DARLINGTON travel to League One side Swindon Town today in the first round of the FA Cup.

Jonathan Leighfield is the Swindon Town reporter for The Swindon Advertiser, and provides a viewpoint from the opposition camp

Did the departure of Swindon boss Richie Wellens come as a surprise this week – and how will it affect the game?

I would say Richie Wellens’ departure isn’t a total shock, but it’s still difficult to take nonetheless. Under Wellens, the team was going in the right direction slowly but surely – all that was left for the manager to accomplish was a cup win! He lost all ten of his cup fixtures as manager, though only three of them were FA Cup it should be pointed out. With assistant Noel Hunt in charge, it shouldn’t disrupt the team too much and the gameplan will be largely the same.

How have Swindon been faring this season?

Compared to last season, the club’s start to life in League One has been extremely underwhelming. Though there have only been one or two woeful performances, the results haven’t been coming as Town have been punished greatly for any minor mistakes. Three wins from 12 games tells a story, and it isn’t a particularly positive one.

Will they take their eye off the ball against non-league opposition?

Like many a League One and Two club, Town have been guilty of doing exactly that plenty of times since the turn of the millennium. Defeats to Woking, Macclesfield (twice in two years) and Eastleigh have all happened in the last decade, so Town fans can only pray it doesn’t happen again. All the noises coming from the club have been encouraging regarding putting out a strong team and the mentality being most important, but as we all know, they’re cliches and the proof will be in the pudding.

How do you see the game going?

Truthfully, I don’t know enough about Darlington to make an educated prediction. All I can say is that if Swindon come out firing and play as they can, the tie could be over very quickly. Goalscoring has not been too much of an issue, but if Darlington nick the opener and bank in on their lead, Town have shown they often the lack the tools to unlock a gritty defence. It will either end 1-0 to Darlington or 4-0 to Swindon.