SWINDON Town were comprehensively beaten 3-0 by Accrington Stanley on Tuesday night in John Sheridan’s first home game in charge.

A Joe Fryer own goal, and a strike each from Colby Bishop and Dion Charles before half-time condemned Town to a sobering defeat as they remained one place above the League One relegation zone thanks to Oxford United’s 2-0 loss against Crewe Alexandra.

Sheridan made one change from the weekend's draw against Shrewsbury with Brett Pitman coming in for Jack Payne.

The alteration saw a rejigging of the Town line up as Sheridan opted to stick with the previously-used 4-2-3-1.

Joel Grant operated in the number 10 role while Hallam Hope switched out to the left wing. Brett Pitman started up front while Jonny Smith began on the right.

On the bench, it was a full house with the likes of Mathieu Baudry and Jack Payne available for the hosts.

The chat pre-match from inside the Town camp was about making a fast start and not conceding any silly goals early on.

Unfortunately, the hosts were not able to follow through with that plan as Fryer made a dreadfully unlucky mistake in the seventh minute.

A simple ball back towards the stopper saw the goalkeeper slip when attempting to clear, and the ball simply rolled gently into the back of the net to put Accrington a goal up.

Town almost replied instantly after Jonny Smith was played in down the right by Matt Smith.

Accrington goalkeeper Toby Savin came out quickly as Smith curled his effort around him but also wide of the post.

Matt Butcher was next to test Fryer with a driven low free-kick from the right corner of the box.

The Town stopper tried to gather but the ball squirmed out of his hands and out for a corner as his difficult start continued.

But if Fryer had a degree of culpable deniability for the first one, he can't be excused for the second goal.

Cameron Burgess' ball in from the left missed everyone and was volleyed back goalwards by Butcher.

Fryer came out to punch away, but Bishop nipped in and nodded over the stopper, off the underside of the bar and in to double Accrington’s lead in the 25th minute.

Swindon almost pulled a goal back shortly after when Caddis was found by Jonny Smith in acres of space down the right.

The full-back cut onto his left before seeing his deflected effort skim narrowly wide of the post Rob Hunt was substituted for Mathieu Baudry midway through the first half as Sheridan opted for a change of shape.

The alteration did nothing to prevent a third as Stanley went three goals up in the 38th minute.

The visiting midfield and forwards played a couple of one-twos between each other before Jonny Russell slipped in Joey Pritchard who squared for Charles to tap home from six yards out.

Anything good from the home side was coming through Matt Smith, and it was the Arsenal midfielder who went closest again for Town before half-time, but his long-range shot was stopped at full stretch by Savin.

Hallam Hope missed a guilt-edge chance to claw a goal back five minutes after the break.

Paul Caddis turned onto his left and crossed into the middle towards Pitman. The striker flicked the ball on and Hope was there to volley goalwards with his left.

The forward dragged his shot across goal, however, and the chance went begging.

Up the other end, Accrington went perilously close to making it four on the counter-attack.

Butcher played Russell in after Baudry committed himself too easily, and only a good save from Fryer – who remained big when one-on-one – denied the visitors a fourth.

Akin Odimayo was turning out to be Town’s second most creative player, and another wonderful ball in from the right gave Pitman the opportunity to salvage a consolation goal with 25 minutes to play.

The ball came in flat and Pitman strode onto it perfectly but could not keep his left-footed effort down as the frustration continued for the home team.

Fryer had to be at his athletic best to push a firm Russell effort wide of the post moments later.

Town offered little resistance in the closing stages, though they had a handful of half-chances to pull a goal back.

The best of which came when Pitman’s pass to Hope was narrowly overhit with the latter free on the left.

Jonny Smith crashed a shot over while Grounds headed over from a corner as Accrington easily saw the game out to take all three points.

STFC starting XI: Fryer, Caddis, Grounds, Odimayo, Hunt, J Grant, M Smith, A Grant, J Smith, Hope, Pitman.

ASFC starting XI: Savin, Nottingham, Hughes, Burgess, Butcher, Russell, Pritchard, Rodgers, Bishop, Conneely, Charles.