SWINDON Town U18s returned to winning ways in emphatic style today as they dispatched their Cheltenham Town counterparts 4-0 at Stanley Park.

Having fallen to a first defeat in the Youth Alliance League last weekend at Yeovil Town, Alan McLoughlin’s side had to weather a quick start from the visitors, with Archie Matthews called into action inside three minutes.

However, it didn’t take long for Swindon to find their stride and after Jordan Edwards was denied twice by the Cheltenham goalkeeper, the pressure told in the 15th minute.

Louis Spalding’s quick free-kick down the left set away Jacob Bancroft, whose cross eventually fell to Joe Romanski, who finished well at the back post.

Town’s second came moments before the break after some good work down the right from Wilf White, whose cross was chested home from close range by Elliott Dugan.

A third came swiftly after the restart, when Luke Haines kept his composure in the box to control a bouncing ball on the half volley and find the back of the net.

The victory was wrapped up in the 79th minute when Ralph Graham, who had earlier narrowly missed with an acrobatic bicycle kick, finished off a well-worked move involving Edwards, with time still left for Paolo Giamettei to hit the post in the closing minutes.

“The first 10 minutes, we were a little edgy and credit to Cheltenham, they started the game brightly and caused us one or two problems,” said McLoughlin.

“Overall, we were pretty comfortable and scored some good goals.

“A little bit disappointed in our set pieces, in terms of our taking of them and execution, I thought they were a little bit lax.

“Cheltenham have made some changes and have had an indifferent start and had a few younger boys playing, so I’m not going to get too carried away but you still have to beat the opposition.

“I thought our structure and the way we passed the ball today was very good and we mixed up our game a lot better than we did against Yeovil.

“Defensively, we still need to work on some certain aspects and being a little bit more aggressive and a bit more communication but I was delighted with the clean sheet.”

Town return to action on Tuesday afternoon in the Youth Alliance Cup away to Gillingham, with McLoughlin set to tinker with both personnel and formation. “We now have to take that intensity we can produce at home into away games,” he added.

“They have been a little bit lacklustre at times, in starting, but once we get into our stride, we’re ok.

“We’ll make lots of changes for that game (against Gillingham), in terms of playing boys who haven’t been playing.

“I’d be interested to see how they cope with a big, strong Gillingham team.”