MIDFIELDER Michael Doughty gave Swindon Town fans a day to remember as his hat-trick fired Phil Brown's men to a 3-2 win over Macclesfield Town on the opening afternoon of the League Two campaign.

Doughty struck twice from the penalty spot in injury time to hand the hosts the three points after goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux's effort had appeared to hand the newly-promoted Silkmen a victory on their EFL return.

Brown’s first XI consisted of six new faces, as he trusted Elijah Adebayo, Doughty, Martin Smith, Steven Alzate and Jermaine McGlashan with starting roles.

Late addition Sid Nelson was handed a spot on the bench alongside fellow summer recruits Jak McCourt, Toumani Diagouraga and Luke McCormick.

The first 45 minutes presented a plethora of chances for Swindon, who were unable to take any of them, as the two teams went back down the tunnel at 0-0.

Quarter of an hour in, Doughty had a superb opportunity to give Swindon a lead after he latched onto Adebayo’s knock-down, only to fire at opposition keeper Rhys Taylor.

Matt Taylor, who has just completed his 21st pre-season was next to come close, he hit the upright from distance after a looping effort from the left pinged against the cross bar.

Ten minutes later, the bar saved the Silkmen for the second time. Adebayo was the unlucky one after he headed back across goal from Kyle Knoyle’s ball, but couldn’t keep it down to test Taylor.

Following his return from Waterford, goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux made a decent return to start between the sticks for Town.

His distribution caught the eye of many during pre-season and Swindon nearly benefitted yet again as his kick was chased down by Keshi Anderson, however, he was met by Taylor who flattened the former Crystal Palace man.

Town’s final chance of the half was a re-run of their first, Doughty again getting on the end of Adebayo’s header but Taylor was there to deny the Swindon man.

In the second half, Macclesfield came flying out of the blocks to score as Koby Arthur found a pocket of space on the right before slotting past Vigouroux.

Town’s powers of recovery were tremendous as Alzate, who had dazzled in midfield, found the by-line and dinked a ball into the area.

From here, Doughty had little to do as the goal gaped before he nodded Town level less than a minute before they fell behind.

Swindon looked to be back on top before a moment of madness at the back, Lancashire passed the ball back to Vigouroux, who was under pressure and played it to Arthur.

The Silkmen sensed blood and the winger was able to scoop the ball over the Town stopper to restore a lead for the visitors.

Both teams took a collective breather after a frantic 10 minutes before Brown opted to introduce teenager Scott Twine to the game, at the expense of Alzate.

Macclesfield grew into the game and most of their work went through former Swindon striker Harry Smith as he provided an outlet for the away side.

Lancashire was the first player to go into the referee’s book for man handling Smith.

With 10 minuntes left, Doughty was chopped down just outside of the penalty area, gifting Brown’s troops a shooting opportunity.

Taylor stepped up as expected but watched his free-kick curl and clip the top of the cross bar as Swindon’s search for an equaliser continued.

Brown brought McCourt into the game with three minutes of regular time to play, while Mark Yates elected to strengthen his defence with Keith Lowe.

McCourt had the chance to snatch a point for Swindon with his first touch of the game when McGlashan found him from the right.

The ball bounced up to a comfortable height in the penalty area for the 23-year-old but he cushioned his effort over the bar.

Town supporters were on their feet in injury time after Adebayo was hacked down in the box, only for the referee Robert Lewis to blow for offside. 

Swindon were then given a lifeline after Lewis consulted his assistant, before altering his decision and awarding Swindon a spot-kick. 

Doughty stepped up in front of the Town End and was handed a huge slice of luck as Taylor's glove was enough to put the ball onto the post but it took a bounce and spun into the net to make it 2-2. 

Town were on the rise, Doughty then playing a ball to McCourt who smashed a first-time effort against the bar. 

Anderson gathered the rebound and was brought down, resulting in another penalty for Town and Doughty dispatched to wrestle the points from the visitors.

TOWN: Vigouroux; Knoyle, Lancashire (C), Conroy, Taylor; Doughty, Smith (McCourt 88), Alzate (Twine 68); Anderson, Adebayo, McGlashan.

Subs not used: McCormick, Nelson, Romanski, Diagouraga, Iandolo,.

MACCLESFIELD: Taylor, Hodgkiss, Fitzpatrick, Kelleher, Grimes, Marsh (Napa 82), Smith, Maycock, Arthur, Whittaker, Rose (Lowe 88).

Subs not used: Wilson, Lloyd, Blissett, Welch-Hayes, Simpson.

Referee: Robert Lewis

Attendance: 7,024