Swindon Town extended their advantage at the top of the League 2 table with a comprehensive 4-0 victory over ten-man Dagenham and Redbridge at The County Ground.
Billy Bodin got the scoring underway before goals from Joe Devera, Luke Rooney and Paul Benson helped the Town get back to winning ways, writes Tom Otrebski.
After promising a shake-up in the Swindon starting line-up following Saturday's derby defeat, Paolo Di Canio made two changes to the first XI. Raffaele De Vita and Bodin were restored to the side with Rooney and Ronan Murray dropping to the bench.
Town started nervously with precious little between the two sides in the opening exchanges. De Vita couldn't get a touch onto Matt Ritchie's in-swinging free-kick while Benson saw his half-volley blocked. At the other end, Medy Elito flashed a well-hit volley narrowly across goal and wide. Just after the 20 minute mark, Swindon eased the nerves around The County Ground by opening the scoring. Bodin's neat shimmy on the edge of the area allowed him to fashion a shot that struck the foot of the upright. In the blink of an eye, the ball was at the feet of former Daggers striker Benson on the right flank who crossed for Bodin to slide home from seven yards.
Jonathan Smith then headed narrowly over before Benson's shot was fisted away by Jonathan Bond. Ten minutes before the break, the visitors were reduced to ten men. Josh Scott's challenge missed the ball and caught Oliver Risser, a tackle that referee Mr Lewis deemed dangerous and led to him producing a red card. Just before the end of the first half, De Vita squandered a golden opportunity to double the Town's advantage when he was put through by Ritchie. However, the Italian's first touch let him down and the goalkeeper smothered the loose ball.
The second half was dominated by the home side who made their man advantage count to devastating effect. On the hour mark, Devera was the unlikely scorer of the second goal. Substitute Rooney's deep corner from the left landed perfectly at the back post for the advancing centre-half, who powered home from inside the six-yard box. Minutes later, the provider of the second goal turned scorer to make it 3-0 to the Town. Ritchie's low, driven cross from a position close to the right-hand touchline was aimed at Bodin. The scorer of Swindon's opener skipped over the cross and allowed it to travel through to the onrushing Rooney. The winger had the freedom of Wiltshire to steady himself before picking his spot and adding his name to the list of goalscorers.
Rooney's introduction certainly appeared to galvanise the home side and, with one already to his name, the former Gillingham man set about adding to his tally but could only fire wide after single-handedly creating the opportunity. With a quarter of an hour left on the clock, Rooney had created Swindon's fourth. Picking up the ball on the left, he led the Dagenham defence a merry dance before touching the ball past the goalkeeper. Before it crossed the whitewash, Benson was on hand to apply a finishing touch, putting a final gloss on the scoreline and Town's performance.
With the derby-day defeat well and truly put to bed, Swindon welcome another local team to The County Ground at the weekend, when promotion rivals Cheltenham Town visit SN1.