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Swindon Town 1-0 Cheltenham Town
Town edge to vital win over promotion rivals
It was far from convincing, but Swindon Town moved eight points clear at the top of League 2 with a narrow victory over fellow promotion chasers Cheltenham Town on Saturday.
The visitors were on top for long periods during an feisty affair The County Ground, but Paul Benson's 35th minute goal was enough to seal the points for Paolo Di Canio's side.
After a fairly drab opening to the clash, Cheltenham gradually began to take control, and had a golden opportunity to take the lead on the half hour mark when they were awarded a penalty after Daryl Duffy was hauled over in the box by Oliver Risser.
Duffy brushed himself off and took the kick, but could not beat Wes Foderingham's sprawling dive - the former Crystal Palace 'keeper beating the ball clear of danger.
Duffy was made to pay just five minutes later, as Benson was first to react to an Alessandro Cibocchi cross, and had a time to neatly side-foot the bouncing ball into the roof of the net to give Town the advantage at half-time.
The second half took much the same form as the first, with Cheltenham enjoying the lion's share of possession, and Town defending stoutly to keep their lead intact.
Irishman Duffy squandered three further chances as the game reached its final stages, and with Foderingham in excellent form for Town, it looked like it wasn't to be the visitors' day.
And so it proved, as Town saw out another late surge from Mark Yates' side to clinch a crucial three points ahead of Saturday's trip to Crewe Alexandra.
Town: Wes Foderingham; Alan McCormack (c), Joe Devera, Oliver Risser, Alessandro Cibocchi; Matt Ritchie, Simon Ferry, Jonathan Smith (Cox '58), Luke Rooney (De Vita '83); Billy Bodin (Tehoue '50), Paul Benson
Substitutes: Callum Kennedy, Jonathan Tehoue, Lee Cox, Raffaele De Vita, Ronan Murray