A dominant display from start to finish saw Swindon Town shake off Saturday’s disappointing defeat and claim all three points at home to Newport County.
There was just the one goal in it, scored by Luke Jephcott, who capitalised on a spillage from Exiles stopper Nick Townsend to convert from close range.
Scott Lindsey made just the one change ahead of the game, selecting Frenchman Mathieu Baudry at the back in place of injured captain Angus MacDonald.
Town started the tie brightly, looking to make an immediate impact on the game, with Jacob Wakeling in the thick of it.
First, the winger tried his luck from the edge of the box after fooling his marker into thinking he’d pass, but his effort was blocked by an outstretched Newport leg, before Ronan Darcy tested Nick Townsend’s reflexes in the County goal with a stinging drive after adjusting his feet well on the edge of the box.
Moments later, Wakeling kept the Newport stopper on his toes with another low shot that the keeper was forced to gather.
Town were relentless in their attacking, as Ben Gladwin, named captain for the evening by Lindsey, scooped up Mathieu Baudry’s pass in his own defensive area and ran the entire length of the pitch before sending a low strike wide of the right-hand post from just outside the box, and all this in the opening twelve minutes of the game.
Newport were finding it difficult to get a foothold, and their only clear chance of a hectic opening quarter was an Adam Lewis free-kick that he sent high over Sol Brynn’s crossbar.
Then, against the run of play, the visitors came closest to breaking the deadlock, as Omar Bogle capitalised on a lose all at the back and found himself one-on-one with Brynn inside the box, but the stopper spread his body well to foil the striker – a real let off for Town.
But the energetic Wakeling was continuing to cause issues at the other end, as a dangerous Remeao Hutton cross from the right side was met with a powerful header from the 21-year-old, and although he beat the diving Townsend, the ball nestled into the side netting.
The opportunities dried up a little after that as both sides cancelled each other out in possession.
County keeper Nick Townsend dropped a high, looping Hutton cross just yards from his goal line, but one of his defenders saved his blushes and was able to clear to safety, while at the other end, Omar Bogle was unable to direct his acrobatic header goalward inside the box from a testing Robbie Wilmott cross.
Despite the chances created by Town on the Newport goal, it finished goalless at the break.
With their dominance in creating chances in the first period, Town fans would have called for more of the same in the second, and that’s exactly what they got.
Ronan Darcy, who’d been a constant thorn in their side, tried his luck from long range on two quick fire occasions on 49-minutes that forced Townsend to pull off two more diving saves, before the breakthrough for Town finally arrived.
Then, on 51-minutes and with the Ronan Darcy show far from over, the ace hit another powerful shot at goal from distance, and this time Townsend couldn’t hold it, with the rebound falling to Luke Jephcott to stroke home from close range to give Swindon a deserved lead.
Again Town pushed forward as we approached the hour mark looking to add another goal to their tally, and came close as Jonny Williams burst into the area and sent a low cross towards the back post that Jephcott controlled, but his effort was somehow deflected over the bar.
Newport did threaten five minutes later, as Omar Bogle rose well to head at goal, but Sol Brynn produced a fine save, backpedaling to tip it over.
Scott Lindsey introduced Tyrese Shade, Saidou Khan and Ellis Iandolo in a ten minute spell as we hit the 70-minute mark, and neither side could fathom a chance during that time.
Instead we had to wait until 85-minutes, when Ellis Iandolo received the ball just inside the area and tried to bend it into the far right hand corner, but sent this placed shot just wide of the target.
With just four minutes of normal time remaining, Swindon had two good chances to score a second and seal the win, as Tyrese Shade’s mazy run into the box forced Townsend into yet another save, and just moments later, Mathieu Baudry’s goal bound header was diverted over by Wakeling as he looked to steal in.
Then, with just a few of the four added minutes remaining, Newport almost grabbed an unlikely equaliser, as the ball fell to Lewis Collins inside the area, but although his low shot beat the diving Sol Brynn, Remeao Hutton was there on the line to deny him an almost certain goal.
But Town saw the game out to claim the win and return back to winning ways with a trip to Stevenage up next.
Swindon Town Line-up: 4-3-3
1. Sol Brynn (GK) – 4. Tom Clayton, 6. Mathieu Baudry, 20. Frazer Blake-Tracy, 2. Remeao Hutton, 10. Ronan Darcy, 5. Louis Reed (23. Saidou Khan 76mins), 7. Ben Gladwin ©, 8. Jonathan Williams (3. Ellis Iandolo 83mins), 24. Jacob Wakeling, 15. Luke Jephcott (28. Tyrese Shade 73mins).
Subs not used: 25. Conor Brann (GK) – 22. Marcel Lavinier, 34. Ciaran Brennan, 17. Ricky Aguiar.
Scorers: Jephcott 51
Yellow Cards: 20. Blake-Tracy 75mins, 10. Darcy 19mins, 7. Gladwin 13mins
Red Cards: None
Newport County Line-Up: 3-5-2
30. Nick Townsend (GK) – 2. Cameron Norman (21. Lewis Collins 73mins), 28. Mickey Demetriou ©, 5. James Clarke, 7. Robbie Willmott, 24. Aaron Wildig (11. James Waite 67mins), 14. Aaron Lewis, 27. Adam Lewis, 22. Nathan Moriah-Welsh (20. Hayden Lindley 72mins), 9. Omar Bogle, 29. Will Evans (18. Chanka Zimba 88mins).
Subs not used: 1. Joe Daly (GK) – 17. Scot Bennett, 3. Declan Drysdale, 11. James Waite, 20. Hayden Lindley, 18. Chanka Zimba, 21. Lewis Collins.
Yellow Cards: 27. Ad. Lewis 45+3mins
Red Cards: None
Referee: Peter Wright
Assistant Referees: Adam Ricketts & Steve Durnall
Fourth Official: Kevin Morris
Attendance: 9,325 (648 away fans)