Daniel Ballard’s first start for Swindon Town came in the EFL Trophy where he scored a goal and made a mistake leading to Chelsea’s winner.

daniel ballard swindon
via Swindon Town

Sounds like he was born for The Arsenal.

Daniel Ballard was named in the starting lineup for Swindon Town on Tuesday night as they faced Chelsea’s u23s in the EFL Trophy. Unfortunately, they lost the game 3-2 but not before Ballard headed home Swindon’s opener when they were 2-0 down.

And what a header it was:

Reports from the game state that his ability to rise above everybody else was the standout aspect of his game. But speaking after the match, Ballard admitted there was room for much improvement, especially as his lapse in concentration had allowed Chelsea to score the winner 12 minutes after Swindon had drawn level at 2-2.

“We’re disappointed, I don’t think we played to the best of our ability – conceding three goals isn’t good enough, Ballard said.

“We know where we made mistakes, I think we could’ve done a lot better – that applies for me as well.

“I need to cut out a few mistakes, but that’s why I’m here to learn and I will learn from it.

“It was a bit of a relief (to score), and it swayed the game a bit. We got back into it in the second half, but it was another silly mistake for the final goal.

“Playing in the under 23s last year, I was strong in getting on the end of set-pieces. I think it will be different in League Two, though.”

Ballard also spoke about Arsenal in the EFL Trophy, saying, “At Arsenal, we valued this competition highly.

“Playing on the other side is slightly different, but I still regard it as a good competition – and I want to win every game.

“The competition is massive for U21 teams, they were the games we most looked forward to and the games with the most pressure.”

Prior to this game, Ballard had been given his Swindon debut when he came on for two minutes as they beat Scunthorpe 2-0 in their first League Two game of the season.

If you don’t know it, Daniel Ballard’s Arsenal story is a fascinating one but needless to say, everyone here at Daily Cannon is rooting for him, not least of all because he’s a Northern Irish lad.