MICHAEL Smith described the sensation of scoring the winner for Swindon Town in their derby day victory over Bristol City as a moment of “pure ecstasy”.
Smith topped another tremendous individual performance by wriggling free of three tackles and firing past City goalkeeper Frank Fielding in the 78th minute of the clash at the County Ground, ending the visitors’ unbeaten start to the League One season in the process.
For the Geordie, it was a special moment.
He told Link Sport: “It was pure ecstasy. I was thinking about it before the game, getting the winner in the derby, because I know how much it means to the fans but it means just as much to the boys to get the win in the end.
“I played at Ashton Gate last year so I knew what it was all about but the fans were outstanding today – they sang from the first minute to the 90th, which always helps, especially in a derby. We really appreciate that.”
Town were given a huge leg-up by referee Darren Drysdale in the second minute of the match, as the whistleblower sent off City captain Wade Elliott following a coming together with Jack Stephens.
As a result, the away side opted to consolidate their defensive ranks rather than risk pushing forward for a goal themselves and Swindon found it tricky to get in behind the City backline and test Fielding.
“I’d prefer to play against 11 men. We found it really hard to break them down. They were nice and compact but we managed to break them down in the end and get the goal,” said Smith.
“The changing room is buzzing. With Yaser (Kasim) and Mass (Luongo) away obviously that’s two key players but we’ve got quality in the squad. I thought Ben (Gladwin) was outstanding.
“We’ve gone up to second now so it’s a really positive result and we’ll take it into Peterborough next Saturday.”