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MATCH REPORT: Swindon Town (2) v (1) Exeter City
SWINDON TOWN bounced back from defeat with a win over Exeter City in a crucial clash at the top of League Two. An own-goal and a Hallam Hope strike cancelled out Randell Williams' equaliser. Total Sport Swindon's Rajan Hothi gives his match report from SN1.
Jerry Yates and Eoin Doyle came back into the starting eleven after returning to SN1 during the week, whilst new signing Admiral Muskwe made the bench following his loan move from Leicester City.
The opening ten minutes went by without too much happening - Diallang Jayiesimi had his goal-bound effort blocked while Ryan Bowman hit over from a tight angle for the visitors.
Swindon's first real chance came after 16 minutes. A smartly taken throw from Rob Hunt found Hallam Hope in space, and the Barbados international saw his long-range effort tipped past the post by Lewis Ward.
Town took the lead after 19 minutes. Michael Doughty's corner took a couple of ricochets off Exeter heads and found the back of the net to put Swindon ahead.
Richie Wellens' side were starting to take control of the game, and Doyle saw his shot on the edge of the box well-saved by Ward as Exeter started to look vulnerable.
Jaiyesimi was the next player to test Ward as the Norwich-loanee saw his effort go straight down the throat of the Grecian 'keeper.
Swindon were probing for a second, but Exeter pounced on a defensive error to restore parity. Baudry didn't clear the ball far enough and Randell Williams won back the ball and was given all the time in the world to slot home an equaliser.
Town would've felt aggrieved to go into the half-time break level, but Hallam Hope made sure Swindon went into the interval ahead.
Good work from Jaiyesimi saw him deliver a perfect cross to the back-post where Hope headed home to give the hosts a deserved lead on the stroke of half-time.
Exeter started the second-half the better of the two as they went in the search of an equaliser with a few poor passes at the back from Town giving the visiting fans hope of another equaliser.
Chances were at a premium in the first 20 minutes of the second period as the game started to become a little scrappy.
Kaiyne Woolery was brought on in the place of Hope with 20 minutes to go with Swindon looking to capitalise on tiring Exeter legs.
However, Exeter were still pressing for the equaliser, and Benda had to be alert to save Dickenson's header from a teasing delivery by Williams.
Swindon were starting to panic at the back and the wind was playing its part with every long-ball seemingly heading straight back into the Town half as Exeter pushed the hosts back.
A long-ball almost led to an equaliser as Bowman got on the end of one, but his lobbed effort sailed over the bar with Swindon holding firm.
Five minutes was added on as Admiral Muskwe replaced Doyle with Swindon looking to hold on for a crucial win.
And hold on they did. The win has bridged a five-point gap between themselves and the Grecians as Town recorded a vital win.