JAMES Collins scored four times as Town kicked off the new year in style with a 5-0 demolition of Portsmouth.
Collins, who came on as a second-half substitute, notched a 12-minute hat-trick before wrapping up the scoring. Danny Hollands also wrote his name onto the score-sheet with his second goal in two games.
Paolo Di Canio made just one change to the Town starting line up. Fit-again Tommy Miller replaced Simon Ferry who dropped to the bench. Fellow central midfielder Alan Navarro was back among the substitutes after an injury lay-off.
After the euphoria of the pre-Christmas win over Tranmere, the first half failed to live up to expectations. Early on, Alan McCormack flighted a 40-yard cross-field pass towards Andy Williams who took the ball on his chest and turned his defender in one seamless movement. Through on goal but out wide on the right, the striker advanced on goal only to see his shot kept out by Simon Eastwood.
Williams and forward partner Chris Martin both saw further efforts easily kept out by the Pompey goalkeeper before Wes Foderingham was forced to tip over Mustapha Dumbuya’s dangerous cross.
Matt Ritchie then picked out Martin who nodded wide and Williams’ clever backheel from the edge of the six-yard box was pushed away by Eastwood. Dumbuya was involved at the other end once again but he could only drive his shot wide after wriggling his way past McCormack.
If the first period had been a disjointed affair, the second half saw a completely different display from the Town where James Collins would take centre-stage. Introduced as a 60th minute replacement for Chris Martin, it took the striker just one minute to find the net, heading home Matt Ritchie’s accurately centred corner.
He added another five minutes later. A cross from the left was not cut-out by the defender allowing Collins to snaffle possession, turn neatly and plant the ball in the bottom corner of the net.
The former Shrewsbury man also landed a header on the roof of the net before turning provider for Town’s third goal. He laid the ball on for Danny Hollands to arrive at the right time and drill home from 12 yards.
Just four minutes later, it was four. Matt Ritchie did well to bring down a long pass before delivering a wonderful cross for Collins to nod home past Eastwood and into the corner.
With seven minutes to play, the summer signing capped a wonderful second-half performance by notching a fifth goal for Town. Alan McCormack’s cross from the left flank came all the way across to Collins who headed home past the helpless Eastwood.
There was still time for Roberts to fire an effort narrowly over as Swindon started the new year exactly as they had finished 2012: with a dominant home victory.