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14:14 3th September 2011

Report: Connell brace seals home win

Two goals from second half substitute Alan Connell secured Swindon all three points against top of the table Rotherham United. The striker came off the bench to score two headers to seal Town's first three points since the opening day of the campaign.

Town made five changes to the line-up for the visit of Rotherham United with Mattia Lanzano handed his first league start for the club in place of Phil Smith. Di Canio also included Alan McCormack, Raffaele De Vita, Mehdi Kerrouche and Lukas Magera.After an impressive showing off the bench on Tuesday night against Southampton, Kerrouche made a lively start to the game and forced a five save from Conrad Logan early on. The striker latched onto a flick on from fellow debutant Magera, jinked past two inside the box before seeing his left-foot shot saved by Logan in the Rotherham goal. Alberto Comazzi was the first player to go into the referee's notebook on ten minutes after an alleged trip on Lewis Grabban, much to the Italian's displeasure.

Ryan Cresswell was booked a minute later after a foul on Magera with the bookings evened up early on. The third booking of the game followed on 19 minutes with Danny Schofield booked for a challenge on Callum Kennedy on the half-way line. The visitors took the advantage on 21 minutes with a goal from former Town loanee Alex Revell on his Rotherham debut. A deep free-kick into the box was headed away by Magera, but only as far as Cresswell who headed back for Revell who powered his header into the net from six-yards out.

It was the first effort of the game from the visitors who had been pegged back by a positive start from the Robins, who should have defended better for the goal. Town responded well and pushed forward with McCormack and Ferry enjoying plenty of ball in the heart of the midfield. The sides emerged unchanged for the second period with both sides looking to take the advantage early in the second period.

The Robins should have taken the lead for the first time in the game on 56 minutes. A low cross from De Vita from the left flashed across the face of goal with Ritchie unable to control the ball eight yards from goal and the chance was lost.

Manager Paolo Di Canio made his first change of the game just before the hour with West Ham loanee Ahmed Abdulla replacing Simon Ferry in the heart of the midfield. Striker Lukas Magera was inches away from his first Town goal on 61 minutes with a left-foot shot from well outside the box on the angle which hit the post. The visitors took the lead again on 64 minutes with another well-taken goal from debutant Revell. A free-kick into the box was met by the striker who evaded the challenge of Magera to head home past Lanzano from close range. The visitors were reduced to ten men soon after with Danny Schofield shown his second yellow of the game for a late challenge on Kerrouche. With the visitors down to ten men, Di Canio then replaced Magera with Alan Connell in the frontline.

Town responded superbly with the leveler on 69 minutes. A superb corner was met by Connell who headed home his first Swindon goal just 34 seconds after coming into the action. Di Canio then gave another Town debut with Alessandro Cibocchi brought on from the bench on 75 minutes in place of De Vita wide on the left. Connell doubled his tally for the afternoon with another header on 81 minutes. A fine cross into the box from Ritchie was met by the former Grimsby frontman who nodded the ball straight past Logan to make it 3-2. Town were reduced to ten men on 84 minutes with Comazzi issued a second yellow after a trying to shield the ball out of play with Williams in close attention. It was an extremely harsh decision with the Italian dismissed. The Robins held out to earn all three points ahead of next weekend's home encounter with Southend United.

    Data provided by Press Association