ROBINS RELY ON NEW DUO TO SINK ALEX
ANEW striking duo inspired a second-half comeback as Swindon beat Crewe at the Alexandra Stadium to leave Robins boss Mark Cooper purring over his new forward line.
Adam King’s second-half opener was cancelled out moments later by Town substitute Tom Smith, before late goals from new men Wes Thomas and Nicky Ajose sealed three points for Swindon.
And despite admitting his side did not play particularly well, Cooper also reserved special praise for 17-year-old Smith who got his side back in the game.
“Once you get Ajose and Thomas on the pitch you know you’ve got a chance of scoring goals,” he said. “Wes has shown throughout he is strong and powerful. If he gets in the box he is not brushed off easily. It was a great finish, as was Nicky’s.
“Nicky missed a great chance and he was beating himself up about that, so it was great he could get one near the end and finish it off. He (Smith) got a shock at halftime when I decided to put another midfielder on. I chose him because he was a little bit more orthodox and comes up with a wonder-goal like that. He’ll be remembering this day for years to come.”
Crewe winger Ryan Colclough displayed his quality on the quarter-hour after receiving the ball centrally and curling a left-footed effort which Lawrence Vigouroux parried over.
From the resulting corner, Raphael Branco cleared off the line from Ben Nugent’s header amid a goalmouth scramble.
Moments before the break, Lauri Dalla Valle knocked down a right-wing cross for Chris Atkinson, who drew a sublime close-range save from Vigouroux.
Ajose missed an open goal on 57 minutes from at least 30 yards after an underhit back pass to Garratt led to the keeper charging out but missing the ball, yet the former Crewe man fired wide and spared the home side’s blushes.
Brad Inman nearly fired Crewe into the lead on the hour with a powerful effort which Vigouroux diverted wide, though he was for- tunate not to divert the shot into his own net.
But King made no mistake a minute later with a magnificent long-range effort which flew past a diving Vigouroux. The visitors equalised two minutes after going behind with an equally impressive strike from substitute Smith, who left Garratt with no chance.
Out of nowhere, the Robins took the lead after Fabien Robert drifted along the edge of the box and slipped an intricate 82nd-minute pass through to Thomas who lifted the ball into the roof of the net.
And the Robins wrapped up the three points in stoppage time when Smith cut back in the box for Ajose – who was making his second debut for Swindon – and curled a sublime effort into the top corner.
Crewe boss Steve Davis, whose side are now bottom of League One, admitted Thomas and Ajose proved the difference between but believed his side should have won.
“They’ve brought those two in and they are prolific or renowned goalscorers and it was the difference between the teams,” he said.
“They had similar chances to us in many respects that they scored from, we just didn’t have that quality and that what we needed at the end.
“I couldn’t fault how we played, it’s just we can’t keep saying we’re playing well and not coming out with anything.
“We’ve just got to turn that last 15 to 20 minutes around and then we’ve got the complete performance. We should have come off winning that game 1-0.”
BOY WONDER: Teenager Tom Smith celebrates scoring Swindon’s first goal