NATHAN Byrne is making scoring goals against Port Vale a happy habit, even if his latest effort came from all of six inches.

Byrne, who fired home a stunning 20-yard curler in Swindon Town’s 5-2 victory over the Valiants at the County Ground earlier this season, bundled in Michael Smith’s cross in the 68th minute to hand his side a 3-2 win at Vale Park on Saturday.

That strike maintained the former Tottenham man’s goal-a-game scoring record against the Potteries outfit. Though it may not have been the most attractive goal ever witnessed, Byrne was ecstatic to get on the scoresheet.

“It wasn’t how you dream of scoring a winner but I’m just delighted to get it and I think the lads were brilliant,” he said.

“I was saying to the lads I enjoy playing against Port Vale at the moment. I’ve played them twice and scored twice. They were very different goals but whenever I can notch up another one on my tally I’m delighted.”

Byrne admitted that the Town players were “confused” to find themselves two goals behind at the break on Saturday, as Doug Loft and Tom Pope scored with Vale’s only two shots on target all afternoon.

“I thought we controlled the whole game, they had a few chances in the first half and took them well and we were really a bit confused and disappointed that we went in at half-time 2-0 down,” he said.

“The manager and all the boys said if get a goal in the first 15 or 20 minutes then the game would change completely, especially playing into the wind, so we knew we had a massive chance. Luckily we got that goal and then the whole game changed.

“Away games are usually more of a battle than at home but after coming back from 2-0 down the lads are buzzing. We want to push on now and get more wins away from home and not concede two goals before we bring it back because it’s not the easiest thing.”

The defender paid special tribute to the hardy 284 Swindon fans who made the trip to Port Vale, saying: “The fans were brilliant again today. It’s entertaining when you do come back but obviously we don’t want to be conceding goals before we get into games.”