ON Tuesday night Swindon made a happy return to Broadhall Way, where in early December they had been drubbed by Stevenage in their FA Cup tie.

This time they came away with three vital points after winning an uninspired game by a single goal.

Town started with the same line up that finished the game on Saturday, except that Ben Purkiss replaced Chris Robertson in the back three.

The only bright spot in a scrappy opening half came in the 16th minute. Matt Taylor put over a superb corner kick and Ollie Banks rose earliest, and highest, to power the ball home off the cross bar.

At the break the Town defence was looking strong and had restricted the home side to one harmless effort. Very few chances were being created by either side in the tricky slippery conditions and space in midfield was at a premium. In the second half neither team really tested the respective keepers in a pedestrian performance from both attacks.

The anticipated late assault from Stevenage never happened and in the end Town saw the game out easily. After the match manager David Flitcroft said that Swindon were “strong out of possession”, which was a key element in their victory.

It was good to see that he decided against tinkering with his system, that has now produced five wins in the last six matches. Changing from three central defenders, after conceding three goals in each of the last two games, must have been a slight temptation.

On the night this proved to be a highly important win for Swindon because two of the teams above them also won, as did Lincoln City who Town the visit on Saturday. This moves Swindon into sixth place and only one point away from third spot.

One statistic of interest is that the Town top the “away table” for League Two – in terms of points gained on the road – but lie in 18th place for the home equivalent!