of the area and produced a dipping shot, which beat Digby at his near post. Despite a frenetic last five minutes, Swindon's all-important point never really looked in doubt.

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