SWINDON Town showed control, discipline, and purpose throughout the majority of their 3-1 victory away at Port Vale on Saturday, according to head coach Ben Garner.

In a first half that Town bossed for all but five minutes midway through, Jonny Williams put the visitors in front in the 20th minute before Kian Harratt dragged Vale level with a thunderous equaliser six minutes later.

Before the break, home goalkeeper Lucas Covolan was sent off for a high boot planted into Harry McKirdy’s ribs and Ben Gladwin slotted home the spot-kick to restore the visitors’ advantage.

The Town boss felt a one-goal lead was the least his team deserved at Vale Park after coming out of the traps flying – the total opposite of their performance against Mansfield Town the Tuesday night previous.

Asked if the performance against Port Vale was evidence of having as much control on a game as is possible, Garner said: “In the first 45, certainly. We were excellent with and without the ball in the first half.

“It’s all connected, if you’re good with the ball and your positioning is right, it allows us to be in good shape when the ball is turned over and we can defend well from that.

“That first half was a really complete performance and something we need to take confidence from and certainly build on.”

With a man advantage after the break, Swindon took their foot off the gas slightly and lacked a real commitment and snap to their play.

Garner felt as much, but was happy to see his full compliment regain control and go on to score a third when Harry McKirdy’s attempted cross towards Tyreece Simpson took a hearty deflection off Vale defender Nathan Jones before looping into the net.

Asked why Town were not as clinical after the break, Garner said: “They sat a lot deeper in the second half with 10 men – it slowed the game a little.

“For us, it’s a case of trying to find a balance between keeping the ball but also retaining a purpose to our play.

“I thought at the start of the second half, we were keeping it without having that purpose to try and score a goal.

“We still want to try and work the ball through the pitch, and credit to Port Vale. They did very well with their organisation.

“The pitch started cutting up in the second half which made it a bit more difficult. But overall, we still managed the game well and it’s a very happy journey home.”