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19:36 29th January 2011

Report: Determined Town held by Exeter

Goals change games, and if Swindon Town manager Danny Wilson can secure one or more of his striking targets then the Robins should soon find themselves rising through the League 1 ranks.

Following the departure of 17-goal striker Charlie Austin to Burnley on Friday, Wilson opted to pair Thomas Dossevi (the only recognised forward available with Vincent Pericard still sidelined with a knee injury) with Matt Ritchie in the forward line.

Ritchie caused plenty of problems for the Exeter backline and even headed against the crossbar in the opening ten minutes, but it was as close as Swindon would come to breaking the deadlock on a bitterly cold afternoon at The County Ground.

Town boss Danny Wilson made two changes to the line-up for the game with Alan Sheehan replacing injury victim Lecsinel Jean-Francois at left-back whilst Alan O'Brien was handed a place in the starting eleven with Ritchie moving forward.

Thomas Dossevi

It was the O'Brien-Ritchie combination that almost handed the Robins an early lead with nine minutes on the clock. The Irishman's pace down the left sent him clear with his cross met by Ritchie, who saw his header crashed off the crossbar.

On fifteen minutes Town created another superb opportunity, with skipper Jonathan Douglas foiled by Exeter 'keeper Ben Hamer, who is on loan from championship side Reading, with the stopper denying Douglas with a solid hand to the ball following a cross in from Jon-Paul McGovern.

Moments later Exeter had their first of the game, with Ryan Harley's cross put wide by former Town striker Jamie Cureton on his return to Wiltshire.

The game continued at a good tempo, with Michael Timlin next to try and test Hamer, but his effort was blocked.

Andy Frampton challenges Ben Hamer

Cureton's afternoon lasted just 35 minutes with the experienced frontman replaced through injury by Jake Thomson.

The substitute saw his first real chance of the afternoon fly high over the bar after finding space on the edge of the box with the clock ticking towards half-time. Ryan Harley saw his free-kick strike the bar from a central position following a foul by Timlin, with the scores level going into the break.

Kevin Amankwaah did have the ball in the net six minutes before half-time, but his effort was ruled out for offside much to the despair of the Town faithful.

Swindon's determined display continued after the interval with the central defensive combination of Andy Frampton and Scott Cuthbert working well, with both enjoying dominant displays at the back.

Frampton blocked an effort from Harley with 53 minutes on the clock before the game livened up again with twenty minutes remaining.

Matt Ritchie

O'Brien's pace once again came to the fore with his deep cross met by Dossevi at the back post in front of the Town End goal, but his header fell narrowly wide.

On 72 minutes another strike from Ritchie went wide with the Robins keeping up the pressure with three home points at stake.

With 12 minutes remaining David Prutton replaced McGovern on the right hand flank and the replacement was soon involved, combining well with Amankwaah down the right with Town throwing everything at the visitors.

Despite a stern effort from Danny Wilson's men, the game ended 0-0 with Town now preparing for the trip to AFC Bournemouth on Tuesday evening in League 1.

    Data provided by Press Association