A YOUTHFUL looking Swindon Town side signed off their pre-season campaign with a 3-2 win over Chippenham Town.

Three first-half goals from Jesse Starkey, Tom Smith and Scott Twine put Swindon in a commanding position at the break.

The National League South side responded in the second half, with Will Richards pulling a goal back but Dave Pratt’s second for the hosts with two minutes left on the clock proved too late to produce the comeback.

As anticipated, Swindon named a young starting XI, which included second-year scholars Giammettei, Romanski and Louis Spalding.

Swindon were gifted a chance from the kick-off but were unable to capitalise on it, before Andy Sandell skewed an early effort for Chippenham.

Starkey, who was not included in the squad that travelled to Woking at the weekend, looked like he had a point to prove, with manager David Flitcroft and his assistant Ben Futcher watching on from the stands.

And, in the 10th minute, he made his mark on the game as he capitalised on a mix-up in the back line from the hosts to steal through and chip the ball calmly over the on-rushing Jared Thompson.

Swindon doubled their advantage in the 29th minute when Starkey was again involved, this time linking up well with Ellis Iandolo down the left-hand side of the pitch at Hardenhuish Park.

The former Brighton man whipped the ball into the box, which was controlled by Jordan Young before being laid off to Smith to fire into the roof of the net with venom.

For a pre-season friendly, there was no love lost between the two sides, with plenty of tasty challenges being put in from both sides.

Iandolo required treatment after his mazey run was halted at the edge of the box by Rhys Baggridge’s body check, with the resulting free-kick hit into the wall by Young.

A third came for Town in the 39th minute when Iandolo, recovered from his knock, played a sublime ball to split the Bluebirds’ defence and it looked as if the chance for striker Twine had gone but the young forward showed great strength to keep the ball in close proximity before turning and finding the back of the net.

Smith, who had an ongoing battle with Chippenham forward Andy Sandell during the first half, finally earnt himself a place in the referee’s notebook for a late challenge just before the break.

Chippenham started the second half the brighter and were close to getting rewarded when half-time substitute Jake Andrews saw his shot from the edge of the box deflected for a corner, which Richards headed just over.

That appeared to just be target practice for the Chippenham centre-back, however, as he emerged from the crowd to head home a corner in the 57th minute.

Will Henry in the Swindon goal had to be on his guard again to Richards’ threat just two minutes later as he got down well to deny the defender.

Jake Evans had to be alert in the 69th minute when Dave Pratt had his glanced on header at the near post cleared off the line by the full-back, with Henry beaten.

Swindon started to come back into the half and Evans was inches away from finding the target with a superb strike from distance, Thompson getting fingertips to the ball to turn it wide.

Chippenham continued to push late on and from an 85th minute corner, both Richards and Dave Pratt were denied from close range before Andrews headed over the bar.

Twine looked to have had the last chance of the match as he stole the ball off Nuno Felix in the dying minutes and with just Thompson to beat, saw his effort come off the upright and away to safety.

However, Pratt had the last say as he capitalised on a defensive error to lift the ball over the head of Henry and find the back of the net.

CHIPPENHAM TOWN STARTING XI: Jared Thompson, Dan Bowman, Nuno Felix, Rhys Baggridge, Jon Beedon, Will Richards, Chris Allen, Matt Smith, Josh Morgan-Williams, Andy Sandell, James Guthrie

SWINDON TOWN STARTING XI (4-3-3): Will Henry, Jake Evans, Paulo Giamattei, Joe Romanski, Louis Spalding (Ollie Rejek 80’), Tommy Ouldridge, Tom Smith (Jordan Edwards 56’), Ellis Iandolo (Sol Pryce 61’), Jordan Young, Jesse Starkey, Scott Twine

TOWN SUBS: Archie Matthews (GK), Luke Haines, Ralph Graham