GOOD defending by Town or poor attacking by Swindon?
Home manager Andy Ritchie said the former, opposite number Maurice Malpas the latter.
But while the bosses had to agree to disagree after this scrappy yet attention-keeping showdown, one thing is crystal clear.
Town have kept four clean sheets, and won as many matches, on the trot, and if you keep doing the former, there’s a decent chance of the latter happening as well.
Phil Jevons claimed what turned out to be the winner just 43 seconds into the game, and Swindon, looking to make it 10 League I games unbeaten, didn’t fashion a genuine effort on target until the 89th minute.
Ian Cox angled in a header from substitute Anthony McNamee’s cross, but Matt Glennon dived to his right to save.
There was one other scare to come when, two minutes into time added on, the busy McNamee set up Hasney Aljofree, who cut into the Town box but fired over.
“If it had been on target, it would have been in,” mused Malpas, who had pushed three up front (Cox, Lee Peacock and substitute Blair Sturrock) for the final 20 minutes, and was probably ruing the fact that such a clear chance fell to a centre-back.
“Overall, quality balls into the box just weren’t there. The ones we put in were bread and butter to their defenders.”
That might have been the case, but there’s no doubt that earlier in the season, this was the kind of match in which Town would probably have got themselves into a jam.
Former Wales centre-back Rob Page has certainly had a major effect.
As Ritchie has pointed out more than once, it’s not just his solid physical presence, both on the ground and in the air, which is a plus.
Page is also a good organiser, with his Rhonnda Valley tones often heard above a 9,388 Galpharm crowd.
Nathan Clarke has flourished alongside him, and full-backs Frank Sinclair and Robbie Williams both had fine games.
While the sight of Jon Worthington and Michael Collins going off with hamstring and ankle injuries respectively was a worry, the consistent Andy Holdsworth produced another bright performance, and there were lively outings from the bench for Chris Brandon and Malvin Kamara.
Up front, while Luke Beckett wasn’t as influential as he had been at Yeovil, Jevons was in the right place at the right time to give Town a flying start.
Fouling Beckett just inside his own half was the start of a nightmare opening minute for Swindon’s former Galpharm loan man Jerel Ifil.
For when Holdsworth flighted in the free-kick, Ifil skewed a header right into the path of Jevons, who had no trouble firing his sixth Town goal past Slovakian keeper Peter Brezovan.
Skipper Aljofree admitted that conceding so early knocked the stuffing out of Swindon.
But unfortunately, Town couldn’t take advantage with further goals, despite chances for Jevons, who shot wide after 35 minutes, and Collins, whose 52nd-minute drive was blocked by Aljofree.
Danny Schofield’s 56th-minute chip went just too high, while his 69th-minute volley flew wide.
For Swindon. French midfielder Sofiene Zaaboub put a 59th-minute shot across the face of goal.
Will be delighted to head to old club Carlisle tomorrow seeking a fifth successive clean sheet.
Hardly put a foot wrong in keeping tricky French left winger Sofiene Zaaboub on a tight leash.
Recovered from a couple of early lapses to produce a very strong performance against Christian Roberts.
His strong running and tackling helped halt Swindon and give Town some forward momentum.
His partnership with Rob Page is developing nicely. Looked just as comfortable against three strikers.
Town still haven’t conceded a goal since the former Coventry man came in. Long may the run continue!
Put in a hard-working shift before going off late on with an ankle knock. Hopefully the recovery will be swift.
His hamstring strain is a worry, because his form in central midfield has been very solid.
Not as influential as at Yeovil, but workrate high. Put one good chance wide but offside in any case.
Made no mistake when presented with his chance of a sixth Town goal just 43 seconds in.
Worked his wing well enough and had a couple of efforts before being replaced by Chris Brandon.
Chris Brandon for Schofield, 70mins; Malvin Kamara for Worthington, 74mins; David Mirfin for Collins, 90mins.Subs not used: Andy Booth, Alex Smithies.
Brezovan, Comminges, Ifil, Aljofree, Vincent, Roberts (McNamee, 85mins), Peacock, Zaaboub (Sturrock, 74mins), McGovern, Cox, Ashikodi (Pook, HT).
Subs not used: Phil Smith, Kanyuka.
Cautions: Vincent, Cox.
Experienced Fred Graham from Essex, kept the game flowing, a little too much at times, because he allowed Swindon to get away with a lot of pushing. A couple of questionable offside decisions also went against the home side.
His cautions of visiting pair Jamie Vincent and Simon Cox were fair – some might have gone further when the latter lashed out at Rob Page.