SWINDON TOWN - 2 (Ward '6; Paynter '45, '76; Ferry '74)
STOCKPORT COUNTY - 1 (Tansey '45+2)
Swindon extended their unbeaten run with a comfortable 4-1 win over lowly Stockport County. A brace from top-scorer Billy Paynter and strikes from Simon Ferry and Danny Ward were enough to see off the league's bottom side, writes Tom Otrebski.
Danny Wilson made one change to the starting line-up with Sean Morrison replacing Gordon Greer at the heart of Town's defence. Greer took his place on the bench alongside new loan signing Matt Ritchie.
In a dour opening 45 minutes, it was Town who dominated their opponents. After 6 minutes the hosts were ahead when Danny Ward forced home an effort from the edge of the area. A short corner was played to Jonathan Douglas who scuffed a shot goalwards. The ball squirted out to Ward who had time to measure a shot that took a deflection before hitting the back of the net. The winger was forced off later in the half due to an injury, allowing Matt Ritchie to make his home debut.
With the visitors clearly lacking in confidence, Swindon were allowed ample time and space to pass and move. Billy Paynter and Sean Morrison were both guilty of missing good chances when well placed in the box.
The half appeared to be heading towards a lethargic conclucion but, as the clock ticked over the 45 minutes mark Alan Sheehan made inroads into the box. His low, driven shot was spilled by the visitors' Owain Fon Williams, allowing Billy Paynter to steal in. The striker turned with the ball at his feet and lifted the ball into the far corner to double Town's advantage.
Right on half-time, the home side gave away a needless free-kick on the edge of the area that was subsequently smashed home by Stockport's Greg Tansey to bring the Hatters right back into the match.
It was a long wait until Town restored their two-goal advantage in the second half. In the opening half an hour of the second period, County had several chances to punish Town's sloppiness in possesion. Thankfully for Wilson's men, it was Simon Ferry who scored to give the home side a little breathing room. JP McGovern worked some space on the right hand side before clipping a delicious ball over to Ferry who arrived right on time to nod in off the post.
Just minutes later Town had added another goal with Billy Paynter scoring his 22nd goal of the campaign. Picking the ball up 25 yards from goal and slightly left of centre, the striker curled a super effort over the beaten Fon Williams and into the far corner.
With Stockport now a beaten side, it was merely a matter of seeing out the remaining time for Wilson's men. Despite the cries of "We Want Five" from the home faithful and David Lucas having to make a smart stop, Town extended their unbeaten run at home to set them up nicely for a hectic run of games that starts at Leyton Orient on Saturday.
Swindon Town: David Lucas; Kevin Amankwaah(Easton '45), Sean Morrison, Scott Cuthbert, Alan Sheehan; Jon-Paul McGovern, Simon Ferry, Jonathan Douglas (Capt.), Danny Ward(Ritchie '28); Billy Paynter, Charlie Austin(Pericard '79)
Substitutes: Phil Smith (GK), Gordon Greer, Craig Easton, Vincent Pericard, Matt Ritchie, Michael Timlin, Lecsinel Jean-Francois
Stockport County: Owain Fon Williams; Johnny Mullins (Capt.), Danny Swailes, Paul Huntington, Matt Sadler; Ritchie Partridge, Greg Tansey, David Perkins, George Donnelly; Jemal Johnson, Jabo Ibehre
Substitutes: Paul Gerrard (GK), Paul Turnbull, James Vincent, Adam Griffin, David Poole, Danny Pilkington, Andy Halls
Referee: Mr R East
Attendance: 7, 063 (83 away supporters)