Match report posted by Richard (view the full thread on the forum )
It`s not often you come away from the County Ground thinking that the Town could have scored ten goals - with a bit of luck and a bit more composure, we could quite easily have scored more than five today. Funny to think that only a month ago, we were worrying about Town`s attacking options.
The game was all over as a contest after just six minutes. Swindon took the lead after just four minutes with a superb opener, a cross-field ball from the left was met beautifully on the volley by Jon-Paul McGovern, leaving the keeper rooted to the spot. Two minutes later, the lead was doubled when a shot by Billy Paynter fell to the feet of Cox, who made no mistake with his effort. It was a superb start.
As often happens when early leads are taken, the Town lost the zest of the first few minutes during the rest of the half, allowing Gillingham to have more possession. Though they never looked threatening during this period, there was a niggling feeling that if they were to score, it could be the platform for a comeback. The Gills forced a few corners, but completely failed to trouble Smith`s goal - Swindon on the other hand were getting a lot of joy down the flanks. The best chance fell to Cox, who was slipped through one-on-one, but his low shot went disappointingly wide. A Peacock free-kick also failed to find the target.
Any fears that the Gills might get back into the game were quickly dispelled early in the second half. Gillingham headed over from a corner early on, but then the Town took control as they attacked the Town End. A cross from the right was controlled on the chest by Cox, and as the ball came back down, he executed an excellent bicycle kick, which completely beat the keeper and hit the post. Roberts shot wide, before Paynter extended the lead, when after a possible hint of handball, he beat his defender before whacking an unstoppable shot in off the bar.
The Town kept pressing. Ifil headed wide from a corner. Paynter found himself in space in the area, and hit another powerful shot, which rebounded off the bar. Finally, Cox made it four, rising to head past the Gills keeper, before joining the Town End in celebration. At the other end, much of the away support left to the tune of "Cheerio!"
With twenty-five minutes remaining, and the Town in complete control, it seemed it would only be a matter of time before the next goal went in, and everyone wanted to join in on the feast. It was at this point that had the Town shown a bit of composure, we could have been looking at many more goals. Easton headed at the keeper, when he might have done better. Cox had an chance nicked away from him by a defender after controlling in the box. McGovern shot over with the outside of his boot. Gillingham did finally manage a decent effort on goal with a point-blank header, which was somehow kept out by a Town defender.
With six minutes remaining, a terrible ball from a Gillingham defender found Paynter in acres of space - he coolly rounded the keeper, and slotted home for the Town`s fifth. Shortly afterwards, Cox had a header well tipped round the post. Both strikers seemed intent on getting their own hat-tricks - if either had passed to the other when in good situations, they both would have ended up with them! Both were denied in the dying minutes. In the first move, Paynter again found himself through on goal - after his shot was parried by the keeper, the ball span back towards goal and was cleared off the line by Sodje as Cox was there to finish. The second again saw Paynter clean through, his shot going wide as Cox slid in to try to reach it.
All of the chances I have mentioned were DECENT chances - not to mention an apparent penalty that could have been given in the first half. The second half especially was an excellent performance - we tore Gillingham to shreds for long spells. The only downers were two injuries, one to Sam Collins, who pulled up with what looked like a hamstring injury, ironically after ch