Crewe Alexandra crashed to a heavy 5-0 defeat as Swindon Town’s Ryan Mason netted a second-half hat-trick and also missed a penalty at the County Ground.
Nile Ranger opened the scoring and Massimo Luongo added a second just before the break. Mason increased the lead straight after the restart and then converted a penalty before completing his treble with still twenty minutes remaining. Goalkeeper Alan Martin later denied him another from the spot.
Manager Steve Davis handed Mark Ellis and Brad Inman their first starts of the season. He soon witnessed Alex Pritchard hoisting over from the edge of the area while Chuks Aneke replied with a free-kick straight into the clutches of goalkeeper Wes Foderingham.
His opposite number Martin wasn’t seriously tested by the acrobatic Luongo before Matt Tootle countered the run of Ranger. He still opened the scoring though on 34 minutes when slotting in Yaser Kasim’s through pass.
Alex duo Aneke and Max Clayton then combined well but the threat was averted before Luongo`s cross somehow looped over Martin to give the home side a clear two-goal lead at the break.
The Robins wasted little time in adding to that and after Martin kept out Nathan Thomson’s firm drive, Mason stole possession from Kelvin Mellor and exchanged passes with Pritchard before making it 3-0.
Things grew worse for the visitors when Ranger latched onto a back-pass after avoiding Ellis, until being sent tumbling by the cautioned Martin. Mason did the rest from the penalty.
Fifteen minutes later Mason completed his hat-trick when converting Pritchard’s 70th minute cross. That prompted an immediate triple change for the visitors and AJ Leitch-Smith soon called Foderingham into action.
Hat-trick hero Mason was then thwarted by Martin and Ranger headed wide before Ellis tripped Nathan Thompson during added time. Mercifully, Martin avoided any further embarrassment by saving Mason’s spot-kick.
Swindon Town: Foderingham, Thompson, Byrne (Ajose 68), Hall, McEveley, Luongo (Harley 68), Mason, Ranger, Pritchard, Ward, Kasim (Thompson 77)
subs (unused): Belford, Barthram, Rossi-Branco, Storey
Goals: Ranger (34), Luongo (43), Mason (46, pen 55, 70)
Crewe Alexandra: Martin, Mellor (Robertson 71), Davis, Ellis, Tootle, Osman, Grant, Inman (Molyneux 71), Aneke (Leitch-Smith 71), Colclough, Clayton
subs (unused): Phillips, Ray, Nolan, Oliver
Ref: A. Davies
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