An early goal of the year contender from the returning Scott Twine and a brilliant brace from Diallang Jaiyesimi capped a memorable 3-2 away victory for Swindon Town against Ipswich Town.
Town came into the contest of the back of a horrible end to 2020, but also with a new influx of fresh faces in Dominic Thompson and Mark Travers with Matty Palmer and Twine making their return for the Town after a loan spell with Wigan and Newport County respectively.
It was the new recruits who gave John Sheridan’s side a new hope by playing a firm role in the first two goals and injecting new energy into the side.
Thompson helped the Reds get off to a lightining start, majestically finding Jaiyesimi’s with a fantastic cross while Twine put Town in the driving seat, finding the top corner from 30 yards in what could already be the finest goal of 2021.
Ipswich piled on the pressure and got themselves back into the contest with substitute James Norwood and Alan Judge finding the net in the second-half; however, Swindon deserved the three points and started the New Year with a seismic bang.
Town attacked the first half with plenty of speed, width and physicality and were the more dominant of the teams in the opening twenty minutes.
John Sheridan’s side also created the first chance of the game through Matt Smith exploiting a high Ipswich line and beautifully bringing down a long, powerful driven pass from Dion Conroy, but the angle was too tight for the creative midfielder who could only fire high and wide.
Town capped a confident first twenty minutes with an even better goal.
A wonderful, free flowing team move culminated with Town debutant Dominic Thompson finding Diallang Jaiyesimi with a first-time, out-swinging cross from the left-hand side and the Reds’ number seven beat David Cornell with a clinical, powerful header.
Trailing in the contest, Ipswich began to impose themselves on the contest like you’d expect from a home side but were thwarted from another Swindon debutant.
Mark Travers, under a lot of pressure after coming in for Matej Kovar, made a brave, spectacular save from Alan Judge who beat the Town offside trap, but could not beat the Bournemouth loanee who made himself big and beat Judge’s effort away.
Ipswich looked to the substitutes bench for inspiration and brought on James Norwood and Flynn Downes for Aaron Drinan and Emyr Huws in an effort to get themselves back into the game.
Despite the almost freezing temperatures, the Reds were red hot on the restart and sliced through the Ipswich defence once more but couldn’t quite find the net.
Jaiyesimi caused terror on the Tractorboys’ left flank again and found the lurking Scott Twine on the edge of the box but he could not cap his return with a goal just yet as his shot flew over the cross bar.
Judge was proving to be a nuisance to the Town defence and came very close to dragging his side back into the context.
The midfielder found himself some space in between the midfield and defence and proceeded to hit a crisp half-volley from twenty five yards which, to the relief of a flying Travers, stung the outside of the post.
The hosts half-time substitutes needed the first twenty minutes to grow into the game, and then a further five to change the complexion of the match.
Some quick interplay and smooth passing from the home team, resulted in Kayden Jackson finding space on the left-hand side and whipping in a dangerous cross into the danger area, which went through substitute James Norwood, bounced of a blameless Paul Caddis and then fell perfectly to Norwood who had an easy tap in.
It was a horribly unfortunate moment for the away side who looked a completely different team compared with recent weeks – but they were not knocked back for long.
It did not appear there was any cause for concern when Twine received the ball on the left-hand side, 30 yards from the Ipswich goal, but the Reds number ten opened his body out, looked up and proceeded to unleash a piledriver of an effort which burned past a shell shocked Cornell into the top-right corner.
Ipswich, and everybody in the stadium, was still finding their breath after Twine’s thunderbolt, but everybody was caught out yet again with another Swindon goal arriving out of nowhere.
With confidence flowing through his veins, Jaiyesimi toyed with Ipswich full backs and sent in a whipping, curling cross which missed Brett Pitman but found the back of net at the far post.
The home side looked buried, but they were brought back into the contest again by the combining Norwood and Judge.
Except it was the half time substitute turning provider, fooling the Reds back three with a smart, disguised pass for Judge who smashed the ball past an exposed Travers to half the deficit.
Town had to dig deep and suffer in the closing stages of the contest, but with some magnificent last ditch defending, they held firm and sealed a second away victory of the season.