MICHAEL Smith scored his seventh of the season and set up Nathan Byrne for Swindon Town’s second of the afternoon at Leyton Orient but the striker was quick to praise his defence after the Robins notched their fourth straight win this afternoon.
Smith put Swindon ahead in the 29th minute and then played a delicious pass to tee up Byrne two minutes after the break to seemingly put Town out of sight at Brisbane Road, before the visitors had to hold firm in the wake of a late fightback from their east London hosts.
Despite Darius Henderson pulling a goal back for Orient in stoppage time, Swindon withstood the barrage to emerge with the three points they needed to go second in League One – and Smith heaped praise on the back three and goalkeeper Wes Foderingham afterwards.
“We knew they had two big lads on the bench and we knew they were going to chuck them on in the later stages, so we were ready for it but we didn’t realise how physical they were going to be,” he told Link Sport.
“I think we dealt well with it in the end but it was a bit ‘edge of your seat’ stuff in the last couple of minutes. We’re showing maturity in the squad, especially in the defence. I thought they were outstanding today. Credit to them.”
More than 1,200 supporters made the trip to the capital to cheer on Town and Smith had some words of thanks for the traveling fans.
“The fans were outstanding so it was nice to give them a good weekend and send them home with three points,” he said. “We can hear some of their chants but I think we have to keep our feet on the ground and keep each game as it comes, which we’re going to do under the gaffer who will keep them on the ground.
“They were loud and vocal, which is what we want. They can act as a 12th man, especially in those latter stages.
“To get these wins away from home makes a nice change from nice season. Hopefully we can continue that on Tuesday night in the JPT.
“It’s nice to chip in with the assist. I think Byrney has got a few so it was nice to chip in with one.”