Stand-in captain Raphael Rossi-Branco opened the scoring in the 55th minute and Nicky Ajose doubled the lead four minutes later but the visitors pulled a goal back in the 73rd minute through Jordan Clarke’s header. However Town survived a late scare when McSheffrey rattled the post from a free kick and the Robins earned their first home league win since the opening day of the season.
Swindon made three changes with Drissa Traore, Ben Gladwin and Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill starting in place of Louis Thompson and Yaser Kasim, both away on international duty, and Henrik Ojamaa who dropped down to the subs bench.
Scunthorpe kicked off playing towards the Town End with driving rain blowing towards them but it was the home side who forced the first error when the visiting keeper, Joe Anyon collided with a defender when trying to collect a loose ball but his blushes were spared when a fellow defender hoofed the ball clear.
Town had the majority of possession in the opening 15 minutes and were awarded a free kick some 25 yards from goal for a foul on Gladwin and up stepped Anton Rodgers to fire a curling effort which went narrowly wide of the left hand upright.
There was a brief stoppage for Kevin Van Veen to receive treatment midway through the half but he was able to continue after a short break on the touchlines.
The sides were cancelling each other out in midfield although it was Scunthorpe who were showing more attacking intent until Town were awarded a corner in the 36th minute which was cleared at the expense of another corner leading to a minor goalmouth scramble before the ball was cleared.
Kevin Van Veen was cautioned in the 40th minute for pulling Gladwin’s shirt as he was about to launch an attack although the official did play a good advantage and then went back and showed the yellow card.
Ormonde-Ottewill launched a good attack for Town in added time but his cross was cleared but Town then had another corner leading to Gladwin shooting goalwards but his effort struck a defender.
There was just time for Barry to head wide from another Ormonde-Ottewill cross before the half time whistle was blown.
The visitors threatened from the restart and earned a corner from a deflected shot which led to the ball being cleared out for another corner and that was cleared by the Town defence.
Town’s first attack of the half saw Gladwin fire in a high and wide shot in the 52nd minute but three minutes later captain Raphael Rossi-Branco led by example and put the Robins ahead with a close range piledriver shot after the keeper had parried his initial effort. The County Ground erupted in celebration although the visitors went close from the kick off but eventually were penalised for offside.
The Robins went further ahead in the 59th minute when Gladwin charged down the middle and laid the ball off to Nicky Ajose who advanced into the penalty area before firing past Anyon in the Scunthorpe goal.
This was Ajose’s 6th goal of the season and his 4th in 5 matches.
Former Town loanee Darius Henderson replaced Van Keen in the 62nd minute as the visitors looked to try and get back into the game.
The visitors replaced Rowe with Luke Williams in the 66th minute and this led to a period of sustained attacking by Mark Robins’s team before the pressure was relieved by a long clearance downfield.
Lawrence Vigouroux made a superb save in the 73rd minute to deny Williams at the expense of a corner but that led to Jordan Clarke pulling a goal back with a free header from the corner in the 72nd minute
to lift the spirits of the 320 visiting supporters in the crowd of 6957.
Wes Thomas made a welcome return shortly afterwards replacing Jon Obika.
Drissa Traore was shown a yellow card for his second foul in five minutes after charging into the back of a Scunthorpe player.
Scott Wiseman was cautioned in the 78th minute for a foul near the halfway line.
Fabien Robert replaced Gladwin in the 81st minute for the Robins.
Bradley Barry forced a good save from Anyon who parried his shot out for a corner and that was cleared by the defence.
Gary McSheffrey sent in a superb curling free kick in the 86th minute from 30 yards which saw the ball cannon back from the upright and out to safety with Vigouroux beaten.
Fabien Robert collected a pass from El-Abd in the 88th minute and sent in a curled lob which beat the keeper but the ball went wide of the upright.
Hadeed Adelakun replaced McAllister in the 90th minute and there were groans around the County Ground when the 4th official indicated that 5 minutes of added time would be played.
The tension levels grew around the County Ground during added time but Town managed to successfully close the game out to record their first home win since they beat Bradford City on August 8th and the 3 points gained moved them out of the bottom four.