Josh Morris had given the Bantams the lead in the 4th minute and they could have gone further ahead when Nathan Thompson conceded a penalty but new Town keeper Lawrence Vigoroux saved Billy Clarke’s attempt. Nathan Byrne scored three goals in 16 second half minutes and Jon Obika completed the recovery in the 70th minute.
Mark Cooper’s side stepped up a gear in the second half after some tactical changes to their line up and the win was just reward for the Robins increased attacking intent.
Swindon Town lined up with 4 new signings making their League debut including goalkeeper Lawrence Vigoroux along with Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill, Kevin Stewart and Michael Williams.
Bradford kicked off but it was Nathan Byrne who had the first shot of the match in the 1st minute.
Jon Obika followed that up with a good effort from 12 yards which went just wide of the upright but the visitors took the lead in the 4th minute when the ball was squared to Josh Morris and his first time volley gave Vigoroux no chance.
Town were awarded a free kick on the edge of the area when Hylton was fouled but Kasim’s curling shot went over the crossbar.
Fabien Robert made his debut in the 11th minute replacing Hylton and shortly afterwards Obika had a chance to equalise from close range but his chipped effort went over the crossbar. Robert’s trickery earned a free kick when he was fouled in a central position about 25 yards from goal but Stewart’s kick struck the defensive wall and the ball was cleared.
Bradford were awarded a penalty in the 17th minute when Thompson fouled a Bradford forward but new keeper Vigoroux endeared himself to Town supporters by pushing Billy Clarke’s kick around his right hand post at the expense of a corner which was well defended by the Robins.
Nathan Byrne tried his luck from distance in the 21st minute but his effort went wide to safety.
Town had a good spell of possession on the edge of the visitors area probing for a chance but finally lost possession when an angled ball aimed for Byrne went out for a goal kick.
Town continued to enjoy plenty of possession without an end product but they were almost embarrassed when Turnbull’s short pass was cut out by Clarke and his long range shot caught Vigoroux well off his line but the ball went only just wide of the upright.
Jon Obika’s headed effort in the 32nd minute was deflected for a corner but Town were unable to threaten from the resulting cross.
Bradford’s Billy Knott was inches away from doubling his side’s lead in the 35th minute as he stretched to reach a cross from the right wing with the goal at his mercy.
Some neat interplay in the 37th minute almost led to Robert scoring but some last ditch defending cut out the threat at the expense of a corner.
Nathan Byrne was cautioned in the 38th minute for fouling a Bradford player who was charging down the right wing.
The visitors had a corner in the 40th minute which saw Nathan Clarke head goalwards but the Town keeper took the ball cleanly.
Two minutes of added time were played with no major incident at either end so the visitors went in ahead by one goal.
Town kicked off the second half playing towards the Town End and their first attack saw Obika fire in a weak shot which went wide.
The Robins positive start continued with some superb passing before Byrne sent a measured pass to the far post after outpacing the defence but no Town players could get a touch. However their bright start was rewarded in the 52nd minute when Nathan Byrne tricked his way into the penalty before sending an angled shot which found its way past Obika who stepped out of the way and the ball went into the net.
Kevin Stewart went on a one man mission to try and put the Robins ahead but he was finally blocked by two defenders at the expense of a corner.
Swindon took the lead in the 61st minute after some superb defending by Ormonde-Ottewill who fired the ball down the left wing to Stewart and his ball to Obika was flicked to Byrne who advanced into the area before firing past Williams in the City goal. Michael Williams was cautioned for an earlier foul when the referee had played an advantage.
Stephen Davies replaced Billy Clarke in the 63rd minute for the visitors in an effort to get back into the match. However it was Town who were next to score when Nathan Byrne capped a fantastic performance by scoring his third of the afternoon after tricking his way into the area and firing past Williams in the 68th minute. Byrne’s goal really ignited the atmosphere around the County Ground and the Town fans went into delirium in the 70th minute when Jon Obika outpaced the defence to fire home from close range. Chants of “We’re top of the League” rang out around the ground as the Town fans celebrated their side’s superb recovery.
Yaser Kasim needed treatment after taking a knock in the 74th minute but was able to continue after a short break on the touchlines.
Former Town player Mark Marshall replaced Josh Morris in the 76th minute.
Nathan Clarke’s frustrations got the better of him and he saw a yellow card for fouling Byrne in the 82nd minute.
Anton Rodgers replaced Kasim in the 83rd minute and he left the field to good applause after a good performance for the Robins.
Stephen Davies saw yellow for a late kick out at Williams in the 86th minute after losing possession and appealing for a penalty.
Nathan Byrne left the field to a rapturous applause in the 87th minute to be replaced by Will Randall and shortly afterwards Town’s hat-trick hero was announced as Man Of the Match.
Fabien Robert was cautioned for a late challenge as tempers flared but order was soon restored by referee Stephen Martin.
The crowd were cheering every Town pass as the match entered 4 minutes of added time with the City players desperately trying to get possession.
Kevin Stewart wasted a good chance to score Town’s fifth when he fired over the bar after a patient build up and that proved to be the last action of a thoroughly entertaining match which saw Town overturn the early setback to beat Bradford City by four goals to one.