Swindon Town carved out a good 3-1 home win over Carlisle United thanks to goals by Massimo Luongo, Alex Pritchard and a late effort by Dany N’Guessan, writes Adrian Smith.
Luongo had given Town the lead in the first half but former player Sean O’Hanlon levelled the scores in the second half only for a peach from Pritchard and N’Guessan’s late effort to seal the points for Swindon.
Swindon kicked off playing towards the Town End but it was Carlisle had the first corner of the match in the 2nd minute only for Foderingham to catch the ball when it was crossed.
Carlisle lined up with ex-Town player Sean O’Hanlon starting with his head bandaged.
David Symington was cautioned in the 9th minute for kicking the ball away at a free kick to Swindon and the Carlisle keeper managed to catch the resulting shot despite the ball taking a deflection on the way through.
Swindon followed that up with an attack which saw the ball ping round the penalty area only for Pritchard to be denied by a defender who deflected the ball behind for a corner.
Jay McEveley carved out a shooting opportunity for himself in the 19th minute charging past a couple of defenders before unleashing a right footed shot wide of goal.
Carlisle counterattacked strongly with a two players playing a quick one two but Foderingham was on hand to catch the resulting cross aimed for a player at the far post.
Nicky Ajose did well shortly afterwards to get on the end of a good move involving McEveley and Harley which led to the ball being crossed into the 6 yard box where the Town forward flicked the ball towards goal only to see his effort go left of the upright.
Swindon went close to taking the lead in the 29th minute when Ajose latched onto a good pass by Luongo into the penalty area and although Ajose managed to round the advancing goalkeeper, the angle was too acute and he could only put the ball into the side netting with the goal at his mercy.
Swindon took the lead in the 36th minute through Massimo Luongo who had lost the ball in the build up but Pritchard did well to retrieve it before sending a superb pass into the 6 yard box where Luongo tapped home from close range which lifted the noise around the County Ground. The goal was Luongo’s 6th of the season and he moves level with Nile Ranger in the goalscoring charts.
The goal saw Swindon’s confidence levels rise as they started stringing a series of passes around before the move ended with a shot by Ajose being blocked in front of goal.
Carlisle threatened briefly just before half time with a header by Lee Miller flying just over the cross bar and a brief scramble in the penalty area where the ball was pinging around before Foderingham pounced on it and that was the last action before the referee Mr Bratt ended the half.
Carlisle manager Graham Kavanagh substituted David Symington with David Amoo at halftime and it was the Cumbrians who kicked off the half playing towards the Town End.
Swindon started the half knocking the ball around with a series of short passes but Carlisle went close to scoring in the 54th minute through Liam Noble but his goalbound effort was stopped by Darren Ward on the edge of the 6 yard box.
Josh Morris replaced Matt Robson in the 55th minute and Tom Lawrence replaced Paul Thirlwell in the 58th minute to complete Carlisle’s substitutions for the match.
Swindon felt hard done by in the 60th minute when Kasim was penalised for what appeared to be a clean tackle som e 40 yards for goal but the resulting free kick was cleared.
Mark Cooper’s first substitution saw Louis Thompson replaced by Ryan Mason in the 63rd minute.
Swindon went close through Pritchard in the 68th minute but former player Sean O’Hanlon’s bandaged head popped up in the 6 yard box to head past Foderingham to level the scores and warm up the spirits of the 238 away fans.
Pascal Chimbonda was cautioned shortly afterwards for tripping Pritchard who was charging towards goal on the edge of the Carlisle area. Pritchard got up to take the free kick and curled in an absolute peach of a shot to put Town back in front in the 72nd minute which was a great response by the Robins from having just been pegged back by Carlisle.
Nile Ranger made his return replacing Ryan Harley shortly after the goal and Swindon had two corners in the space of as many minutes but were unable to get a shot on goal from either chance.
There was a brief scare when a defensive mix up saw Foderingham charge out of goal only for a defender to tap the ball away from him but Grant Hall managed to get his foot in and kick the ball away to safety.
The Cumbrians had an appeal for a penalty waved away in the 83rd minute when Amoo tumbled in the penalty area but the referee was not interested in his claims.
Carlisle had resorted to long balls being sent goalwards towards O’Hanlon as a target man and one of his knock downs to Lawrence saw his effort fly over the Town End and into the car park.
There was scramble in the Town penalty area with two minutes of normal time remaining but Noble could only shoot tamely at Foderingham and he gathered the ball easily.
Nicky Ajose went on a fantastic run picking up the ball on the halfway line and beating 4 defenders on a mazy run before firing a shot from the edge of the penalty area which was well saved by Amos. Ajose left the field to good applause for his good performance and was replaced by Dany N’Guessan as the match entered 3 minutes of added time.
The introduction of leading goal scorer N’Guessan’s proved to be an inspired when his first touch of the ball saw him fire home past Amos after getting on the end of a pass from Nile Ranger.
The goal was N’Guessan’s 8th of the season and proved to be the last action of a match in which Mark Cooper’s men always looked comfortable against Carlisle and now move onto 30 points from 19 games.
Swindon Town: Foderingham, Thompson N, Hall, Ward (C), McEveley, Kasim, Thompson L, Luongo, Harley, Pritchard, Ajose
Substitutes: Belford, N'Guessan, Mason, Gladwin, Branco, Barthram, Ranger