The score could have been worse for Notts County but for a fine goalkeeping performance by their goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski who denied Swindon on several occasions, although Danny Haynes missed a second half penalty when he blasted over from 12 yards. Alex Pritchard put in another Man Of The Match performance orchestrating a superb attacking display by Mark Cooper’s team.
Swindon started brightly under the floodlights against Notts County with two good attacks involving Alex Pritchard but the Town midfielder eventually lost possession appealing for a free kick but referee Darren Deadman ignored his pleas.
The visitors also showed good attacking intent and had three corners in as many minutes as they peppered the Town box with high balls but the pressure was eventually relieved when Ranger was fouled on the halfway line.
Swindon’s first corner in the 10th minute saw Nile Ranger head home from the edge of the 6 yard box despite a despairing lunge by a defender on the goal line and the volume immediately rose around the County Ground.
Shortly afterwards Andre Boucaud saw yellow for a cynical clip on Pritchard 20 yards from goal and the Town player got up to take the free kick but his curling effort flew over the crossbar.
A superb flowing move involving several Town players was nearly rewarded with goal when firstly N’Guessan’s header from close range was saved by the County keeper and then Pritchard’s blasted follow up effort struck a defender and the ball was cleared.
Notts County went close to equalising in the 16th minute when McGregor was allowed time and space to shoot from 20 yards but his goalbound effort was tipped over by Wes Foderingham.
Pritchard was popping up all over the place trying to set up the Town forwards but it was Nile Ranger who almost Town further ahead when he dribbled his was into the County penalty area,dropping his shoulder to send a defender the wrong way before curling in a shot which was pounced on by the County keeper.
Midway through the half McEveley saw yellow for an unnecessary foul in the County half of the pitch and the yellow card was inevitable.
Nathan Byrne combined really well with Ranger in a one-two passing move which led to another corner for Town as the match reached the 25th minute.
Joss Labadie also saw yellow for a late challenge on Grant Hall who was trying to latch onto a pass from McEveley but the Town player was able to continue playing without the physio being required.
Swindon were awarded a penalty in the 28th minute after Byrne was chopped down by Dumbuya after tricking his way into the penalty area and up stepped Dany N’Guessan to place the ball to the right of the County keeper to put Town ahead by two goals to nil
County immediately responded through McGregor who went close with a shot across the penalty area which beat the despairing dive of Foderingham but more importantly wide of the upright.
The visiting fans were cheering wildly when Danny Haynes fired home in the 33rd minute only for a late flag to be raised by the nearby assistant for offside against two players which silenced the Notts cheers as a free kick was awarded for the offside.
County were getting more of the ball as the half wore on without being able to get close to the Town goal but it was Mark Cooper’s Robins who were playing the more incisive football with several good passing moves to frustrate the visitors.
N’Guessan was fouled on the right hand angle of the penalty area which led to a training ground type free kick as Pritchard tapped the ball sidewayus to Byrne who played the ball back to him and he swung the ball over to the back post but the defence cleared the danger.
Three minutes of added time were played with Luongo and N’Guessan teaming up in a neat move but the defence cleared. Shortly before the half time whistle a flowing move saw Pritchard spray the ball across the pitch to Byrne on the left wing and he darted into the penalty area only to shoot wide.
The players left the pitch to good applause in recognition of a superb first half where their attacking intent was rewarded with two goals.
Both sides made substitutions at half time with Swindon sending on Jack Barthram to replace Nathan Thompson and County replaced Labadie with Haber and Leacock with Smith.
Swindon went straight on the attack placing the County goal under pressure and N’Guessan was denied by the post after latching onto a clearance by the visiting keeper from a Pritchard free kick. Several waves of Swindon attacking were only stopped by last ditch tackles as both N’Guessan and Pritchard shaped up to shoot.
The visitors were looking increasingly desperate in defence as the Robins placed them under heavy pressure and Ranger will have been disappointed to head well over from close range on the end of a Pritchard free kick in the 54th minute.
Wes Foderingham had been an interested spectator for the first ten minutes of the half such was Swindon’s dominance until he was called on to deal with a back pass from Byrne.
Yaser Kasim tested the keeper's response with a fierce drive from 30 yards which the keeper did well to parry. Ranger also had a chance in the 59th minute but his sidefooted effort was easily saved by Bialkowski in the County goal.
The visitors made their second substitution in the 61st minute replacing Coombes with David Bell.
Kasim again tested the keeper with a long range curling shot and Bialkowski did well to push the effort wide at the expense of a corner which led to two more corners and Kasim did well to trick his way along the goal line before firing a shot across goal.
Notts finally mounted their first serious attack of the second half in the 66th minute but Ward was on hand to head the ball away.
The referee showed maximum leniency when Ranger was held down on the ground while trying to break free from a defender and when McEveley swung in the free kick, the goalkeeper fisted the ball clear.
Dany N’Guessan left the field to a standing ovation in the 70th minute to be replaced by Mohamed Elgabas.
Shortly afterwards Town had a corner which was cleared and County were awarded a lifeline when they were awarded a penalty after a County player was clearly offside in the build up. However Town fans were
relieved and amused to see the ball blasted high over the crossbar almost endangering the Deacons Clock on the Stratton Bank.
Swindon almost pressed the self destruct button shortly afterwards when a backpass by McEveley was struck against Marcus Haber but the ball just went wide of the post.
Ryan Mason replaced the lively Alex Pritchard in the 76th minute and there was a chance shortly afterwards for County when McGregor fired wide from just inside the penalty area. Mason also had a chance for
Town in the 80th minute but he blasted just wide of the upright from the edge of the diagonal.
Former Town player Alan Sheehan popped up in attack to fire in a long range ball aimed for Haynes but the Town defence cleared the danger.
Wes Foderingham made a fine instinctive save from a close range header to prevent County getting a foothold back in the game.
Luongo was seeing more of the ball in midfield after Man of the Match Pritchard’s departure and he was instrumental in setting up an attack leading to a fine effort by Byrne but the County keeper again deflected the ball wide. Notts County manager Chris Kiwomya will have been grateful for his keeper’s fine performance in keeping the score down to two goals against the dominant Swindon attacking performance.
Swindon were going all out for the elusive third goal when Nathan Byrne’s powerful shot struck the base of the upright after the Town full back had been set up for the shot by Ryan Mason.
Three minutes of added time were played in which County threatened briefly from a free kick taken by Sheehan but his high hanging ball was easily gathered by Foderingham just before the final whistle.
The Swindon players left to great applause from the crowd of 8188 as Mark Cooper’s team now move into 5th place in Sky Bet League One with 20 points.
Swindon Town: Foderingham, Thompson N, Hall, Ward (C), McEveley, Kasim, Luongo, Pritchard, N'Guessan, Ranger, Byrne