ALMOST eight years ago, Paolo Di Canio guided Swindon Town to a two-goal home win over Burton Albion to record the club’s sixth successive Football League victory.

Some 2,800 days later, Richie Wellens became only the third manager since the turn of the millennium to achieve the same feat by beating a poor Grimsby Town side at a seasonally mild Blundell Park.

The current Swindon boss understandably talked down the club’s current winning groove during his post-match press conference. After all, momentum can shift so rapidly in this game.

But, inside, he must be bursting with the same pride, excitement and anticipation that Saturday’s 319 travelling Swindon fans currently possess when considering what the upcoming five months or so could potentially hold.

Excluding the weekend’s totally dominant 3-0 win, Sunday will mark a year since Swindon’s last visit to north-east Lincolnshire.

Only one coaching role has been changed since December 15, 2018 – Tommy Wright stepped in to fill Peter Shirtliff’s shoes as first-team coach during the summer after the latter had to quit his role due to personal reasons.

But on the field, Kaiyne Woolery and Michael Doughty were the only two starting players to survive Wellens’ XI from almost a year ago – a day where Swindon suffered a 2-1 defeat following Wes Thomas’ brace.

The above highlights the extraordinary mark Wellens has made on his club.

It’s evident no more so than by looking at the League Two table. Swindon’s points return from their first 20 fixtures of 39 points took an additional 36 days to achieve last term.

Still, the obvious questions remain unanswered. Will Eoin Doyle be recalled by parent club Bradford City? Can Anthony Grant’s loan stay be turned into a permanent one?

Key questions to which the answers could certainly define the second part of Swindon’s season.

Wellens made no changes to his side that defeated Mansfield Town 1-0 at the Energy Check County Ground a fortnight ago.

Winger Lloyd Isgrove returned to the matchday squad, though, after missing the last six weeks because of a knee injury.

Unstoppable on-loan forward Doyle had the ball in the back of the net with only 10 minutes played.

In truth, the goal occurred following a catalogue of defensive blunders by the hosts. Left-back Liam Gibson was caught napping when Paul Caddis’ throw comfortably met Woolery’s stronger foot.

Woolery proceeded to pick out Doughty at the far post, his looping cross was nodded home in rather unspectacular – but clinical – fashion by Doyle.

Little happened in the 14 minutes between Swindon’s opener and their second goal.

But the clinical visitors doubled their lead when Jerry Yates, under minimal pressure from a shaken home defence, watched his deflected effort from the edge of the D dribble into home keeper James McKeown’s goal.

Yates attempted to notch a second on the half-hour mark after a period of sustained pressure inside the hosts’ defensive third concluded with Jordan Lyden winning a free-kick.

Doughty rolled the ball in Yates’ direction, but his shot whistled over the crossbar.

Grimsby turned lacklustre at this point – they lacked confidence defensively, midfield passes were often astray and their attacking threat was non-existent.

They were fortunate to not concede a third goal with 37 minutes on the clock. After Woolery picked up possession in acres of space on the right, Doyle fortuitously watched the ball fall to his feet after the former’s shot was deflected.

A scrambling McKeown did well to push Doyle’s effort wide.

Although the Mariners threatened at the end of the half from a corner – which evaded everyone – Swindon entered the tunnel more than satisfied with their work.

Grimsby were in fact so poor that interim boss Anthony Limbrick made two half-time changes. Ethan Robson and Ahkeem Rose came on to replace Elliott Whitehouse and Matt Green.

The changes had no impact on the hosts’ threat and only seven second-half minutes had passed before Swindon went 3-0 up.

Yates played an excellent one-two with Doughty to cut three home defenders in half before a shot from the left was rifled into the far post side netting.

The 23-year-old could’ve grabbed a hat-trick on the hour. After shooting inside the hosts’ penalty area, Yates’ effort was flicked wide of danger.

Ironic cheers were voiced by the scattering of home fans when Charles Vernam and Rose registered tame shots on target that were taken from outside of the penalty area.

Although the points had been comfortably wrapped up, emotions reached a high when Max Wright’s poor challenge on Grant with 15 minutes left prompted handbags between several players.

Of the game’s highlights, that moment proved the last. Wellens made a trio of late changes to get some minutes into the legs of Diallang Jaiyesimi, Danny Rose and Taylor Curran.

But otherwise, the 319 travelling fans returned to Wiltshire more than pleased with what they witnessed.