RICHIE Wellens recorded his first victory as Swindon manager this afternoon as a dogged second half defensive performance earned Town a timely three points against Port Vale. 

Elijah Adebayo tapped home from four yards with 10 minutes played after Scott Twine's acrobatic effort from a cross was palmed away by Vale stopper Scott Brown. 

The win is Town's second in nine weeks of League Two football, and a first since Phil Brown was sacked as manager 13 days ago. 

Wellens made four changes to the side that suffered a humiliating four-goal loss at home against Carlisle United just a week ago.

Kyle Knoyle returned to his usual right-back role while Jak McCourt filled in the middle. Marc Richards and Scott Twine meanwhile were preferred up front.

However, for a second game out of three, Marc Richards was forced to miss kick-off despite joining in the pre-match warm-up.

A subdued start to the game saw neither side create a meaningful chance on goal in the opening 10 minutes.

Town’s best chance came when Steven Alzate burst into the penalty area with the ball before unsuccessfully picking out Scott Twine on his left.

Richie Wellens’ side soon took the lead though when an acrobatic effort from Scott Twine forced Vale stopper Scott Brown into a diving save to his right.

Brown’s excellent save counted for little though, as Elijah Adebayo poached a goal from the rebound – tapping home from four yards out.

The goal rattled the home faithful, who were asking plenty of questions regarding their side’s ability – which prompted Town to press forward with confidence.

Jak McCourt whipped an accurate ball into the box from the right in search of a lively Scott Twine – Twine’s effort though couldn’t be directed towards Brown’s net.

A foul by Steven Alzate on 21 minutes gifted Port Vale their first chance on Lawrence Vigouroux’s goal as referee Peter Wright awarded a free kick 20 yards out.

Tom Conlon stepped up, but his effort was comfortably saved by a diving Vigouroux.

The free kick inspired the hosts to push forward further. This time, Luke Hannant broke clear down the right after Matt Taylor lost his man in the centre circle.

Hannant’s shot was weak though, falling to the feet of Nelson who comfortably cleared.

Keshi Anderson had two chances to double Town’s lead as the game ticked past the half hour mark.

He struck his first effort into Brown’s side netting after emerging clear with the ball following a defensive mix-up before flashing a ferocious right-foot drive past Vale’s top left corner.

Between those chances, Ben Whitfield scuffed a chance from inside Town’s penalty area after receiving the ball on the turn from Tom Pope.

Pope missed another chance for the hosts to level minutes later when rising solo from a corner. Vale’s leading goalscorer directed his effort beyond Vigouroux’s left post though.

Chances were limited in the half’s concluding five minutes as Town ended the opening 45 with a comfortable one-goal lead.

Vale’s poor first half display prompted two half-time changes – Christian Montano and Mitchell Clark departed the field for Louis Dodds and Theo Vassell.

The changes caught Richie Wellens’ men out initially – Ben Whitfield cut inside Iandolo before his shot was blocked by Woolfenden.

Appeals for handball by a restless home crowd were turned Town as Vigouroux comfortably claimed the ball delivered from the corner flag.

The hosts were again denied a handball appeal, this time Matt Taylor controlled a spinning ball which did look to take a touch to his left hand – referee Peter Wright however was unmoved.

Wellens was forced into making his first substitution on the hour mark as Jak McCourt was forced off through injury.

McCourt left the field clutching his shoulder – Michael Doughty came on in his place.

Doughty – making his first appearance since Town’s win at Notts County three weeks ago – stabilised Town’s early second half midfield woes.

However, Wellens’ men continued to weather the home side’s storm with Whitfield in particular providing a constant threat on the right side of the D. Swindon had their first chance of the half with 73 minutes played when Matt Taylor stepped up to take a free kick from a tight angle.

Taylor’s curled effort crashed into Brown’s side netting, though.

Resolute defender Sid Nelson was then forced into a goalline clearance after a corner from the right was met by towering Vale midfielder Connell Rawlinson.

Port Vale had their best opening of the half saved with 10 minutes remaining when a dangerous flick on header by substitute Quigley was comfortably gathered by Vigouroux.

Town had a chance to put the game to bed on 85 minutes when a free kick taken by Steven Alzate flashed across the face of Brown’s goal after rebounding off a Vale defender.

Increasing pressure from the hosts saw Wellens replace forward Scott Twine with centre half Olly Lancashire. 

Despite 10 minutes of additional time, Town held on for a second away win in three.