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16:54 14th January 2012

Report: Rotherham United 1 Town 2

A quick-fire first half double strike from Matt Ritchie helped Town secure another three points on the road to keep the quest for a top-three place alive and kicking.

It was a hardworking display from Paolo Di Canio's side who did so with the manager forced to watch the game from the stands, serving a one-match touchline ban. Town made changes to the line-up with Joe Devera coming into the line-up in place of the suspended Alan McCormack whilst Jonathan Smith was replaced by Oliver Risser at the heart of the midfield. Raffaele De Vita was restored to the side in place of Lander Gabilondo, with Billy Bodin also included in place of Lukas Magera - starting alongside Paul Benson.

It was the visitors who started the brighter of the two sides with three efforts in before the quarter of an hour mark was up. Chris Holroyd saw his fifth minute effort blocked before Jason Taylor and Alex Revell blazed over eight minutes later. The first real Swindon chance of the game fell on 16 minutes with a header from Benson beaten away by Rhys Taylor in the Rotherham goal. The subsequent corner was cleared as far as Callum Kennedy but his centre was gathered up by Taylor.

The game came to life on 19 minutes with Matt Ritchie taking centre stage. He capitalised on a loose ball to strike home the opener from the edge of the box with a low left foot shot to put his side into the lead. Ritchie grabbed his second of the game just two minutes later with a deflected rising effort which had the beating of Taylor to put the Robins two goals to the good. It was nearly 3-0 on 25 minutes with Benson nipping in front of his marker to get a shot in but his effort was smothered by Taylor. From the resulting corner, good control and an overhead kick from Bodin saw his shot blocked. Town then withstood a period of pressure from the home side, who had plenty of the ball but failed to bring any save of note out of Foderingham. At the other end, Risser volleyed just wide on 35 minutes before Foderingham gathered an effort from Gareth Evans at the other end.

Town went into the half-time break satisfied with a solid first half with the double-strike from Ritchie putting the Robins in the driving seat for the start of the second half. A fine jinking run from Caddis, now something of a trademark for the skipper, saw him ghost past four challenges before firing a left footed shot from the edge of the box to bring a save out of Taylor with 51 minutes played.

The home side broke the deadlock with 53 minutes played. A cross from the left by Evans was met by Revell who powered a header home past Foderingham from close range to get his side back into the game.

Town made their first change of the afternoon on 66 minutes with Ipswich Town loanee Ronan Murray coming off the bench to replace Bodin in the frontline. The home side came close to levelling the game up on 73 minutes. A corner was only half cleared with the loose ball falling to Grabban who saw his effort crash against the post before Town cleared their lines. Another Swindon change followed on 77 minutes with former Rotherham loanee Kennedy replaced in the backline by Alessandro Cibocchi.

Town defended well in the final stages, which included four added minutes of second half injury-time, with the Robins hanging on to claim another vital three points.

    Data provided by Press Association