SWINDON Town head coach Ben Garner hailed an “absolutely brilliant” first half as his side beat Port Vale 3-1 at Vale Park on Saturday.

In a game where Swindon showed the complete opposite amount of control from their midweek defeat to Mansfield Town, Garner’s men took the lead in the 20th minute through Jonny Williams.

Kian Harratt squared the game up six minutes later through a vicious strike on the counter-attack before a key moment in the match during first-half stoppage time.

Vale goalkeeper Lucas Covolan left his boot in on Harry McKirdy when claiming a high ball, causing the stopper to be sent off and Town to be awarded a penalty.

Ben Gladwin stroked it home, and the victory was capped off midway through the second period when McKirdy’s attempted cross deflected off Nathan Smith and into the net.

Reacting to a clinical display, Garner was over the moon with his side’s effort in the first half.

Asked what his team improved from midweek, he said: “We improved on everything! I thought everything was better.

“I thought in the first half we were outstanding, absolutely brilliant. The way we moved the ball was fantastic.

“Heading towards half-time, I was very disappointed it was 1-1. But obviously we got the penalty and then went ahead – that was the least we deserved because we were absolutely brilliant in that first half.

“It could have been better in the second half, but I’ll always want more. I thought we could have killed the game off sooner, we could have kept the tempo a little bit higher, but we saw it out comfortably and that’s a huge three points for us away from home.”

Key to Swindon’s 11th League-Two win of the season was Welsh international Williams, and opinion-splitting Ben Gladwin.

Both had excellent afternoons – something that did not go unnoticed by the Town head coach.

He said: “It was purely a tactical decision to play Jonny [Williams] and Ben Gladwin together.

“I thought there would be spaces where we could get those two the ball, and I thought both were outstanding today.

“I thought that was probably Ben Gladwin’s best display of the season – I thought he was fantastic.

“We just thought there would be spaces where those two would be key in terms of getting them on the ball, and they did that ever so well.”