A rampant Town performance saw off Swindon Town 3-0 in their season opener at The Envirovent Stadium this afternoon.
An Alex Pattison opener before half-time was followed by strikes from Matty Daly and Jack Muldoon as Simon Weaver’s side made it three consecutive wins on opening day since promotion to the EFL.
Town named six debutants in their starting line-up with Pete Jameson, Miles Welch-Hayes, Joe Mattock, Jaheim Headley, Stephen Dooley and Matt Daly all making their bow for Town.
For the visitors, new manager Scott Lindsey handed debuts to Angus Macdonald, Remeao Hutton, Ciaran Brennan and Tyrese Shade, whilst last season’s 23-goal man Harry McKirdy featured in attack.
And it was the dangerous McKirdy who almost sprang the offside trap on the opening minute. There was a nervy moment for the Town defence before the linesman raised a late flag.
After Josh Austerfield was penalised for a handball Town were under pressure from the resulting free-kick that was whipped across the six-yard box before falling to safety.
On eight minutes Warren Burrell was the first name in the book for pulling back McKirdy after slipping and losing possession.
Town’s first foray into the opposition box came on fifteen minutes when a neat move between Pattison and Daly played in Luke Armstrong, but the Town striker couldn’t get the ball out of his feet and the threat was cleared by Angus Macdonald.
Town then had a strong penalty claim waved away after Pattison went down under Remeao Hutton’s challenge.
The visitors found their way back into the game though and Ben Gladwin went close on 25 minutes with his effort from the edge of the area.
Jameson was then alert to smother the threat after McKirdy weaved through the Town defence and his ball deflected into the danger area.
Stephen Dooley joined Burrell in the book after he pulled back Gladwin on the halfway line before McKirdy’s snapshot was no more than a couple of feet from Jameson’s right-hand post.
Town settled into their stride and a good move down the left from Headley and Daly teed up a deep cross to Thomson at the far post but he couldn’t get the connection needed to find the target.
Just before half-time Armstrong played in Pattison, whose low left-footed strike was well saved by Sol Brynn.
But from the resulting corner Town took the lead. The visitors failed to clear the lines and Pattison lashed home the loose ball to open Town’s account for the season.
Town opened the second-half with a marauding run from goalscorer Pattison but his shot lacked the power to test Brynn.
Burrell then had to be smart to clear the danger from a Swindon counter-attack, but after conceding the corner Matthieu Baudry beat Jameson to the ball leaving the Town defence thankful that his effort lacked direction.
Less than a minute later though Town doubled their lead. Armstrong and Pattison combined on the edge of the area to tee up Daly to rifle home from just inside the area.
Armstrong then stole possession in a dangerous area but he dragged his shot wide of Brynn’s post before Austerfield went into the book for kicking the ball away.
Facing a two-goal deficit the visitors switched things up on the hour mark when Jacob Wakeling replaced Olutwatomisin Adeloye.
And the move paid off immediately when Wakeling was felled by Welch-Hayes after Town lost possession in the box. Gladwin’s spot kick cannoned back off the post and off Jameson to fall to safety to ensure Town maintained their advantage.
After a typically energetic afternoon Pattison’s game was over when he was replaced on 67 minutes by Muldoon.
Swindon made a further two changes on 70 minutes when Jonny Williams and Ciaran Brennan were replaced by Saidou Khan and Cian Harries.
Town killed the game off on 76 minutes when Muldoon finished a fantastic Town move. Headley and Burrell passed the ball around the Swindon press before Headley released Daly, with his slide rule pass freeing Muldoon to slide home and make it 3-0.
Weaver made his second change of the afternoon at that point when Tyler Frost replaced Dooley for his debut and Manny Ilesanmi was also handed some valuable playing time when he came on for man of the match Daly
with five minutes remaining.
With confidence high Town were comfortable in possession, closing out the game with relative ease with Headley and Armstrong going close to adding a fourth before the final whistle brought with it rapturous applause to mark the win.
TOWN: Jameson, Welch-Hayes, Burrell, Mattock, Thomson, Headley, Dooley (Frost, 77), Austerfield, Pattison (Muldoon, 67), Daly (Ilesanmi, 86), Armstrong.
Subs not used: Oxley, Richards, Ferguson, Horbury.
Goals: Pattison (43), Daly (48), Muldoon (76)
Booked: Burrell (8), Dooley (26), Austerfield (60).
Swindon: Brynn, Hutton, Reed, Baudry, Gladwin, Williams (Khan, 70), Adeloye (Wakeling, 63), McKirdy, Macdonald, Shade, Brennan (Harries, 70)
Subs not used: Ward, Clayton, Darcy, Aguiar.
Referee: Tom Reeves.
Dooley (Frost, 77)
Pattison (Muldoon, 67)
Daly (Ilesanmi, 86)
Williams (Khan, 70)
Adeloye (Wakeling, 63)
Brennan (Harries, 70)