I was hoping to be able to report on two good performance by Swindon Town over the Christmas period and it gives me no pleasure to say that, notwithstanding some poor previous home displays this season, this Boxing Day performance was easily the low point of the season, writes Peter Mitchell.

The change from what I witnessed on Saturday to the performance this afternoon was like night and day – in fact it almost defied belief.

At Crewe the Town were dominant throughout and for the first hour put together some super moves. Their play was fast flowing and, although the defence was untroubled until the final quarter of an hour, you couldn’t imagine it disintegrating to the extent it did less than 72 hours later. It would have been a reasonable reflection of the play if they had beaten Crewe by six goals.

Fast forward to Tuesday afternoon and the same eleven players take the field against league leaders Luton Town. Admittedly the Hatters are a completely different proposition, but in the end Swindon’s performance was a shambles as they slumped to their heaviest home defeat for 18 years.

This was a complete humiliation and illustrates just what a chasm really exists between Town and the one or two true promotion contenders in League Two. Swindon had gradually improved their goal difference to a reasonable level but disappointingly this defeat almost wiped that out entirely.

For the first half against Luton the Town defence held firm, although you always felt that the game was never going to end goalless. The visitors were more organised, quicker to the ball and created numerous dangerous openings. Swindon’s only real effort was an excellent shot from Mullin that was tipped over the bar. I think at half time most Swindon fans would have taken a draw at that point. Town seemed over eager to get rid of the ball, leading to too many poor passes and very little co-ordination.

There was an initial flurry of pressure from Swindon at the start of the second period but as soon as Luton opened the scoring after 48 minutes, with an excellent strike from former Town Striker James Collins, there was only going to be one winner. Once the third goal went in, apart from a few positive attacking runs from substitute Kellan Gordon, Town hardly provided any opposition.

The lack of a forceful and effective midfield, coupled with several players being way off their game, meant the Swindon defence was always going to be up against it. In truth, the way Luton’s attack tore Town’s rear-guard apart, the result could have been far worse than the final tally of five goals. Small wonder that Luton have already scored seven or eight goals against Yeovil, Stevenage and Cambridge this season!

Post-match, Manager David Flitcroft once again talked about “regrouping” his troops and how the problem with the home form is “a million percent psychological” – very debatable - but how on earth is he going to pick this squad up for Saturday’s game against second in the table Notts County? It will surely be a seriously demanding test of his motivational skills. There was a good turnout of 8,500 but unfortunately once again “the floaters” will have been deterred from returning in a hurry.