Town 0 Swindon Town 1
Town: Chris Weale, Lee Collins, Aaron Wildig (Mark Wright, 58), Darren Jones, Luke Summerfield, Jermaine Grandison, Michael Hector, Matt Richards (c), Marvin Morgan, Sam Winnall (Terry Gornell, 67), Paul Parry (Jon Taylor, 67).
Subs: Joe Anyon, Mark Wright, Asa Hall, Ryan Doble, Rob Purdie, Terry Gornell, Jon Taylor.
SwindonTown: Wes Foderingham, Jay McEverley, Simon Ferry, James Collins (Adam Rooney, 61), Matt Ritchie, Alan McCormack (c), Andy Williams, Federico Bessone, Darren Ward, Raffaele De Vita (Tommy Miller, 45), Giles Coke (Gary Roberts, 45).
Subs: Leigh Bedwell, Troy Archibald-Henville, Alan Navarro, Gary Roberts, Paul Benson, Tommy Miller, Adam Rooney.
Goals: Ferry, 78.
Referee: Mr. D. Webb
Assistants: Ms. S. Garratt & Mr. M. Bingham
Fourth Official: Mr. S. Plane
Attendance: 6,303 875
Matt Johnson reports from the Greenhous Meadow
Graham Turner made two changes from last weekend’s draw at Hartlepool with new-boys Sam Winnall and Lee Collins coming straight into the starting XI in place of Terry Gornell and the injured Joe Jacobson.
James Collins, who scored 16 goals for Town last season, started for Swindon on his first return to the Greenhous Meadow and there were also starts for loanee’s Darren Ward and Giles Coke.
After a leisurely start in the Shropshire sunshine, Town fashioned the first chance of the game on 13 minutes, Marvin Morgan chesting down Paul Parry’s corner, but he only succeeded in rifling his effort well clear of the Robins crossbar.
Winnall had two chances in the space of four minutes to make himself an immediate hero with the Town supporters. First he fired a 25 yard effort straight at Wes Foderingham on 18 minutes, then he headed over the bar from inside the six-yard-box from Aaron Wildig’s pinpoint free-kick.
Andy Williams almost put the visitors ahead with their first meaningful attack of the game in the 24th minute when he broke into the box from the right, but his curled effort angled narrowly wide of Chris Weale’s far post.
After a spell of cagey exchanges, the Robins were almost gifted the lead on the stroke of half-time when Michael Hector got his feet in a tangle to let Williams through one-on-one. The striker rounded Weale, but his shot was blocked on the line by Jermaine Grandison and James Collins looked to all the world that he would roll in the loose ball, but a despairing block from Darren Jones saw the shot deflect over the bar.
Half time: Town 0-0 Swindon
The Robins started the second period on the front foot and it took a shrewd save from Weale to maintain the deadlock on 53 minutes. It was Williams again who found space on the right before centring for Collins, who chested and hit his shot well, but the Shrews stopper denied him the goal on his return.
A flurry of changes of personnel from both managers disrupted the flow of the game, but when the new additions settled, it was the Robins who took the lead.
Town had a great chance to take the lead when good work down the right handside saw the ball drilled low across the face of the visitors goal, Foderingham looked to have it covered but spilled the ball, it was just behind Gornell and then Morgan tried to pounce but Foderingham recomposed himself to smoother the ball. A swift move on the counter attack on 78 minutes saw Rooney cleverly head a long diagonal ball across the face of goal for Simon Ferry to burst past two defenders and slot home.
Swindon stroked the ball around confidently as Town struggled to lift the tempo to force their way back into the game as Di Canio’s men closed out the game to seal the points.
Full-time: Town 0-1 Swindon