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17:49 24th September 2011

Report: Four star Town crush Barnet

A superb display from Matt Ritchie helped propel Swindon back into the upper echelons of League 2 thanks to a 4-0 home win over Barnet.

Ritchie scored a brace in addition to a goal apiece from Raffaele De Vita and Mehdi Kerrouche with Swindon totally in control at The County Ground. Town made two changes to the starting line-up with Phil Smith recalled to the starting line-up in place of Mattia Lanzano whilst Alberto Comazzi was handed a start at the back alongside Joe Devera, with Alan McCormack sitting out the game with a one-match suspension.

The game began as a scrappy affair with a physical Barnet side making their presence felt with Izale McLeod and Steve Kabba doing their best to threaten up front, with Alberto Comazzi facing up to a busy start on his return to the side. Jonathan Smith had Town's first real chance of the game on six minutes as he collected a lay off from Mehdi Kerrouche, but the midfielder lashed the ball high over the bar.

Town supporters didn't have to wait long for the opener. After collecting a ball from Alan Connell on the edge of the box, Raffaele De Vita created just enough space to move the ball wide of his marker before firing the ball left footed into the bottom corner of the net past Dean Brill with eleven minutes played.

It could have been two soon after with a fine through ball from Callum Kennedy finding Matt Ritchie, but having beat one player - he slipped at the crucial moment just inside the box as he prepared to shoot. The winger was heavily involved soon after as he helped create the chance for the Town second. Ritchie first struck from distance with the effort hitting the post, before collecting the loose ball inside the box and lashing home from 16-yards to make it 2-0 with 23 minutes played. Phil Smith, although not forced into serious action in the opening half hour, commanded his box well with several solid claims from crosses into the box with Barnet looking to mount a response.

Ritchie was then involved again as he stepped up to curl a free-kick from 20 yards but his effort was saved low to his left by Brill. The Robins continued to pile forward and put the visitors under pressure with the Town midfield doing well to create space out wide for the likes of De Vita and Ritchie. Inside the three minutes of added time, Town notched their third of the game. After impressive skill on the ball from Ritchie out wide - he clipped the ball in for Kerrouche who headed the ball downwards from close range with Brill unable to hold the ball which trickled over the line. Town made no changes at the break - although it was a slow start to the second half with the visitors enjoying a share of the possession, but rarely able to trouble Smith in the Town goal. The first switch of the afternoon saw Lukas Magera come off the bench to replace De Vita, with Kerrouche dropping into the midfield on the left.

The big striker made his presence felt soon after with a knock down on the edge of the box which just ran too far in front of Connell. Town made it four nil on 65 minutes after a fine finish from Ritchie once again. The midfielder picked up possession on the edge of the box and weaved his way into the area before rounding Brill and firing the ball into the net. Di Canio made his second change after the goal with Comazzi brought off with Aden Flint coming back into the fray at centreback alongside Devera.

The Robins continued their second half dominance with plenty of possession with Magera showing some nice touches in the frontline as well as showing his aerial prowess. Ahmed Abdulla was then handed a chance to join the action as he came off the bench to replace Smith in the midfield on 78 minutes. It was a comprehensive performance from the Robins who, after a superb first half display, never really put their foot down in the second half with one additional goal from Ritchie enough to put the seal on a well-deserved home win.

    Data provided by Press Association