Another goal-fest at the County Ground

James Collins was on-target again to add to his four goals on New Year's Day. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire

LEAGUE ONE

  • SWINDON TOWN 4 - 0 CARLISLE UNITED

Swindon Town made it 14 goals in just three home games after another impressive performance at the County Ground.

It's also four games without conceding a goal as Paolo Di Canio's men push on for promotion. His side are just five points off top spot with a game in hand.

Town dominated the early stages. Simon Ferry, Gary Roberts and Andy Wiliams all went close. So it was no surprise when Williams gave them the lead in the 16th minute. The striker looped the ball over a defender and lashed home on the volley, beating goalkeeper Mark Gillespie at his near post.

Swindon doubled their advantage ten minutes before the break, and it was scored by James Collins - who scored four times as a substitute against Portsmouth on New Year's Day. Matt Ritchie provided the inch-perfect cross, and Collins timed his run to head home.

Collins and Ritchie were involved in the third goal after the break. Collins played the ball to Ritchie, and the winger's low cross was thumped home by Williams for his second of the afternoon.

Substitute Raffaele De Vita completed the scoring ten minutes from time when he tapped in from a yard out after Gillespie had parried Roberts' shot.

Swindon almost had a fifth when Tommy Miller’s shot crashed back off the crossbar, but the 9,000 crowd went home very happy once again.

LEAGUE TWO

  • BRISTOL ROVERS 0 - 2 GILLINGHAM
New Bristol Rovers manager John Ward saw his side lose for the first time against Gillingham. Credit: Barrington Coombs/EMPICS Sport

New Bristol Rovers manager John Ward saw his side lose for the first time as they were beaten at home by league leaders Gillingham.

The Gills opened the scoring inside three minutes. Myles Weston played in Chris Whelpdale, who shot into the top corner to beat Steve Mildenhall.

Deon Burton's volley doubled the visitor's lead a minute before half-time.

The Pirates had more of the possession in the second half, but they couldn't find a way past a solid Gillingham defence. John-Joe O’Toole's effort was just over the bar, and in added time Eliot Richards shot wide.

Defeat leaves Rovers at the bottom of the Football League, three points from safety.

FA CUP THIRD ROUND

  • BLACKBURN ROVERS 2 - 0 BRISTOL CITY
Danny Murphy scored Blackburn's first goal. Credit: Joe Giddens/EMPICS Sport

The pressure is increasing on Bristol City manager Derek McInnes after his side crashed out of the FA Cup at the third round stage for the sixth season in a row.

City offered little threat as Blackburn caretaker manager Gary Bowyer saw his team win their third consecutive game since he took charge.

Former England international Danny Murphy gave the hosts the lead after just seven minutes. After collecting a loose pass from Mark Wilson, he advanced towards the City area and lashed a rising shot from 25 yards that caught out goalkeeper Tom Heaton.

The visitors looked for a swift response and former Rovers striker Jon Stead might have done better when Ryan Taylor headed Wilson's cross back across goal.

Heaton was far more alert in the 13th minute, extending himself fully to tip Colin Kazim-Richards' clever effort with the outside of his foot around the post.

Louis Carey put in a vital challenge as Rovers' top scorer Jordan Rhodes threatened to break clear and Kazim-Richards collected Ruben Rochina's crossfield ball to clip the top of the netting as Bowyer's men remained on top.

Blackburn's momentum as interrupted after the half-hour when Adam Henley hobbled out of the action and was replaced by Simon Vukcevic, with Jason Lowe reverting from central midfield to full-back.

In first-half stoppage time, home goalkeeper Jake Kean was forced into a good save as Taylor nodded goalwards from Liam Fontaine's header on.

Rochina had a shot deflected wide from a Murphy free-kick early in the second half, which was largely low-key until Rovers extended their lead before the hour.

Murphy's corner was cleared as far as Rochina, who chipped towards Scott Dann and the ball fell for centre-back partner Grant Hanley to bundle home.

The introduction of Morten Gamst Pedersen meant Vukcevic was now operating at right-back, where he made the most of unfamiliar surrounds to launch a barnstorming run in the 75th minute, drawing an assured stop from Heaton at its conclusion.

Martin Olsson, the more conventional Blackburn full-back on display, twice came close to adding a third before Martyn Woolford sliced wide on a rare foray forward from City.