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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
17:30 16th January 2010

Report: Town 3-1 Gillingham

You can now buy match tickets online! Buy online for Town home games by visiting stfconlineshop.co.uk! You can also ring 0871 223 2300 or visit the STFC Box Office at The County Ground. SWINDON TOWN - 3 (Austin 37', Cuthbert 52', Paynter (pen) 74') GILLINGHAM - 0 (Palmer 88') Swindon registered their first win of the new decade with a confident 3-1 win over Gillingham. Goals from Charlie Austin, Scott Cuthbert and a Billy Paynter penalty gave Town the perfect start to the second half of the season, writes Tom Otrebski. Danny Wilson included new signing Vincent Pericard and defender Sean Morrison on the bench as he made one change to the 11 that started against Fulham in the FA Cup: in-form Charlie Austin replacing Ben Hutchinson, who dropped to the bench. With both sets of supporters in good voice before the match, the first half somewhat failed to live up to expectations. Sporadic attacks from both sides punctuated a niggly first half hour.  Despite the visitors having the better of those chances and after having a goal disallowed, it was Town who took the lead when Charlie Austin scored his 8th goal in as many games. The youngster received the ball with his back to goal just inside the box. Turning on a sixpence, he rolled off his marker and unleashed a drive that flashed across goal and into the far corner, with Gills 'keeper Alan Julian rooted to the spot. In the second half, Town asserted their dominance with a goal from Scott Cuthbert. A corner from the left was floated in and came to Cuthbert at the far post. The big defender made decent contact with the ball and it took what seemed like an age to drop over the goalkeeper and nestle in the far corner. Vincent Pericard made his much anticipated debut for Swindon when he replaced Austin with 20 minutes left, both players entering and exiting respectively to a standing ovation from the home supporters. It wasn't long before Pericard showed why Danny Wilson was keen to sign the former Juventus and Portsmouth striker when his strength and determination saw him hauled to the ground inside the box. Referee Mr Tanner didn't hesitate in pointing straight to the spot. Billy Paynter stepped up, sent the goalkeeper the wrong way and sidefooted home Town's 3rd of the afternoon to all but wrap up the win with 15 minutes left to play. The home side then laid seige to the Gillingham goal: Simon Ferry, Pericard and Danny Ward all denied by the goalkeeper or a defender. Even Gordon Greer was in on the act, heading just wide from a corner. There was time however, for the Gills to give their supporters something to cheer on 88 minutes. A corner was cleared to Chris Palmer on the edge of the area and the striker drove in a shot that came through a crowd of players and whistled past David Lucas despite the goalkeeper getting a hand to it. The first three points of 2010 mean Danny Wilson's side are starting to rubber stamp their promotion credentials, something which they'll look to strenghthen further when the next visitors Leeds United roll into town. Swindon Town: David Lucas; Kevin Amankwaah, Gordon Greer (Capt.), Scott Cuthbert, Alan Sheehan (Jean-Francois 60'); Danny Ward, Simon Ferry, Jonathan Douglas, Jon-Paul McGovern; Charlie Austin (Pericard 68'), Billy Paynter (Hutchinson 81') Substitutes: Phil Smith (GK), Sean Morrison, Vincent Pericard, Michael Timlin, Lloyd Macklin, Ben Hutchinson, Lecsinel Jean-Francois  Gillingham:   2.47 - Good afternoon and welcome to a chilly County Ground. The teams have gone back into the dressing rooms after their warm ups. Town are looking to bounce back after their cup exit at Fulham against a Gills side who inflicted that 5-0 drubbing on Danny Wilson's men way back in August. Revenge on the players minds? I'll be happy with just the three points thank you very much! 2.58 - The teams are out! Kick off is only moments away. 3.00 - Jonathan Douglas and JP McGovern get us under way at SN1. Town attacking the empty Adkins Family Stand in the first 45. 3.05 - Cagey opening from both sides. No real efforts on goal as yet but both sets of supporters are certainly making themselves heard. 3.12 - Swindon's first corner of the game brings nothing. Still very niggly as both teams look to try and gain a foothold in the game. 3.17 - Charlie Austin outmuscles his defender and puts the ball in the back of the net. It doesn't stand though the referee saw an infringement in the build up to the goal. Didn't seem much wrong with that. 3.20 - Well we're 20 minutes into proceedings here at the County Ground and STILL there hasn't been a meaningful effort on goal. Just as I say that Charlie Austin fires a shot in from distance that doesn't really trouble the goalkeeper. Town are going to have to be patient today I feel. 3.23 - Oh dear Gillingham almost force in the opening goal. A free-kick isn't dealt with by Town's defence and as the ball drops at the far post it hits Josh Gowling before coming back off the post and rolling wide. That was a good chance, David Lucas looked well beaten. 3.35 - Again nothing doing coming forward from Town. The Gills are sitting very deep and just allowing the Town to pass the ball around in front of them. This game needs a spark to get it going. Ideally a goal. In the right end of course. 3.36 - GOAL! Charlie Austin scores a superb goal on the turn to give Town the lead. The ball comes to him with his back to goal and the young striker turns on a sixpence before smashing the ball hard across Alan Julian and into the net. A real striker's goal that. 3.40 - David Lucas does fantastically well to keep out a shot. A corner is cleared to the edge of the area where it's turned back into the box. It comes to a Gillingham player who touches it goalwards and Lucas spreads himself well to keep it out. It wouldn't have counted anyway the linesman's flag was up but Lucas wasn't to know that. At the other end Alan Sheehan's cross-cum-shot goes just wide. 3.45 - Half time at the County Ground. Charlie Austin's goal is the difference but in truth it's not a great game so far. Half Time - Swindon Town 1-0 Gillingham 4.00 - Both sides are back out ready to get the second half underway shortly 4.02 - The Gills kick us off at the start of the second half. 4.09 - GOAL! A floated corner from the Swindon left comes all the way to Scott Cuthbert at the far post. He directs the header goalwards and it seems to take an age to loop over the goalkeeper and into the net. Great start to the second half. 4.15 - Today's official attendence is 6,773. 469 away supporters. 4.17 - Alan Sheean pulls up as he runs forward. Lecsinel Jean-Francois is on to replace him. Ex-player alert - Curtis Weston is on for the visitors. 4.19 - Rashi Yussuf has the visitors' first effort of the second half. He was off balance when he hit it and it flies over the bar. Sums up their day really. 4.25 - Danny Ward's break down the right comes to a rather disappointing conclusion. Charlie Austin is replaced by new signing Vincent Pericard. The entire County Ground is on its feet to applaud the man coming off and the man coming on. Terrific ovation. Moments later Ward wastes another good opportunity. 4.28 - Pericard has his first shot on goal in a Town shirt. A third goal to seal it? Pretty please? 4.30 - PENALTY! Pericard is hauled down penalty to Town 4.31 - Goal! Billy Paynter steps up, sends the goalkeeper the wrong way and puts Town in a very commanding position. 4.35 - That third goal has definately settled the home side. Pouring forward at every opportunity. DESPERATE defending from the visitors they could really be put to the sword here. Greer heads wide, Ferry puts a shot just over and even Pericard has an effort saved. No time to catch your breath at the moment! 4.37 - That's Paynter done for another afternoon. He's been replaced by Ben Hutchinson. 4.44 - GOAL! Well the visitors have got a goal back. Chris Palmer drives a shot in from the edge of the area that beats David Lucas.   4.47 - We're into FIVE minutes of added time at the County Ground. Where's that come from??! 4.55 - It's all over - three points and a performance to match from the Town. Full Time - Swindon Town 3-1 Gillingham
    Data provided by Press Association