Prutton’s class is shining through for rejuvenated Robins. (©PAphotos)
Manager Danny Wilson hailed his Robins’ determined ‘business head’ that ensured the three points over a high-flying Colchester United who, unbeaten away in League One prior to their visit to Wiltshire, could have finished the day in second place.
In the process, Swindon ended a poor league run of four games without tasting victory and built upon a fantastic FA Cup win over Plymouth the previous week.
From the whistle, both teams displayed confidence going forward and the game remained tight throughout. Swindon worked hard to dominate in the middle and created the first real opening after only five minutes; Michael Timlin couldn’t quite finish having made a well-timed run onto Charlie Austin’s through ball. At the other end, Colchester looked to capitalise on Swindon’s defensive frailty, especially from crosses, but Kayode Odejayi wasted a great chance to head the Us in front.
Thomas Dossevi played his best game in a Swindon shirt. In for the injured Vincent Pericard, the Togolese worked hard throughout, taking up good positions, linking play and supporting Charlie Austin. Having won the free kick from which Michael Rose struck a post, Dossevi’s powerful, surging run prompted an underhit pass from Austin. Unable to comfortably take the ball in his stride and shoot left-footed, Dossevi cut inside one defender and struck a rasping right footer low into the corner.
In midfield, the central pairing of Jonathan Douglas and David Prutton worked tirelessly to win the ball, keep it and move their team forward. Wilson praised the stability afforded by the return of captain Douglas, giving everyone on and off the pitch a real “shot in the arm” with his work ethic and drive. As the Robins continued to press, Douglas produced one great charge at the heart of Colchester’s back four; only the outside of the post denied him the chance to end his goal hoodoo stretching nearly seventy games.
Just as it seemed Swindon would go into the break one up, so Colchester fashioned an equaliser from another poorly defended right-wing cross. The half time whistle was greeted with a chorus of boos for the referee who had confused everyone by seemingly first ignoring and then giving an offside decision against Swindon. From the resulting free kick the ball eventually found its way to Ashley Vincent who calmly headed home.
Whether or not Wilson’s team were rocked by this, Swindon returned after the interval with a resumed desire and purpose. Douglas continued where he left off, driving forward, and provided the perfectly-weighted pass from which Charlie Austin scored the winner ten minutes in.
Douglas was complemented in midfield by energetic partner David Prutton, who became the third Town player to hit the frame of the goal with his early second half header. Wilson described Prutton’s performance as ‘outstanding’ probably his best so far at the County Ground, and the pair’s harmonic interplay as ‘terrific’.
Prutton and Douglas justifiably warranted finishing on the winning side and, despite one or two anxious moments late on, they deservedly did so.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.