ROCKED by news that Jerry Yates had returned to parent club Rotherham in the week, adaptable Swindon Town again picked themselves up to record three more League Two points this afternoon – this time against Port Vale.

New signing Hallam Hope immediately entered Richie Wellens’ attacking threat after signing in the week, though the chances of watching a three-goal thrashing with half-an-hour played were bleak to say the least.

Whether Wellens’ arrival on the touchline after he watched a dull first 35 minutes from the Arkell’s Stand had anything to do with the hosts’ turnaround is up for debate.

But a Leon Legge own goal coupled with Hope’s debut strike and a delightful free kick effort by Michael Doughty earned Town their fifth win by three goals or more in all competitions this season.

Three changes were made by Richie Wellens, one of those changes enforced owing to Jerry Yates’ return to Rotherham.

Tom Broadbent and Danny Rose were dropped while Hallam Hope made his Town debut with Michael Doughty and Mathieu Baudry returning from illness and injury respectively.

There was little – if anything – to report in the game’s opening quarter-of-an-hour as Richie Wellens’ squad adapted to life post Eoin Doyle and Jerry Yates.

New signing Hallam Hope positioned himself on the left side of a midfield attacking three in company with Diallang Jaiyesimi in the centre and Lloyd Isgrove on the right.

Kaiyne Woolery was the hosts’ sole target up front, and Town’s lack of options in those key attacking areas was evident.

Hit ‘n’ hope long overlapping balls forward started almost every attack made by Wellens’ team, while at the other end Port Vale struggled to pierce a resolute – if at times sloppy – Town back four.

Vale did test Steven Benda once in the first 20 minutes, though even Leon Legge’s tame flicked on header from a free kick was flagged for offside.

Visiting ‘keeper Scott Brown was first called into action some seven minutes later when Diallang Jaiyesimi stung the stopper’s palms after Paul Caddis’ inswinging free kick was cleared by Nathan Smith, who was substituted when play paused.

In the same passage of play, Rarmani Edmonds-Green – making his home Swindon debut – struck the crossbar when a dipping attempt from 20 yards out almost caught Vale napping.

A pair of chances for Woolery followed, the first was saved and the second tipped wide, as Town established a foothold in what had been up to this moment a dull affair.

Calls for Vale’s Will Atkinson to be sent off were waved away by referee Craig Hicks when a poor challenge on Anthony Grant inside the centre circle earned him just a yellow.

But the 10 minutes that followed ultimately turned the game on its head. Perhaps motivated by Richie Wellens’ return to the touchline, Diallang Jaiyesimi netted a fortuitous opener with 40 minutes on the clock.

The goal was sparked by a typically bullish tackle by Grant in midfield, his cross seconds later was nodded down by Woolery before Jaiyesimi’s effort from 20 yards struck Leon Legge’s boot to find the back of the net.

Five minutes later, Town’s lead was doubled – this time in more eye-catching circumstances. It took Town just 16 seconds to advance play from the boot of Mathieu Baudry on the edge of the hosts’ penalty area to the back of Brown’s net.

Play advanced via Woolery, Isgrove and Doughty before Hunt’s overlapping run and first-time cross towards the six-yard box was smashed home by Hope – earning him a goal on debut.

No changes were made by either manager at half time as Jaiyesimi continued to press visiting ‘keeper Brown, who had to make two early saves to prevent a third Swindon goal.

Edmonds-Green went close to making it three for Town too before Michael Doughty confirmed the hosts’ third when executing a delightful free kick on the hour mark.

In truth, the foul on Isgrove to grant Doughty his set-piece was soft. But none of that mattered when the midfielder’s well-placed left-footed effort from 20 yards out nestled into Brown’s top right corner.

With the game’s outcome all but over, two changes were made by Vale boss John Askey with Tom Conlon and Richie Bennett coming on in place of Luke Joyce and Mark Cullen respectively.

Wellens made a change of his own also, with the returning Mathieu Baudry replaced by Tom Broadbent with 17 minutes remaining.

Ten minutes later, and Scott Twine came on in place of Lloyd Isgrove – Wellens evidently satisfied all three points were in the bag at this stage.

And so the above proved, a timely three-goal win ahead of a midweek trip to Colchester on Tuesday.

Swindon: Benda, Baudry © (Broadbent, 73’), Isgrove (Twine, 82’), Doughty, Woolery, Hunt, Jaiyesimi, Caddis, Grant, Edmonds-Green, Hope.

Port Vale: Brown, Gibbons, Joyce (Conlon, 63’), Legge ©, Worrall, Montano, Atkinson, Cullen (Bennett, 60’), Smith (Brisley, 27’), Amoo, Burgess.