Swindon overcame a stubborn Aldershot side 2-0 at The County Ground stretching their unbeaten run to eleven games. A second half strike from Jake Jervis set the home side on their way before an own goal sealed all three points for the Town, writes Tom Otrebski.
Paolo Di Canio made two changes to his starting line-up with Oliver Risser and Alan Connell making way for Jonathan Smith and Lander Gabilondo. Connell was omitted from the match-day squad entirely while Risser dropped to the bench alongside the returning Lukas Magera and new loan signing Ronan Murray. It was Swindon who had the better of the chances in a first half that will be remembered for its distinctly pedestrian feel. Several half-chances came and went for the home side with Aden Flint and Simon Ferry both shooting wide.
It was Jervis who squandered the two best chances for the Town. In the first instance he shot directly at the Aldershot goalkeeper after springing the offside trap. Towards the end of the first forty-five, Raffaele De Vita's harrying allowed him to rob an opposition defender of the ball before curling an inviting cross towards the onrushing Jervis. With the ball bouncing just in front of the on-loan Birmingham man, he could only stab the ball high and wide of the goal when he might have done better. It was the visitors who came out for the second period with a renewed sense of purpose and could have gone ahead through Danny Hylton and Luke Guttridge who were both denied by Wes Foderingham. Following the shaky opening to the half, Di Canio introduced striker Ronan Murray for Gabilondo and switched De Vita to the left wing.
The Irishman's impact was almost instant. Paul Caddis wrapped his foot around the ball and sent in an inviting cross from the right wing. With practically his first touch, Murray craned his neck and flicked the ball further along to the waiting Jake Jervis who made up for his missed chances in the first half by side-footing home the opener from six-yards. Undeterred, it was the visitors who went on the offensive and began building a spell of pressure as the Town appeared to take their proverbial foot off the gas. On 70 minutes, the Shots did have the ball in the back of the net. A wonderfully flighted cross from the right flank was powered home by Michael Rankine. Turning to celebrate with his team-mates, Rankine's joy was cut short by the referee who disallowed the goal for a push on a red shirt among the melee of players in the area.
Woken from their slumber, Town went on the offensive and made the game safe just seconds later. A ball from Ridehalgh on the left was placed perfectly in the 'corridor of uncertainty' between defender and goalkeeper and was bundled over the line by Aldershot's Darren Jones under pressure from Jervis. For the remainder of the game, Dean Holdsworth's men offered precious little else going forward while Swindon almost added an extra gloss to the scoreline with Simon Ferry fizzing a shot just over from the edge of the area and substitute Lukas Magera's vicious free kick flying just over right at the death.
A comfortable and deserved result for Di Canio's men, who have now not tasted defeat since the end of September. The players take a break from League 2 action next weekend when they travel to Colchester United in the second round of the FA Cup.