DIVISION TWO CHAMPIONS


Celebrations at Chesterfield

After two successive relegations, Swindon bounced back to Division One at the first attempt, comfortably winning the Second Division championship.

From the start of the season, the outcome never looked in doubt. Swindon marched straight to the top of the table, winning seven and drawing two of their first nine matches - including a 4-1 thrashing of fellow promotion candidates Bradford, and another 4-1 at Bristol Rovers. Even Premiership champions Blackburn were given a run for their money in the Coca-Cola Cup, Wayne Allison and Steve Finney giving the Town a two-goal lead, before the Town defence succumbed to Alan Shearer.

The first league defeat of the season came on the last day of September, where the Town squandered a lead to go down 4-3 at Wrexham. Swindon replied with four straight victories, including wins over promotion chasing Crewe and Notts County.

By now, the only problems the Town were having involved trying to break down the opposition, who often packed the defence and played on the counter attack - proven by the fact that Swindon actually won more away games than home ones throughout the season. Shrewsbury in particular played this game very well, and became the only team to leave the County Ground with three points, having sneaked a 1-0 win.

With the league campaign going from strength to strength, Swindon also went on a great Cup run, reaching the Fifth Round, before getting knocked out by Southampton in a replay. The run meant that Swindon at times had four games in hand, and Blackpool took over at the top of the league, though the Swindon fans only ever thought of the top spot as being "on loan"! There were just two more defeats in the league campaign, a 2-0 reverse at York, and an embarrassing 3-0 loss at Oxford.

In the middle of April, with five games still to play, the Town travelled to second-placed Blackpool, needing only a draw to clinch their Division One status. A Kevin Horlock goal secured a 1-1 scoreline - and the championship was won just three days later with a 3-1 win at Chesterfield. Since the Oxford game, Swindon had remained unbeaten for the last twelve games of the season.

As well as the Second Division trophy, the Town were also awarded the Yokohama Tyres Performance on the Road prize, for having the best away record in the league. Club records which had been held since the 1985/1986 season were also broken:



 

After a whole season spent at the top of the table, Swindon wrap up automatic promotion with four games to spare, drawing 1-1 in a top-of-the-table clash at Bloomfield Road - whilst off the pitch, Steve McMahon clashes with Blackpool boss Sam Allardyce. Includes footage of the after match celebrations.
Division Two - Blackpool vs Swindon Town

After taking the lead on 26 minutes through Steve Cowe, Chesterfield equalise just four minutes later - their celebrations are short-lived though, as Peter Thorne scores almost directly after the restart. With eleven minutes left on the clock, Wayne Allison strikes to wrap up the victory, and seal the Division Two championship for Swindon.
Division Two - Chesterfield vs Swindon Town


 

Peter Thorne and Scott Leitch celebrate Kevin Horlock's goal at Blackpool, that ultimately clinched promotion.
Horlock scores at Blackpool

In the Chesterfield dressing rooms, the Town team celebrate winning the Second Division championship.
Celebrations at Chesterfield

Manager Steve McMahon and Paul Allen show off the championship trophy.
McMahon and Allen with trophy

The Swindon fans invade the pitch to salute the Championship-winning team.
Fans invade the pitch

A montage of pictures from the Championship winning season, as printed in the programme.
Championship montage

Manager Steve McMahon holds the trophy aloft at the Civic Reception.
McMahon at the civic reception