Swindon Town 1 (Paynter '24, Austin '59)
Huddersfield Town 0 (Novak '28)
Charlie Austin scored on his home debut to bag all three points for Swindon as they put in a sterling performance against fellow promotion chasers Huddersfield Town. Austin's winner came after first half strikes from Billy Paynter and Lee Novak had seen the sides go in level at half-time, writes Tom Otrebski.
Danny Wilson unsurprisingly kept faith with the same team that claimed all three points against Carlisle United at the weekend. Charlie Austin and Billy Paynter started up front, with Austin hoping to build on his dream debut in Cumbria. Jonathan Douglas and Simon Ferry continued in the centre of midfield in a 4-4-2 formation.
Town kicked off in blustery and rainy conditions but it was the visitors who had the first shot of the game, Phil Smith holding onto the ball well.
In the 7th minute, Anthony McNamee spurned a glorious opportunity to open the scoring. When Austin's cross got caught in the wind and dropped to Simon Ferry on the edge of the area, the Scot fed McNamee who hit a tame, left-footed shot at the goalkeeper.
After 20 minutes, it was clear that both sides were struggling to cope with the conditions as over-hit passes and long balls being caught in the wind were becoming more commonplace as the game wet on.
In the 24th minute, Billy Paynter opened the scoring for Danny Wilson's men, capping off a fine move. A ball was played into Charlie Austin just inside the box, who held it up with his back to goal. As he turned Paynter nipped in and took the ball before drilling it hard and low through the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
Just four minutes later, Huddersfield levelled. Lee Novak was allowed time and space as the Town defence back off him and curled a superb effort which flew over the well-beaten David Lucas and went in off the underside of the bar.
Huddersfield then went on the offensive with a series of threatening attacks, clearly looking to use the wind to their advantage. Rhodes saw a long range effort fly well wide of goal before Gordon Greer had to take evasive action to prevent Lee Novak latching onto a cross.
Despite Town creating a few chances at the end of the half, the sides went into the break level.
At the start of the second half, playing into the wind, Huddersfield's Gary Roberts did well to battle through a couple of challenges before striking a shot which crashed back off the crossbar. At the other end, Charlie Austin got goal-side of his defender but could only poke his shot into the side netting.
Paynter had a chance to put Town ahead for the second time in the 55th minute. A vicious corner from J-P McGovern found Paynter at the far post, 3 yards out. However, the striker couldn't connect properly with the header and glanced the ball harmlessly wide.
In the 59th minute, Charlie Austin made it a dream home debut with a superbly taken goal. Jean-Francois Lecsinel made light work of robbing a Huddersfield player on the Town left before looking up and playing an inch-perfect lofted ball into Austin who took a touch before sliding in his second goal in Town colours.
Austin was replaced in the 65th minute by Alex Revell, the young striker coming off to a standing ovation from the crowd of 6,630.
Paynter created another chance in the 77th minute that nearly added to Town's lead. Having charged down a clearance he brought the ball clear on the right and waited for those charging forward to arrive. Stroking the ball across the 18-yard box, his cross eventually came to Simon Ferry who couldn't quite connect and Smithies in the Huddersfield goal raced off his line to gather the loose ball.
As the clocked ticked nearer to the 90 minute mark, the game become more stretched and far more end-to-end with both sides created chances but failing to take any. Town held on to record a vital three points and give Danny Wilson plenty of food for thought before Saturday's FA Cup tie at Wrexham.
Swindon Town: David Lucas; Kevin Amankwaah, Scott Cuthbert, Gordon Greer (Capt), Lecsinel Jean-Francois; Jon-Paul McGovern, Jonathan Douglas, Simon Ferry, Anthony McNamee; Charlie Austin (Revell '65), Billy Paynter
Substitutes: Phil Smith (GK), Craig Easton, Michael Timlin, Lee Peacock, Ben Hutchinson, Callum Kennedy, Alex Revell
Huddersfield Town: Alex Smithies; Lee Peltier, Michael Collins, Peter Clarke (Capt.), Robbie Williams; Gary Roberts, Antony Kay, Nathan Clarke, Anthony Pilkington; Lee Novak, Jordan Rhodes
Substitutes: Matt Glennon (GK), Theo Robinson, Jim Goodwin, Joe Skarz, Andy Butler, James Berrett, Lionel Ainsworth