THE script had been written – it just had to be him.

All the talk leading up to yesterday’s derby clash was about James Constable. And all that talk was coming from Swindon.

And how the Oxford United striker and Tottenham fan, made Robins’ manager Paolo Di Canio eat his words.

His first-half double sank Swindon and gave Oxford their first win at the County Ground for 38 years.

Di Canio had claimed in the week that he would be interested in signing Constable, and said he knew that the forward was a Swindon fan.

But the reality is that Di Canio has no chance of acquiring Constable, now knows he is not a Swindon fan, and should maybe concentrate on his own team who have now lost three games in a row and lie 19th in the League Two table.

While Oxford’s performance was not great, they really stuck at it.

In Constable they had a match-winner, in central defenders Michael Duberry and Jake Wright they had two commanding presences and in keeper Ryan Clarke they had a safe pair of hands.

Others showed glimpses of their quality, but the important thing was the result. And on that score, it was job done.

It was a frustrating second-half performance in particular, because Oxford became very sloppy at retaining the ball and tried to over-complicate on several occasions.

They were nearly made to pay, but a combination of brave defending, good goalkeeping and poor finishing saw the visiting fans go home all smiles.

Boss Chris Wilder made two changes from the side that beat Shrewsbury, Peter Leven coming in for his first start of the season and Alfie Potter recalled to the right-hand side.

Asa Hall and Deane Smalley were both relegated to the substitute’s bench.

With the atmosphere buzzing inside the ground, United started kicking away from their 2,707 fans.

There was an early scare when Duberry had to bravely block Raffaele De Vita’s effort, but the visitors then enjoyed ten minutes of being on top.

Potter twice got in behind the Swindon defence, but from the best opportunity, Lewis Guy could not get enough on his cross and Swindon keeper Phil Smith saved comfortably.

However, United did not have to wait long to open their account.

From a corner on the left, an inch-perfect delivery from Leven was met by an unmarked Constable, whose powerful header whizzed past Smith into the net.

The striker marked the goal by running the length of the field to celebrate in front of the Oxford supporters.

To their credit, Swindon replied well, new striker Leon Clarke lashing a left-foot shot just wide of Ryan Clarke’s right-hand post from 25 yards.

Duberry and Wright were being severely tested by the delivery of Callum Kennedy’s set-pieces.

And it was from one super Kennedy cross that the home side drew level, Matt Ritchie getting between Wright and Liam Davis to head home the equaliser.

Both goals were great headers, but the balls into the box from Leven and Kennedy respectively oozed class.

What didn’t ooze class, however, was the celebration from the Swindon bench.

Di Canio raced Jose Mour-inho-like down the touchline squealing with delight, while at least two other members of his backroom staff raced onto the pitch.

Quite rightly, referee Mark Haywood gave Di Canio a stern talking to.

Ryan Clarke then saved well when Leon Clarke again got behind United’s defence, before making an even better stop from Aden Flint’s close-range header when it seemed certain the centre half would score.

Swindon were on top, but were hit by another moment of Leven magic three minutes before half-time.

Potter was fouled on the corner of the box and from Leven’s free-kick, Phil Smith could only parry the ball into the onrushing Constable – who wheeled away in delight after grabbing his second goal of the afternoon.

The game’s first real clash came in first-half injury time when Guy appeared to be fouled, the referee not knowing what to give and players from both sides getting involved. It was handbags.

The only incident of note off the pitch happened early in the second period when a Swindon fan made a break for the visiting supporters.

He was stopped by a host of stewards and police, but was then foolishly led in front of the Oxford fans. After being covered in remains of left-over tea and coffee, the stewards and police decided it would be better to evict him through the gates 20 yards behind them, rather than the ones 50 yards across the pitch.

Oxford were struggling to get a grip on the play and were too freely handing possession back to Swindon.

They were nearly caught out when Leon Clarke tried to latch onto a ball over the top, but he was flagged offside.

Di Canio felt the decision was wrong – it was certainly a close call – and went on another walk down the touchline to remonstrate with the officials.

This time Mr Haywood was having none of it and sent the Italian into the stand.

Leon Clarke toe-poked over when he should have scored and substitute Lander Gab-ilondo saw his effort blocked by Duberry as Swindon surged forward.

Constable was handed a great chance to wrap-up victory when he was set free, but his shot was saved by Smith.

It would have been the icing on the cake.

But from almost sealing victory, the hearts of United supporters skipped a beat when Ryan Clarke was forced to get down smartly to save another Ritchie effort in injury time.

And then the celebrations could really begin...