IF THE optimism surrounding this new-look Swindon Town side had begun to wane in recent weeks, those doubts were blown out of the water in brilliant fashion on Saturday with a stunning success away at Luton Town.

After a superb start to the new League Two campaign, early momentum behind David Flitcroft’s side was unexpectedly stopped in his tracks in the wake of back-to-back home defeats at the hands of Crawley Town and Barnet.

To put those disappointments behind them, Swindon had the small task of travelling to take on a home side who had scored 11 goals on route to winning each of their two league games at Kenilworth Road this term.

However, Town feel right at home away from home - and that showed no signs of abating against the Hatters as Flitcroft’s troops produced a near-perfect performance to make it nine points out of nine on the road in 2017-18.

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Marek Stech was unable to prevent Town from taking the lead

Granted, they were helped by the game’s decisive moment after just half-an-hour, with the home side hit by the double blow of a red card and a penalty against them.

However, when Hatters captain Scott Cuthbert hauled Keshi Anderson to the floor in the box as the Swindon loanee looked to gratefully accept Luke Norris’ knockdown and prod the visitors in front, it left referee Graham Salisbury with little alternative.

Norris gratefully accepted the invitation to fire his side in front from 12 yards and from there, it was a relatively straightforward afternoon for Town.

Flitcroft had rung the changes as he sought a response to the crushing 4-1 defeat at home to Barnet a week earlier, freshening his side up with four new faces in all.

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Scott Cuthbert was shown a red card for pulling Keshi Anderson's shirt

With Donal McDermott suspended following a red card against the Bees, Paul Mullin was recalled, as was Kaiyne Woolery to give Town no shortage of attacking options.

Centre-back Dion Conroy and midfielder James Dunne also came back into the XI, with Chris Robertson, Amine Linganzi and Matt Taylor the other men to miss out, although the trio did at least have the consolation of places on the bench.

Despite a host of attacking talent on the pitch, Town kept their shape with expert discipline in a cagey first half-hour, largely nullifying the Hatters’ early forays forward as they looked to set the tempo again.

However, after Cuthbert’s dismissal, the multitude of creative talents ruthlessly exploited the gaps that inevitably appeared in the home back-line, with left-back Chris Hussey scoring a wonderful solo second just five minutes into the second period before Mullin completed the rout on the hour with a cool close-range finish.

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Chris Hussey scored his first goal for the club in spectacular fashion

The home side were the first to threaten and Olly Lee had a sight of goal after seven minutes after right-back Jack Stacey found him with a cross from the right but he scuffed the shot and Swindon stopper Lawrence Vigouroux gathered with ease.

The Hatters full-backs were prominent early on and Dan Potts sent in a good low ball from the opposite flank but the excellent Conroy got in a strong challenge to deny Danny Hylton.

It took a quarter-of-an-hour for the visitors to have their first effort as Woolery fed Norris in a brisk counter but Cuthbert quickly shut him down in the box.

Town had another chance soon afterwards, with Olly Lancashire heading Hussey’s free-kick from the left just wide, before Conroy got in another good challenge at the other end as Luton broke quickly from the goal kick, with the Swindon centre-back cutting out a teasing low ball from Potts.

Luton full-back Potts then had a sight of goal himself when Stacey’s cross dropped nicely for him but he did not get a clean connection from the edge of the box and volleyed harmlessly wide.

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Mullin wheeled away in celebration after scoring

With the game having stagnated for a while, it suddenly burst into life on the half-hour mark as a penalty, red card and the opening goal all arrived in a frantic few seconds.

A deep cross from Hussey was met by Norris at back post and he headed down into the path of Anderson, who was grappled to the ground by Cuthbert, leaving referee Salisbury no choice but to blow his whistle and point to the spot before giving the home captain his marching orders.

That presented Swindon with the perfect chance to break the deadlock and Norris made no mistake from 12 yards with a crisp low strike into the bottom left-hand corner, giving Hatters keeper Marek Stech no chance.

The home players and fans were further incensed shortly afterwards when their own appeals for a penalty were waved away after James Collins appeared to be manhandled by Hussey in the box, with the Luton forward also collecting a booking for his protests.

Stech then made a fine diving save to punch away a dipping Hussey free-kick from the edge of the box in the closing stages of the half as the visitors headed into the changing rooms in buoyant mood.

Town roared out of the blocks after the restart and doubled their lead after just five minutes thanks to a stunning strike from Hussey. The left-back picked up the ball midway inside the Hatters half before skipping past Harry Cornick with some nifty footwork and placing a perfect shot with the outside of his boot past Stech and into the corner of the net.

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David Flitcroft applauded the fans following their third away win

There was no let-up from the visitor, who made it 3-0 on the hour, with Mullin lashing home from close range after being picked out by Norris following a dart up the right-hand side of the box.

With the game all but won, Flitcroft began to make changes shortly afterwards, perhaps with a view to tomorrow night’s trip to Notts County.

Norris, who had picked up a knock to his ankle in the course of the game, was the first to be withdrawn as Taylor was sent on in his place, with fellow attacking talents Anderson and Woolery also taken out of the firing line in the latter stages as loanee Kellan Gordon and Linganzi got late minutes under their belts.

Additional changes for Luton further took the sting out of the game, although Town still had to be vigilant at the back and Vigouroux made a comfortable save from Luke Berry’s dipping free-kick in a rare foray forward from the Hatters.

However, that was the nearest thing Swindon had to deal with in terms of a threat to their clean sheet as they saw the contest with comparative ease to get back to form in blistering fashion.