GROANS and grumbles from the terraces returned on Tuesday night as Swindon Town fell to a momentum-killing 3-0 loss to Colchester United in League Two at the Energy Check County Ground. 

Defender Tom Eastman put the visitors ahead on the stroke of half-time when his unchallenged header from a corner was buried into Luke McCormick’s bottom left corner.

Then, typically, former Town striker Theo Robinson doubled John McGreal’s side’s lead when – again unmarked – notching a comfortable second.

Robinson rounded off United’s scoring when ruthlessly finding the top corner from an inspired counterattack on 75 minutes.

A night to forget for Richie Wellens then, as terrace chants turned from viva Lloyd Isgrove into the familiar cries of forward.

How things can change.

No one was taken by surprise when Wellens confirmed an unchanged line-up, with star front pair Jerry Yates and Eoin Doyle again spearheading the hosts’ ruthless front line.

The game’s start was rather muted, but Town were first to threaten through top goalscorer Doyle.

Doyle unleashed an ambitious strike from 25 yards that whizzed past United ‘keeper Gerken’s top left post. In truth, the attempt was credit to Doyle’s work ethic in the minutes building up to the goal.

The Rotherham loanee again helped win possession from a seemingly helpless position before Rose and Grant’s build-up play led to Doyle’s strike.

Colchester were never unsettled at this stage, they rather sapped out the game’s energy and started to restrict Swindon’s forward movement with greater effect.

Moving forward, Poku had an effort on the edge of Swindon’s penalty area excellently blocked by the hard-working Hunt, while a tame penalty appeal on 15 minutes was waved away by referee Andy Woolmer.

Keshi Anderson could only watch his free-kick from a dangerous position clear Gerken’s crossbar, while Isgrove’s persistent runs on the right went without reward as United’s defence held firm.

With the half-hour mark approaching, you could sense Colchester had gained a hint of confidence from the early defensive work.

John McGreal’s men started to look forward – and they almost found an opening from a flicked on corner that met skipper Prosser’s head at the back post following Nouble’s tidy near post flick on.

McCormick got down early, though, to make a comfortable save.

Theo Robinson went close too when he fractionally missed Poku’s dangerous cross pin-pointed to the edge of McCormick’s six-yard box.

A certain lacklustre trait edged into Town’s game, and it wasn’t helped when Mathieu Baudry was forced off the pitch with an apparent leg injury after falling while backtracking.

Tom Broadbent came on to replace the French defender, and he was immediately put under pressure by the increasingly confident visitors when Sarpong-Wiredu emerged with the ball midway into Town’s half.

Fortunately for Broadbent, the forward’s effort was blasted over McCormick’s crossbar.

Ellis Iandolo brilliance on the left couldn’t be matched – he won possession well more than once and proved a shining light in Town’s rather damp first half display.

Colchester capitalised on this, and took the lead on the stroke of half time when Tom Eastman nodded in a free header from a corner.

Eastman’s strike nestled into McCormick’s bottom left corner, and it could’ve comfortably been two had Robinson not squandered his chance minutes later.

A goal down at half-time, not what the majority anticipated.

The second half started brightly – Doyle couldn’t react quick enough when Yates’ flick on from Iandolo fell to his feet on the edge of the six-yard box. His effort ended up going high over Gerken’s crossbar.

But home fans’ first half groans returned – and with good reason – when Theo Robinson doubled the visitors’ lead 10 minutes into the second half.

Unmarked, Robinson received the ball from the left close to the penalty spot having seconds earlier passed the ball wide to shrug off Conroy’s tight marking.

Swindon were tactically undone when the Southend forward scored the visitors’ second with ease – and McCormick should’ve certainly done better in goal.

United’s second prompted changes – on came Michael Doughty in place of Danny Rose.

The 10-minute period that followed resulted in little change. Swindon’s attacking flair simply wasn’t there.

Key passes were cut out, Isgrove was denied his usual dashing runs, touches were heavy – you could go on.

Keen to inject some pace into the game, Kaiyne Woolery was introduced in place of Keshi Anderson.

But that only added to United’s tally, and they soon found themselves three goals ahead – Robinson again hitting the target.

It was a dreadful goal to concede. Yates’ attack on the left received no support, and he was subsequently dispossessed.

Nouble breezed past a slow Broadbent, before Robinson was picked out in the centre for the finish.

As for the final 15 minutes, fans left early, a few dozen travelling United fans outvoiced the home audience and it certainly felt as though two steps had been taken back.

Let’s not completely forget United’s performance, they were ruthless in front of goal and resolutely blocked out the dangerous Yates and Doyle.

Back to the drawing board.

Swindon Town: Luke McCormick, Rob Hunt, Mathieu Baudry (Tom Broadbent, 34’), Dion Conroy, Ellis Iandolo, Anthony Grant, Danny Rose (Michael Doughty, 60’), Lloyd Isgrove, Keshi Anderson (Kaiyne Woolery, 70’), Eoin Doyle, Jerry Yates.

Colchester United: Dean Gerken, Ryan Jackson, Cohen Bramall, Luke Prosser, Courtney Senior, Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu (Tom Lapslie, 63’), Theo Robinson (Jevani Brown, 75’), Brandon Comley, Tom Eastman, Frank Nouble, Kwame Poku (Luke Gambin, 87').