Town - 3 (Collins '49, Roberts '70, '90)
GARY Roberts was the Town hero as they produced a magnificent 3-1 victory that propelled them to the top of the League One Table.
James Collins opened the scoring before Roberts netted two spectacular goals to seal all three points for Swindon.
Under the stewardship of Fabrizio Piccaretta, the caretaker manager made three changes to the starting line up. In came Jay McEveley, James Collins and Miles Storey for Nathan Thompson, Adam Rooney and Andy Williams.
Right from the first whistle Town were at their opponents. James Collins had two opportunities early on but found himself denied by Owain Fon Williams in the Tranmere goal on both occasions. Raffa De Vita and Simon Ferry both saw efforts skew wide before Storey spurned an opportunity from close range. Miller’s deflected effort stuck in the sandy goalmouth and Storey was on it in a flash. He beat the goalkeeper to the loose ball but, under pressure, could only poke inches wide.
Collins appeared to be playing like a man possessed: shooting whenever the opportunity presented itself was complemented by some clever link-up play. Fon Williams was even on hand to deny him twice more before the half was over.
At the other end, Cole Stockton wasted the home side’s best chance just before the break. Town allowed a cross from the right to swing all the way into the box where Stockton was unmarked between the two Swindon centre-halves. He leapt unchallenged but could only plant his header wide of the far post.
In similar circumstances to the match at Colchester, Town opened the scoring just four minutes into the second half. A neat interchange of passes resulted in Collins bearing down on goal and with Fon Williams racing out to close the angle down. The striker hit his effort early and from at least 20 yards, beating the goalkeeper and he watched as the ball rolled towards the unguarded goal before nestling in the back of the net.
Minutes later, Gary Roberts smashed the ball home from close range only to turn away to celebrate and realise that the linesman was signalling an offside. Andy Williams then raced into the box but wide on the left and drilled his shot across the face of goal and wide.
With twenty minutes to play Roberts did notch a legitimate goal with arguably one of the goals of the season. Following some neat build-up play, the ball dropped to the winger on the right hand edge of the area. As it dropped, Roberts swung his left boot at it, connected ever so sweetly and watched as it rocketed past Fon Williams and into the top corner giving the goalkeeper no chance.
Eight minutes later, the home side gained a foot-hold back in the game through Donervorn Daniels. Town failed to clear a free-kick properly and the defender was on hand to rifle home from six yards.
As the game entered the last ten minutes, Andy Williams skipped through past the last defender once again. With Fon Williams racing out to meet him and with the covering defender in close attendance, the striker smashed his shot straight at the advancing goalkeeper.
Deep into stoppage time Wes Foderingham had to be at his brilliant best to deny Ash Taylor’s close-range header before Gary Roberts capped a fantastic performance with another superb goal.
With Fon Williams way out of his goal, Roberts lashed a loose ball towards goal from inside his own half. His effort looped over the goalkeeper and bobbled over the line with Fon Williams scrambling back.
Swindon Town: Wes Foderingham; Alan McCormack, Aden Flint, Darren Ward, Jay McEveley; Raffaele De Vita, Simon Ferry (Capt), Tommy Miller, Gary Roberts; Miles Storey, James Collins
Substitutes: Leigh Bedwell, Alan Navarro, Nathan Thompson, Adam Rooney, Chris Smith, Andy Williams
Tranmere Rovers: Owain Fon Williams, Ash Taylor, Andy Robinson (Capt), Zoumana Bakayogo, Cole Stockton, Max Power, David Amoo, Michael Kay, Michael O'Halloran, Donervorn Daniels, Paul Corry
Substitutes: Paul Black, Ian Goodison, Joe Thompson, Danny Harrison, Jake Kirby, Abdulai Bell-Baggie, Jason Mooney