I don’t think anyone expected another new era to begin like this against mid-table Carlisle United – a catastrophe! So much for my prediction of a cast-iron certain draw writes Peter Mitchell

It was always going to be interesting to see who Richie Wellens saw as his best eleven, after all the chopping and changing made by Phil Brown. He decided on stability, by making just one change – Matt Taylor into midfield – from the side that beat York City last weekend.

The new manager promised a quicker brand of football, making things work with perhaps three passes instead of five or six. He had already recognised how Swindon’s laboured approach gave the opposition so much time to cover any gaps.

For the first half hour, it looked very encouraging. Town came forward quickly, there were lots of overlaps down the right, and the visitors hardly moved into the home half. Then, very unfortunately James Dunne, who was proving a dynamo in midfield, had to be substituted due to a sudden family emergency.

Swindon lost something in that moment and never looked the same. Just before the break, Carlisle took the lead when Swindon gave them far too much room down the right and Ashley Nadesan slotted home.

There was the worst possible start to the second period when Carlisle scored a second within a minute. From that moment the heads dropped, and Swindon never looked like they were going to come back. A third and fourth goal went in to add to the embarrassment, and although Town came close a couple of times near the end, after Scott Twine had replaced Elijah Adebayo, the score-line reflected one team that put away – in some style – four chances out of their five on target, and the other that managed just three shots between the posts.

Swindon’s defence gave away too much space on the occasions that Carlisle attacked, and this led directly to their undoing. There were poor games from Adebayo and Dion Conroy in particular.

At least Richie Wellens has now seen, at first hand, what we have been suffering from all season and for much of the last. An inability to create much in the way of clear cut chances; no one who can consistently convert those few chances; and a very erratic, unreliable defence.

He now knows the size of the task and I very much doubt that the team sheet for next week’s game at Port Vale will show less than three or four changes.