SWINDON Town continued their outstanding opening-day record with a 3-1 victory over Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park on Saturday.

After going a goal down through a controversial Ryan Loft penalty, Town rallied superbly and won the game through strikes from Jack Payne – via the penalty spot – Ben Gladwin, and Harry McKirdy.

The three points means Swindon hold a 100 per cent winning record on opening days since 2014 and went top of League Two after the opening weekend.

After a flurry of late signings in the days preceding the big kick-off, Town named four debutantes in the starting XI in the shape of Tyreece Simpson, Harry McKirdy, Kaine Kesler-Hayden, and Ben Gladwin.

Four summer signings adorned the bench as well with Lewis Ward, Romoney Crichlow, Mohammad Dabre and Ryan East hoping to make an impact.

Scunthorpe, also fresh from a summer spending spree on a much-changed squad, named six debutantes - among them were the likes of Alex Kenyon (ex-Morecambe) and George Taft (former Mansfield).

Town lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Kaine Kesler-Hayden at right-back and Rob Hunt at left-back. Ellis Iandolo started in a holding midfield role alongside Anthony Grant, and Jack Payne, Gladwin, and McKirdy operated behind Simpson up front.

Following an understandably cagey start from both sides, the first chance of the game came after Scunthorpe launched a long throw into the box that was flicked on by Taft. Fortunately for Town, Ryan Loft couldn't keep his volley down from inside the box.

Town remained well within striking distance though and went close with an early effort from McKirdy after 10 minutes. Garner's men worked the ball through the lines quickly before McKirdy faced Tom Pugh up one-on-one. The winger jinked to the outside to get his shot off, but the effort wasn't controlled well enough and flew narrowly over.

Scunthorpe hit the target for the first time in the 15th minute through Harry Bunn from outside the box while Iandolo replied for Town with a vicious effort moments later that Tom Billson just about dealt with.

Garner’s men continued to look comfortable in midfield, and following another period of play where Town prodded and probed on the edge of the final third, Gladwin eventually scuffed a shot at Billson from range. Moments before half-time, Iandolo stepped inside from a central-right position and curled an effort narrowly wide.

Immediately after the break though, Swindon went behind in controversial circumstances. Loft was played in down the left and poked the ball past Wollacott - who had foolishly left his arms in - but the Iron striker was never getting the ball even if he had skipped past the goalkeeper.

The referee pointed to the spot, and Loft picked himself up to send Wollacott the wrong way and slam the ball into the left side of the net.

Not deterred, Swindon set about trying to find a route back into the game. And 10 minutes after going behind they found it once Kesler-Hayden had been brought down inside the box.

The right-back took on three Iron defenders before being tripped by a combination of two. The referee waited a moment before pointing to the spot. Payne had an awfully long time to think about the penalty following a slight hold up, but he eventually stepped up and calmly sent substitute goalkeeper Rory Watson the wrong way - whipping his penalty back across himself and into the bottom right corner.

And a little over 10 minutes after that, Town took the lead through Gladwin. Cutting back onto his right from the left corner of the box, the midfielder whipped his effort into the bottom right corner out of the reach of Watson to send almost 800 travelling fans into raptures.

In the 71st minute, Simpson tried to help extend Town’s lead after pushing Taft off down the right and cutting back onto his left. He took one touch out of his feet before drilling a shot towards the top corner - only a superb save from Watson denied Swindon a third.

Up the other end, Wollacott had to be at his athletic best to push away a deflected Green shot from the edge of the box.

And with Scunthorpe chasing the game late on, Town killed the game with a third through McKirdy. A really poor attempted clearance from Iron skipper Harry Davis saw Simpson pounce and race in on goal. The youngster's low strike was kept out by Watson but palmed straight into the path of the on-rushing McKirdy who followed in to tap home right footed.

SUFC starting XI: Billson, Kenyon, Taft, Green, Beestin, Loft, Thompson, Bunn, O'Neill, Pugh, Davis.

SUBS: Watson, O'Malley, Onariase, Hallam, Rowe, Wilson, Perry.

STFC starting XI: Wollacott, Iandolo, Conroy (c), Baudry, Gladwin, Simpson, Payne, McKirdy, Kesler-Hayden, Hunt, Grant.

SUBS: Ward, Crichlow, East, Parsons, Dabre, Gordon, Cowmeadow.