SWINDON TOWN 2 (CUTHBERT, OBADEYI)
SOUTHEND UNITED 1 (SCANNELL)
The County Ground, League One
Swindon Town gained all three points on a sun scorched 'Beach Party' afternoon accompanied by a Samba beat throughout the match against Southend United, writes Adrian Smith
First goals of the season for Scott Cuthbert and Temitope Obadeyi put Swindon two up but Damien Scannell's powerful shot gave the Robins a late scare against ten man Southend, who saw Jean-Francois Christophe sent off in the first half for two yellow cards in quick succession.
Town&nbsp;made three changes to the line-up for the clash with Southend United with&nbsp;new loan signings Simon Ferry and Ben Hutchinson their home debuts, just two days after joining from Scottish giants Celtic. Hutchinson&nbsp;took his place in the forward line whilst Ferry replaced Craig Easton in the centre of midfield alongside Jonathan Douglas and Jon-Paul McGovern. At left-back Lecsinel Jean-Francois replaced Callum Kennedy at left-back with the Haitian now recovered from a hamstring injury sustained at Oldham Athletic last weekend.
Southend kicked off with the match being played in bright sunshine in keeping with the Beach Party theme.
David Lucas was given an early scare when Lescinel Jean-Francois sent a weak backpass towards him with Anthony Grant charging towards goal but the Town keeper won the race to the ball and cleared at the expense of a throw-in.
Swindon's first chance came resulted from&nbsp;a foul on Paynter around 25 yards from goal but McGovern's free-kick did not trouble former Town keeper Steve Mildenhall with the ball flying over the crossbar.
Southend had the first corner of the match in the 14th minute when Grant's cross was cleared behind and when the ball was crossed, it finally reached Adam Barratt who blasted wide of the goal.
Lee Barnard drew a fine save from Lucas in the 16th minute resulting in the Shrimpers second corner but that was cleared easiy by the Town defence.
Swindon had a penalty shout shortly afterwards when the ball appeared to strike Grant's arm but the referee waved the appeals away and Town managed gain a corner shortly afterwards which eventually saw the ball reach McNamee and his cross to Jean-Francois was headed just wide of goal.
Swindon's positive start was rewarded in the 21st minute when Scott Cuthbert scored his first goal in Town colours as&nbsp;he rifled home from the edge of the 6 yard box from a JP McGovern free-kick and he looked understandably delighted as he celebrated with his team-mates.
Southend responded with Grant on a determined run down the middle which resulted in a fine block tackle and when the ball was cleared downfield, McNamee was hauled back by Jean-Francois Christophe who was cautioned in the 28th minute. The&nbsp;referee then had to intervene after some pushing on the edge of the area and showed yellow cards to Lescinel Jean-Francois and Jean Yves M'Voto before the free-kick was takenand when the ball was played forward, Steve Mildenhall took exception to a challenge by McNamee but the referee managed to calm matters down.
Southend were then reduced to 10 men when Jean-Francois Christophe tumbled dramatically under a challenge from Simon Ferry but then recovered quickly as soon as the ball neared him. However the referee was not impressed and showed a second yellow card followed by a red card to Christophe in the 35th minute.
The visitors indiscipline continued when Anthony Grant hauled back McNamee and was shown a yellow card in the 37th minute.
The game settled down after the flurry of cards as the match approached halftime and there was little to report in the two minutes of added time.
Half Time: Swindon Town 1 Southend United 0
Swindon almost made the perfect start to the second half with Billy Paynter flashing a shot agonising wide of goal in the 46th minute.
Danny Wilson's men looked confident in possession and soon had a corner when McGovern's cross was turned behind and there was more pushing and shoving before the ball was crossed which the referee M Russell had to sort out .&nbsp; The&nbsp;ball was crossed to the edge of the area where it was lobbed back in but Steve Mildenhall fisted the ball clear under pressure.
Ben Hutchinson was replaced after a quiet game by Temitope Obadeyi in the 61st minute.&nbsp;
Anthony McNamee earned a corner for Town when his cross was turned behind in the 68th minute but the Shrimpers defence cleared the cross. McNamee was replaced by Alan O'Brien shortly afterwards.&nbsp;&nbsp;Southend replaced Alan McCormack with Damien Scannell and Alex Revell replaced Francis Laurent in the 70th minute.
There was a minor scare shortly afterwards when the ball pinged around&nbsp;the Town penalty area from a free-kick but Lucas finally grabbed the loose ball to snuff out the danger.
Southend had a corner in the 73rd minute which saw Adam Barrett allowed a free header but his effort went wide.
Michael Timlin entered the field in the 76th minute replacing&nbsp;Simon Ferry who was later named 'Man of the Match'.&nbsp; Timlin was soon involved in the action&nbsp;and he almost put Town further ahead with a shot from the edge of the area but M'Voto cleared off his goalline.
Swindon finally doubled their lead in the 78th minute through a blunder by Steve Mildenhall who allowed a shot from Temitope Obadeyi to squirm under his body and the ball nestled in the net in front of the Town End.
The visitors snatched a lifetime within a minute when Damien Scannell rifled in a shot from the edge of the area to give hope to their travelling fans.
Gordon Greer made a rare mistake in the 84th minute as he allowed a through ball past him under pressure from Laurent but he redeemed himself to gather the ball and clear.
Southend had a free-kick in the 86th minute which was blasted over by Barrett and they continued to pile pressure on despite having only ten players with Laurent heading wide in the 88th minute.
Three minutes of added time were indicated on the 4th official's board with Southend looking strong but Swindon had a good attack when O'Brien passed to Jean-Francois on the edge of the area but his powerful shot was parried by Mildenhall and the ball was hoofed clear.
The final whistle was blown shortly afterwards to seal three deserved points for the Robins and Southend were left to rue some indiscipline in the first half.
Full Time: Swindon Town 2 Southend United 1
Swindon Town: David Lucas; Kevin Amankwaah, Scott Cuthbert, Gordon Greer, Lecsinel Jean-Francois; Jon-Paul McGovern, Jonathan Douglas, Simon Ferry( Michael Timlin 76); Ben Hutchinson(Tope Obadeyi 61), Billy Paynter, Anthony McNamee(Alan O'Brien 69)
Substitutes: Phil Smith (GK),&nbsp; Callum Kennedy, Sean Morrison, Lloyd Macklin,&nbsp;