Two goals from James Collins and a goal apiece from Darren Ward and ex-Glovers striker Andy Williams condemned Yeovil Town to a 4-1 defeat to Swindon Town at the County Ground this afternoon.
Williams, scoring against the side he was top scorer for last season, and Collins scored twice in quick succession before Yeovil striker James Hayter pulled a goal back. However within a minute, Ward added a third and Collins grabbed a late fourth as the Robins kept the pressure on League One’s top two. The visitors slip a place to twelfth on a day where they would have entered the top ten with victory.
Chasing that, manager Gary Johnson kept the side that overcame Hartlepool United by a solitary goal last weekend, keeping faith with the prolific partnership up front of Paddy Madden and James Hayter. And it was the former, on loan from Carlisle United, who tested Swindon keeper Wes Foderingham early on with a shot that the keeper clutched.
Daniel Johnson, another loanee, hit a free kick over the crossbar on ten minutes while top scorer Matt Ritchie and Andy Williams also went close with efforts that were too high. Simon Ferry then shot wide on twenty minutes after a free kick had fallen to him.
Swindon took the lead at the halfway point of the first half. Andy Williams neatly flicked the ball over Glovers centre half Byron Webster and outpaced both he and defensive partner Daniel Burn to slip the ball under Marek Stech’s body as he dived to save.
Four minutes later, the home side doubled their advantage. Another quick counter attack from a good position for Yeovil saw defender Joe Devera break away down the left and cross for James Collins to slide home a quality second goal. Collins then wasted a good opportunity to make it three when Stech’s clearance left him with a gaping goal from distance but the forward lacked composure and blasted the ball wide.
Johnson, the manager, had seen enough of Johnson, the player, and withdrew him with nine minutes of the first half remaining, bringing on Keanu Marsh-Brown and within four minutes, the switch worked. Marsh-Brown’s cross was nodded goalwards by James Hayter and despite the best efforts of Foderingham, the crossbar and a post, the assistant referee deemed the ball to have crossed the line and Hayter, who has now scored eight times against the Robins, wheeled gleefully away.
The delight was short-lived though as Paolo di Canio’s men restored their two goal lead within sixty seconds. A cross into the box was only partially cleared and Darren Ward lashed the ball into the net to make the score 3-1 with the Yeovil keeper Stech prone on the floor.
Williams, who appeared to anger the travelling Glovers by kissing his badge earlier in the game, was withdrawn through injury right on half time and at the break, Johnson took Hayter off and brought on the more physical presence of Reuben Reid.
Both Yeovil subs combined well to set Korey Smith up for a shot on goal but the Norwich loanee shot wide and another Canary out on loan, this time Swindon frontman Chris Martin, hit his shot into the side netting when maybe he should have done better.
Madden, quieter up front today, saw a shot deflected when Marsh-Brown looked better placed for an effort on goal, and the striker then headed over from another cross as Town enjoyed a brief spell of prolonged possession in the game.
Swindon then got more into the game as time went on and Stech denied Collins with a parried volley while Martin shot wide after losing his marker. Joe Edwards, who scored his first goal of the season last Saturday, went mighty close with a dipping shot that left Foderingham helpless but also passed the wrong side of the post.
As the game entered stoppage time, and with Yeovil pushing forward, a ball over the top of the back four found Collins and he curled a shot past Stech for a fourth goal that gave the scoreline an unfair slant.