JACK Payne scored the only goal of the game as Swindon Town gave their survival hopes a huge boost with a 1-0 victory over Bristol Rovers on Tuesday night.

A dire game at the Memorial Stadium was finally brought to life by a moment of quality with 20 minutes to go, courtesy of a fine half-volley from Town’s energetic midfielder.

The win was also the first time Swindon had won consecutive games all campaign, leaving John Sheridan’s men in 19th still – three points above the bottom four.

Sheridan made one change to the side that beat Fleetwood Town in fairly convincing fashion on Saturday, and it was enforced.

Christopher Missilou is on international duty with DR Congo, therefore Joel Grant was presented with another opportunity to impress following an underwhelming display against Gillingham.

For Rovers, Joe Day re-took his place in goal following suspension. The stopper almost joined Town back in January before opting to snub the Robins and join the Gas instead.

At the start of the nervy affair, Swindon were a little slow to react to what was a hit and hope chip down the line, and it almost caused problems as James Daly found Brendan Hanlan in the middle. Luckily for Town, the shot was snuffed out by Anthony Grant who was operating as a centre-back once again in Swindon’s 5-2-3 formation..

Up the other end, Joel Grant worked some space before over-hitting his cross towards Scott Twine who was as free as a bird on the left.

With goalmouth action at a premium, the next strike towards goal came in the form of an Akin Odimayo header from Matt Palmer’s corner. However, it didn’t reach the goal as Hanlan cleared away emphatically.

Moments later, the ball was worked out to Twine on the left corner of the box. The attacker cut back onto his right but whipped his shot well off target.

With half an hour played, Joel Grant took too long to cross from the right and eventually laid the ball off to Palmer to shoot, but his strike was blocked.

Down the other end, a brilliant diving header from Ellis Iandolo stopped Jonah Ayunga stealing in to head home for the home side.

Rovers went close shortly after as well as Luke McCormick drove in a corner that Jack Baldwin powered goalwards with his head, but it hit Hanlan and bounced away.

And the home side were last to get a strike away before the referee blew the whistle for half-time too.

Paul Caddis lost the ball in his own half and Rovers scrambled it through to Ayunga despite a couple of attempted tackles from Palmer and Anthony Grant. The end product was woeful though, with the Rovers' striker's shot heading towards the cricket ground.

Town had the first good chance of the second period after Palmer swung a cracking delivery onto the head of Pitman. But after the first header was blocked, Twine was unable to turn the rebound home from close range.

Five minutes after the break, Bristol Rovers had the ball in the net, but it was ruled out for offside in the build-up.

Substitute Zain Westbrooke chipped the ball up to Ayunga who headed his return pass back towards the edge of the box. Westbrooke emphatically volleyed into the corner, but after a conversation with his linesman, referee Andy Woolmer ruled the goal out.

Minutes later, Rovers went close again. Substitute Josh Hare crossed from the right, but Hanlan was unable to direct his header on target from eight yards out.

Town substitute Jordon Garrick began the turn of the tide when he cut in from the right and curled a left-footed shot goalwards that was headed behind by Josh Grant. His effort was flying in, if not for the interception by Upson.

Swindon rode the wave of Rovers pressure before finally opening the game’s account with a real moment of quality.

After Twine was fouled on the edge, the Town number 10 stuck his free-kick straight into the wall. Payne was first to react and he chested it down into his own path before half-volleying into the far corner past a static Day.

Rovers desperately searched for an equaliser late on, and they almost found it after a deep cross was headed straight to Ayunga on the penalty spot. However, the Rovers striker scuffed his effort so badly and Town were let off the hook as Camp turned the ball behind.

And with added time shown, Odimayo made a vital goal-saving tackle to deny Hanlan. Iandolo was slow to react to a flick on, and only the outstretched left leg of Town's centre-back stopped Rovers equalising at the death.

BRFC starting XI: Day, Williams, Kilgour, Baldwin, Leahy (c), Grant, Upson, McCormick, Daly, Hanlan, Ayunga.

SUBS: Van Stappershoef, Little, Hare, Westbrooke, Tutonda, Walker, Oztumer.

STFC starting XI: Camp, Caddis, Pitman, Twine, Iandolo, Odimayo, Payne, J Grant, Palmer, Thompson, A Grant.

SUBS: Matthews, Grounds, Smith, Garrick, Curran, Omotoye, Hope.