TWO goals in either half coupled with a sterling away performance earned Town a 4-0 success at Chesterfield.
On a wet and windy day in Derbyshire, goals from Louis Thompson and Jon Obika – two goals in as many games for the pair – were sandwiched between a double from Nicky Ajose.
Martin Ling was forced into making a change to his defensive unit with Rapha Rossi-Branco missing out through suspension. The Town manager opted for a switch in formation with four at the back and a diamond in midfield. Yaser Kasim missed out through injury so Anton Rodgers was deployed at the base of the diamond a la Ross MacLaren in Town’s 1990 vintage with Fabien Robert and Louis Thompson plugging the gap in midfield and Ben Gladwin playing in an advanced position. Jon Obika and Nicky Ajose resumed their partnership up front.
The game was only three minutes old when the visitors took the lead. Some neat build-up play saw Gladwin feed Bradley Barry on the right flank. The full-back’s ball in caught out the Spireites’ defence and allowed Nicky Ajose to arrive right on cue to turn the ball into the back of the net from close range.
Barry was involved at the other end, standing up well to block a goal-bound effort before Swindon doubled their advantage. The full-back was involved once again as Louis Thompson picked up possession some 30 yards from goal on the right flank. He embarked on a trademark driving run towards the posts, advancing well into the box then putting his foot through the back of the ball to send it flying past the goalkeeper at his near post.
As the weather conditions deteriorated, Obika twice saw efforts go off target while the hosts’ best chances fell to Gbolly Arriybi and Dan Jones. The former lifted a shot across goal and wide after a burst of pace had taken him into the area after the latter had somehow put a deep cross wide of goal having been picked out at the far post.
Before the break, Jay O’Shea’s thunderbolt crashed back off the crossbar. With the woodwork still rattling, Swindon hared up the other end on the break and Obika’s shot was eventually blocked behind.
Town repeated what they had managed after three minutes at the start of the second half. Barry snaffled back possession and fed Gladwin in the midfield. The on-loan QPR man turned and played the ball to Jon Obika who took a touch inside the defender before picking out the bottom corner with a left-footed drive.
Town’s energy and closing down from the front brought them another goal-scoring opportunity. Thompson was the architect, winning back possession high up the pitch before playing in Nicky Ajose. With just the goalkeeper to beat, the striker was thwarted by a superb covering tackle.
While the visitors created chances in front of goal, their own number one had to be alert to deny the Spireites. A cross from the left was met by Dieseruvwe in the middle and Vigouroux reacted superbly to keep out the close-range effort.
Obika then spurned two opportunities to add to Town’s tally. Firstly, after an exchange of passes with Gladwin on the edge of the box, his turn and shot was well held by Lee. Then Nicky Ajose’s square ball dropped at the striker’s feet but he could not adjust his feet in time to divert the ball goalwards.
Vigouroux was called into action again before Town added their fourth of the afternoon. Barry set upon a loose pass and found Robert with a clever backheel. The Frenchman drove into the box and supplied Ajose on the right and the striker made no mistake from an angle, drilling the ball into the net.
Substitute, Jeremy Balmy’s flick set Jon Obika away one-on-one but he was denied a second goal by Lee then, late on, the Chesterfield stopper was required to make a fine save to deny Town a fifth goal. Urged to shoot by the 255 travelling fans, Ben Gladwin zeroed his sights on the top corner of Lee’s goal and unleashed a shot towards the target. At full stretch, the goalkeeper managed to push the effort onto the post and watched as it crashed off the inside of the upright and rolled across goal before being cleared.