SHEFFIELD uNITED moved up to second place and left manager Nigel Adkins purring at the County Ground.
Second-half goals from Neill Collins and Billy Sharp, his second in successive league games, secured victory for the Blades at a ground where they lost 5-2 last season before crashing out in the second leg, play-off semi-final after the drama of a 5-5 draw on the night from 3-0 down.
Adkins said: “That was a really disciplined performance against a very good side. All credit to the players.
“Credit to the supporters, too. We couldn’t go storming forward but they understood and stuck with us.
“We came with a game-plan and I thought the players were fantastic in their application of it.”
Collins claimed his second of the season with 20 minutes remaining after meeting Louis Reed’s corner with a header as Chilean goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux appeared to be distracted.
Sharp doubled their lead four minutes later with a low finish beyond the advancing Vigouroux on the counter-attack.
The hosts, missing four influential figures through injury, unravelled after that with substitute Martyn Woolford, who replaced England Under-20 call-up Che Adams, denied by a smart reaction save during the closing stages.
Conor Sammon had seen a snap-shot thunder against the underside of the Chilean’s crossbar in the first half.
Swindon Town: Vigouroux, Robert, Williams, Turnbull, Traore, Kasim, Smith (Storey 67), Byrne, Stewart, Rodgers, Rossi-Branco. Unused substitutes: Belford, Brophy, Randall, Marshall, Barry, Iandolo.
Sheffield United: Howard, Freeman, Basham, Sharp, Collins, Sammon (Higdon 90), McEveley, Campbell-Ryce (Alcock 88), Reed, Adams (Woolford 60), Edgar. Unused substitutes: Long, McNulty, McFadzean, McGahey.
Referee: C Sarginson (Staffordshire).
Man of the match: Billy Sharp.