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16:51 22nd January 2011

Report: Derby day defeat on the road

Defensive mistakes once again plagued the Robins as they suffered a 3-1 derby day reverse at Bristol Rovers to leave Swindon hovering above the dropzone.

Will Hoskins fired the home side into an early lead before a quick-fire second from Jo Kuffour just after the break saw Swindon two goals down with 48 minutes on the clock. A fine strike from Jon-Paul McGovern reduced the arrears before Jeff Hughes headed a third late on.

Town made two changes to the line-up with Alan Sheehan replacing Michael Rose at left-back, who sat the game out for the first of a three-game suspension following his dismissal against former club Yeovil Town last weekend. Simon Ferry came into the side with Thomas Dossevi dropping to the bench. Charlie Austin was able to start the game having recovered from a knock sustained seven days ago.

For the home side, Jeff Hughes was restored to the line-up with James Tunnicliffe named amongst the substitutes.

It was Dave Penney's side who took an early lead with Will Hoskins on hand to hammer home his 15th of the campaign. A ball through from Kuffour found Hoskins in space and after brushing aside the challenge from Caddis, he confidently struck the ball past Phil Smith to hand Rovers a morale-boosting early lead.

Hoskins made a bright start to the game and the frontman almost helped his side double their lead with a quarter of an hour played. After twisting and turning clear on the left, his low cross was met by Lecsinel Jean-Francois who hacked the ball towards his own goal with Smith forced into a low save.

Swindon's first effort on target arrived with 24 minutes on the clock with Austin's downward header, from a Sheehan cross, gathered by loan 'stopper Luke Daniels on the Rovers goal.

David Prutton

At the other end Swindon had another lucky escape on the half-hour with Byron Anthony turning a corner wide of the post when well-placed just a few yards from goal.

Further half-chances came Swindon's way before the break with Ferry, Jean-Francois and Prutton all seeing efforts saved or cleared.

After going in a goal down at the interval, Swindon made a nightmare start to the second period. A mix-up on the edge of the Town box between Jean-Francois and Sheehan saw the ball collected by Kuffour. After striding into the area and rounding Smith, the striker dispatched his eighth goal of the campaign with relative ease.

Danny Wilson changed things around just before the hour mark with Ferry replaced by Thomas Dossevi, a move which saw the Robins switch to a 4-4-2 formation with the Togolese frontman taking his place alongside Austin in the frontline.

Six minutes after the hour and Town reduced the deficit. A deep cross from the left by Sheehan deceived McCracken who missed the ball completely on the edge of the box, with the ball falling to Jon-Paul McGovern whose right-footed half-volley was dispatched superbly into the bottom corner.

After the goal Swindon continued to stream forward with Austin, Douglas and Ritchie all driving forward with real intent.

However, at the back Swindon's problems were soon back in the spotlight. On 74 minutes good work from Hoskins and Swallow saw a deep cross headed home by Jeff Hughes at the far post.

The third goal ultimately sealed a valuable three points for the home side and condemned Town to another disappointing away day defeat.

Full-time: Bristol Rovers 3 Swindon Town 1

    Data provided by Press Association