Swindon Town are through to Round Four of the FA Cup after an inspired performance saw them run out 2-1 winners over Premier League side Wigan Athletic at a packed County Ground.
Having gone behind to a first-half penalty, goals from Alan Connell and Paul Benson secured the Town's passage through to the next round, writes Tom Otrebski.
Paolo Di Canio named the same side that had beaten AFC Wimbledon six days earlier, with Ronan Murray and Connell keeping their places in attack. Benson was once again among the substitutes alongside youth team midfielder Louis Thompson. It was the home side, roared on by a vociferous support from all four sides of the stadium, who began the brighter. Ronan Murray forcing Ali Al Habsi into an early save before Paul Caddis and Callum Kennedy saw their efforts fly wide. Despite Swindon having the better of the chances, it was the Premier League side who took the lead just after the half-hour mark. Aden Flint brought down the lively Callum McManaman inside the 18-yard box and referee Peter Walton had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Ben Watson's penalty struck the foot of the post only to fall to McManaman who made no mistake from six yards.
Going a goal behind seemed to galvanise the Town who redoubled their attacking efforts searching for a way back into the match. Matt Ritchie was denied by a very fine save from Al Habsi, who managed to claw his left-footed thunderbolt around the post. With five minutes to go before the break, Swindon scored a deserved equaliser. After a prolonged spell of pressure, Ritchie's inviting, whipped cross from the right was flicked into the net by the head of Connell, sparking scenes of unbridled joy around The County Ground.
With the proverbial bit between their teeth, the Town immediately went on the hunt for another before half-time. A wonderful, one-touch passing move through the centre of midfield ended with Murray striking his effort narrowly over the crossbar. It wasn't until the hour mark that Swindon took the lead that their play had richly deserved. The effervescent Ritchie struck a thunderous drive goal-ward through a crowd of players. On its way through, the ball took a touch off Benson who diverted the path of the shot past the despairing Al Habsi who had dived the other way anticipating the initial effort.
The visitors rarely threatened Wes Foderingham's goal with the goalkeeper a virtual spectator as Town's midfield and defence mopped up Wigan pressure in the remaining time. The final whistle was met with deafening cheers from the home support. With cup upsets such a rarity at The County Ground and after such an inspirational performance, the Robins' attentions now turn to Barnet on Tuesday night in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Southern Area final first leg.