DESPITE the arduous task of trips to Carlisle United, Oldham Athletic and Bury still to bear over the final third of the season, the Swindon Town supporters will be more than happy to go the extra mile.

On Saturday, those hardy souls who follow Town both on the road as well as at home at the Energy Check County Ground were treated to a third away win in succession in League Two.

A mightily-impressive victory at Milton Keynes Dons made it nine points from nine on their travels in 2019 after previous successes at Tranmere Rovers and Macclesfield Town.

In total, Richie Wellens’ side are now unbeaten in their last five away matches.

Keep up that form and the gap to the play-off places is sure to be further trimmed.

In total, a highly-commendable total of more than 1,200 Swindon supporters made the trip to Stadium MK at the weekend.

Not only were they treated to three points that closes the gap to the top seven to eight points, they also witnessed one of the best performances of the season from their side.

A dominant first-half performance was only rewarded with a narrow 1-0 cushion after Michael Doughty struck the first of his brace with a cool finish from the edge of the box.

The midfielder remained the visitors’ hero come the final whistle as Doughty was the man to seal the points for Wellens’ side with his second goal – and Town’s third – from the penalty spot.

In between that was a breathless passage of play on the hour mark as the two sides traded goals in spectacular fashion.

First, Jake Hesketh levelled matters for MK with a wonderful 30-yard strike, but Town went straight upfield from the restart and Keshi Anderson’s equally superb effort put Swindon back in front.

Although the visiting supporters were made to endure a nervy conclusion after Kieran Agard grabbed a second goal for Dons with two minutes of normal time to play, Town dug deep to see out another away victory.

Town boss Wellens made five changes to the side that started the previous 1-0 defeat at home to Crawley Town a fortnight ago, with last weekend’s scheduled game against Forest Green Rovers having been postponed due to the wintry weather.

The most notable of those was a debut up front for deadline day loan signing Theo Robinson.

Another January arrival, Danny Rose, was handed a first start in midfield after two previous substitute appearances, while Kyle Knoyle, Dion Conroy and Matt Taylor came into a re-jigged back-line.

Canice Carroll, Ali Koiki, James Dunne, Marc Richards and Luke Woolfenden were the men to miss out from the starting XI against Crawley, with the latter dropping out of the matchday 18 altogether due to injury.

Robinson’s fellow deadline day signing, Kyle Bennett, had to make do with a place on the bench.

Town made all the early running and Doughty had two sights of goal in the opening four minutes.

The first came after good work from Anderson on the left and resulted in Doughty seeing a shot blocked.

Less than a minute later, the Town midfielder pounced on a loose ball in the MK box, but sent his effort straight at keeper Lee Nicholls.

Swindon continued in the ascendancy and Kaiyne Woolery was next to threaten, fizzing in a low strike from the right that Nicholls was forced to scramble behind following a wicked deflection off Baily Cargill.

Taylor played the resulting corner to Doughty on the edge of the box, but his effort from distance was comfortably saved by the Dons keeper.

MK took 11 minutes to put some attacking play together of their own as good work from Ryan Watson on the right resulted in the ball breaking to Agard in the box. He swivelled and shot, but Swindon stopper Lawrence Vigouroux got down well to save.

Swindon were swiftly back on the front foot and Doughty’s through ball split the Dons defence and allowed new loan recruit Robinson to race in on goal. After holding the ball up, he cut back to Taylor 25 yards out, but the shot was well over.

That was to be the experienced left-back’s last action as Taylor pulled up in pain soon afterwards, forcing Wellens into a change with only 26 minutes on the clock as Koiki was sent on in his place.

The switch did not stall Swindon’s momentum and a big chance came Robinson’s way just before the half-hour mark.

Jak McCourt took a short corner to Anderson before floating in a cross after getting the ball back, and although Robinson rose highest to meet it, the Town debutant could only head wide.

Another McCourt corner – this time more conventional – created the visitors’ next chance soon afterwards as Robinson got a slight deflection to the cross with his head, which meant central defender Tom Broadbent could not get a clean strike at the back post and sliced over the top.

Swindon eventually got the goal their play deserved 11 minutes before half-time after Doughty caught MK’s Jordan Houghton in possession midway inside the hosts’ half.

After nicking the ball, Doughty strode forward before calmly rolling the ball low into the bottom corner of Nicholls’ net from the edge of the box to put the visitors in front.

Dons responded well to the goal and a couple of chances came their way, with first Conroy getting in a vital block to keep out Alex Gilbey before Vigouroux got down well to smother a shot from Hesketh.

Swindon finished the half the stronger, though, and Woolery shot narrowly wide before a perfect floated ball from Doughty sent Robinson though in stoppage time.

However, he was caught between going for goal and trying to cushion down to Anderson, and only ended up heading wide as the visitors’ lead remained 1-0.

MK manager Paul Tisdale sent his troops out fired up for the second half and only five minutes had passed before Vigouroux was called into action, pushing behind a powerful close-range strike from Chuks Aneke.

Broadbent then got in a crucial block to deny a low strike from Hesketh in the box shortly afterwards following a low ball across from Cargill.

A stunning sequence then unfolded on the hour mark, with the two sides trading spectacular goals as the visitors retained the advantage.

First, MK levelled matters through a wonderful strike from Hesketh, who cut in from the left before beating Vigouroux from 30 yards.

However, Town roared up field straight from the kick-off and Anderson let fly from a similar distance, giving Nicholls no chance and immediately silencing the home crowd.

The game was now see-sawing from end to end and a superb stop from Vigouroux denied Dons another equaliser as the Town keeper got down well to push away a powerful low effort from Gilbey.

Swindon then gave themselves breathing space with 18 minutes to play when Doughty got his second goal of the game from the penalty spot.

The midfielder started the move inside Town’s own box, sending the ball forward to Anderson to start a counter-attack.

Possession went to Robinson and then Woolery, and Dons defender Russell Martin had no choice but to lunge in to prevent the shot.

Referee Christopher Sarginson was quick to point to the spot, where Doughty coolly dinked the ball over the diving Nicholls to give his side a two-goal cushion.

The home side refused to roll over and began to bombard the Swindon box, eventually setting up a nerve-jangling conclusion as Agard lashed home from close range to cut the deficit with two minutes to go.

Dons tried their best to rally once more as the game ticked over into five minutes of stoppage time, but the Swindon defence remained resolute and coughed up no clear sights of goal to ensure they travelled home with three more impressive points on the road.