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Hosts profit as Iron men self-destruct
LATE goals, defensive howlers and missed penalties – Town have been on the wrong end of some bad luck this season.
But on Saturday, they were given a huge helping hand towards League One safety with three crucial points at the expense of Scunthorpe.
The assistance came not just from referee Christopher Sarginson, who sent off Iron duo Cliff Byrne and David Mirfin before the game reached the hour mark, but also from a visiting side whose ill-discipline and lack of ambition cost them dear.
Before the pair were given their marching orders, Scunthorpe had stunned the County Ground faithful by opening up a two-goal lead at the break through Gary Hooper and Henri Lansbury.
However, with the numbers in their favour, Swindon roared back with strikes from Michael Timlin, an Andrew Wright own goal, Hal Robson-Kanu and Lee Peacock.
Timlin admitted Town rode their luck, but it was a welcome change for the midfield man.
“Those things happen in games and sometimes things go for you, sometimes it doesn’t,” he said.
“But it just feels like quite a bit of luck is starting to go our way, whereas in the past it wasn’t.
“The confidence in the team and the squad is the main thing at the moment, and it shows on the pitch that we are confident in ourselves. And that’s all come from the gaffer and Budgie.
“A bit of luck went our way with the sendings off but it was up to us to capitalise on it and we did that.”
Town should have been ahead inside four minutes as Simon Cox’s point-blank header was brilliantly blocked by Scunthorpe keeper Joe Murphy.
Then, as the ball was only cleared as far as the edge of the area, Timlin struck a superb drive which crashed against the underside of the crossbar, down over the goalline and back out, with neither referee or assistant awarding the goal.
The Iron slowly came into the game and opened the scoring when Hooper prodded home a near post corner from just a yard out, and they doubled their advantage through Arsenal loanee Lansbury.
The 18-year-old produced a sublime touch on the edge of the area to flick the ball past Jamie Vincent and Jack Smith, before slotting it past the helpless Peter Brezovan.
However, things started to go downhill for Scunthorpe straight after the restart. First, captain Byrne received his second booking for a foul on Timlin, and then on 60 minutes Mirfin followed him for an early bath after bringing down Cox.
Timlin finally got his goal minutes later to reduce the arrears before Wright headed past his own keeper to level things up.
And with the visitors playing a 4-4-0 formation and trying everything they could to run the clock down, it was only a matter of time before Town capitalised.
First Robson-Kanu drilled in his first Swindon goal from close range before Peacock bundled one past Murphy almost immediately after.
“It was one of those games for me – I was involved in a lot of things,” admitted Timlin.
“But I was glad I came up with the goal, especially as I had one scrubbed off earlier in the game.
“Once that goal went in it gave everyone a belief that we could go and get something from the game.
“I’m glad I got one in the end, but the most important thing was the three points because it was a massive win for us.”