Brentford 0 Swindon Town 2

Last updated : 20 December 2003 By Footymad Previewer

Swindon manager Andy King was delighted to open his Christmas programme with three points at Griffin Park.

Second-half goals from Brian Howard and Sam Parkin proved enough to halt a run of two consecutive defeats.

The Robins manager King said it was important to arrest their recent bad run before playing Rushden next week. He said: "At times I thought we played extremely well. I thought we could have had four or five goals. The pleasing thing is we kept a clean sheet and they have responded to what we asked them to do.

"This changes everything, I didn't want to go to Rushden next week on the back of three defeats." Bees Manager Wally Downes was less pleased and said his team needs to get nasty to win games. But he stopped short of using inexperience as an excuse.

He said: "We have said for a couple of years they are young and inexperienced but we can't keep saying that. We are not strong enough, they are all nice fellas but I would prefer a few nasty fellas in there. They are too carefree, it should mean a little more to them." The first half was thoroughly forgettable but Swindon picked up the tempo in the first 45 minutes. However Howard toe poked home from 20 yards on 66 minutes as four Brentford defenders dithered on the edge of the box. That sparked the game into life and set up an end to end finale.

Swindon survived a triple scare in the 71st minute. Rhys Evans saved a header from Leo Roget before Kevin O'Connor saw his flicked header cleared off the line and then Tony Rougier stabbed the ball onto the bar.

Chances were coming thick and fast but with eight minutes to go Parkin sealed the victory. He raced clear of a static Brentford defence onto Tommy Mooney's through ball and calmly slotted past goalkeeper Paul Smith.