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22:28 21st December 2012

Town - 5 (Hollands '4, De Vita '7, Williams '21 '50, Ritchie '33)

Tranmere - 0 

TOWN produced a five-star performance against League One leaders Tranmere on Festive Friday at The County Ground.

Four goals up at the break thanks to Andy Williams, Matt Ritchie, Raffaele De Vita and Danny Hollands, the home side added a fifth in the second half and even missed a penalty as they cruised to all three points.

Paolo Di Canio named the same matchday squad that had won so comfortably at Boundary Park the previous Saturday. Danny Hollands remained as Simon Ferry’s central midfield partner while skipper Alan McCormack continued at left back. 

There were just four minutes on the clock when Swindon took the lead. A cross was half-cleared allowing Danny Hollands to race onto the loose ball and plant it into the roof of the net off the diving Owain Fon Williams. 

With the momentum still with them, Town notched a second just three minutes later. Raffa De Vita cut in off the left flank and watched as his driven effort took a deflection and nestled in the back of the net past the stranded goalkeeper. 

With the spirit of Festive Friday rocking around The County Ground Fon Williams had to be alert to deny Andy Williams and Chris Martin, the latter squandering a tricky one-on-one opportunity.

Just 21 minutes in, Andy Williams scored a third for the rampant Robins. Another ball into the box dropped to the unmarked striker who turned on his heel and hooked the loose ball into the far corner with his right foot. 

The Tranmere goalkeeper was called into action again to deny Matt Ritchie and Andy Williams before Swindon added a fourth on 35 minutes. Williams forced Fon Willliams into a smart stop with the ball eventually dropping to Ritchie. The winger wasted no time in smashing the ball into the net, sending Town in four goals to the good at the break.

Just five minutes into the second half, Town picked up where they left off and added a fifth. Matt Ritchie ran at the Tranmere defence before releasing Andy Williams inside the area. Without breaking stride, the frontman steered the ball across Fon Williams and into the far corner. 

Williams could even afford to miss a second half penalty after De Vita had been felled in the area. Striding up to the ball, the striker hit his effort to the goalkeeper’s right but Fon Williams threw himself at full stretch and pushed the ball away to safety. 

With Town in control, it was not long before the Festive Friday crowd began to greet every successful pass with a shout of ‘Ole’ with one particular passage of passing ending with substitute Gary Roberts curling a shot over the angle of bar and post. 

At the death, the visitors hit the crossbar in their only meaningful action of the second half. 

Swindon Town: Wes Foderingham, Nathan Thompson, Alan McCormack (Capt), Darren Ward, Joe Devera; Matt Ritchie, Danny Hollands, Simon Ferry, Raffaele De Vita; Chris Martin, Andy Williams


Substitutes: Leigh Bedwell, Troy Archibald-Henville, James Collins, Gary Roberts, Tommy Miller, Adam Rooney, John Bostock

Tranmere Rovers: Owain Fon Williams, Danny Holmes, Ash Taylor, Ian Goodison, Liam Palmer, Jake Cassidy, Andy Robinson (Capt), Adam McGurk, Zoumama Bakayogo, Max Power, Michael O'Halloran

Substitutes: Jason Mooney, Paul Black, Joe Thompson, Danny Harrison, Cole Stockton, Michael Kay, Donovan Daniels