A flurry of first-half goals opened Swindon’s League One campaign with an important 3-1 victory against Rochdale.
Town were relentless and clinical in the first-half, scoring three goals courtesy of both Matt and Tyler Smith and a powerful header from Anthony Grant.
Rochdale did manage to find the net in the dying stages of extra time with a close-range finish from Jimmy Keohane, but they could not live with Swindon.
It was a powerful first League One match of the season for the Reds and they will hope to take the momentum to Blackpool next Saturday.
Swindon came out with furious purpose, and only needed five minutes to strike first blood.
Payne’s fizzing, low corner ricocheted off both Swindon and Rochdale defenders, before falling to Tyler Smith who finished coolly to open up Town’s goalscoring account in League One.
Two minutes later Payne came close to doubling the advantage, using his body well to create space in the box, before unleashing a curling effort which only just sailed over the cross bar.
It was all Swindon in the first 25 minutes with Rochdale having to endure wave after wave of Town attacks.
Diallang Jaiyesimi would have given the Reds a two-goal cushion if it were not for some last ditch defending from the away side’s defence.
Just as the game passed the half hour mark Swindon found the all-important second goal.
A short corner saw Jaiyesimi receive the ball on the edge of the box, before finding Anthony Grant with an inch perfect cross to the back post, who headed home from close range.
Swindon put themselves into cruise control towards the end of the first-half and extended their lead to three goals.
Matt Smith, another new summer arrival, showed great composure to roll the ball past Rochdale keeper Gavin Bazunu and into the bottom right hand corner.
Chances were hard to come by in the second half for Town, but their intensity and dominance in possession remained the same.
Jonny Smith was a constant menace on the right flank for Swindon, frequently getting himself into some dangerous areas.
He nearly made it a perfect Smith tripartite when his dangerous right footed shot to the bottom right hand corner was saved well by Bazunu.
Rochdale created few opportunities and eventually got themselves on the score sheet.
Some strong running and a great cross from substitute Kwadwo Baah resulted in Jimmy Keohane tapping in at the back post.
Nevertheless, Town’s lead from the first half was more than enough and they held firm to secure their seventh consecutive opening day victory.