A goal in each half completed a successful afternoon for the Robins who claimed their second win in a week with a 2-0 triumph over Southend United. Substitutes Jonathan Smith opened the scoring in the first half before Mehdi Kerrouche sealed the victory minutes after the start of the second period.
Town boss Paolo Di Canio made three changes to the line-up to face the Blues with a double change at centreback from the side that beat Rotherham United seven days ago. With Aden Flint (hip) and Alberto Comazzi (suspension) ruled out Di Canio brought Joe Devera back into the starting side alongside Oliver Risser who returned to the line-up at the heart of the defence. The visitors included former Town player Blair Sturrock in their frontline, partnering Tunisian utility man Bilel Mohsni. The game started slowly with the earliest chance falling Southend's way with Sturrock hitting a right-foot shot narrowly wide of Mattia Lanzano's left hand post. Sturrock then forced a low save from Lanzano on 13 minutes following an overhead effort from the striker eight yards out. The visitors continued to press and with Mark Phillips heading over from a deep cross by Ryan Hall.
Town were forced into an early defensive reshuffle with 17 minutes played with Risser pulling up injured. Jonathan Smith came off the bench with Alan McCormack dropping back into the heart of the defence. Lanzano was the first player to be cautioned in the game on 20 minutes after a foul on Sturrock outside the area, but thankfully for Town it was only a yellow card and the subsequent free-kick presented no danger. Town then got into the game with the combination of Matt Ritchie and Paul Caddis down the right hand side a constant threat, whilst visiting stopper Glenn Morris claiming several deep crosses in front of the Town End.
The breakthrough arrived with 37 minutes on the clock. After good work from Alan Connell to keep the ball in play, the striker's ball to Raffaele De Vita but after he was dispossessed the ball ran loose. Jonathan Smith was on hand to fire in a powerful drive from the edge of the box which rocketed into the top corner sparking wild celebrations.
Southend almost hit back two minutes later with livewire striker Bilel Mohsni - frustrated for much of the early proceedings - heading a deep cross against the cross bar. After the break Town made a quickfire start and had a penalty shout turned down when Kerrouche was felled inside the box but his appeals were waved away. Minutes later Town doubled the lead. A great lay off from Simon Ferry found Kerrouche who slid home a right-foot effort from inside the area past Morris to give Town a useful two goal cushion. Paul Sturrock responded with a double switch, sending on Gilbert and Kalala in place of Prosser and Leanard. Simon Ferry - lively throughout - was replaced on 67 minutes with West Ham United loanee Ahmed Abdulla coming on for a second half showing.
Miles Storey was then sent on for his first appearance under Paolo Di Canio's reign, replacing Kerrouche in the frontline. Southend were frustrated for much of the game and failed to really test Lanzano in the second half, with a drive from distance by Anthony Grant easily gathered by the Italian stopper nine minutes from time. Swindon continued to press with long distance efforts from Connell and Ritchie inside the closing stages. Following five minutes of added second half time, the referee called time on a determined 90 minute display from the Robins who now head to Crawley Town on Tuesday night.