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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
18:08 19th March 2011

Report: Relentless Swindon battle on

An outstanding defensive effort from Swindon Town saw the Robins return to Wiltshire with a hard-earned point in League 1 on Saturday afternoon.

It was a determined, well coordinated display from Paul Hart's men who showed tremendous endeavour throughout a testing 95 minutes at The Galpharm Stadium.

Hart made just one change to the line-up for the trip with David Lucas replacing Phil Smith in goal. The home side handed a home debut to Bolton loanee Danny Ward, who made his debut from the bench in Tuesday's away win at Brentford.

Swindon started the game brightly with both sides finding space in the forward areas. First, Matt Ritchie struck a low effort narrowly wide of Alex Smithies' goal before Jonathan Douglas saw his 20-yard drive fly over.

At the other end the Terriers almost opened the scoring with just eight minutes on the clock. A cross in from the left was not met by the visitors defence with Jordan Rhodes finding space to head onto the crossbar with Lucas at full stretch.

Mike Grella, impressive in the opening exchanges, saw a promising run come to an abrupt end on 17 minutes as he was hacked down on the half-way line by Scot Arfield - who was the first player of the day to earn a caution.

Referee Mr Sarginson was at the centre of attention soon after with Gary Roberts falling inside the box with Grella close by, with the Huddersfield man booked for his troubles.

The pressure from the home side continued as the clock approached the half-hour mark, with a powerful header from Peter Clarke headed off the line by Douglas.

The Robins gathered themselves and came back at the home side to force successive corners following good work from Ritchie and Cuthbert with 33 minutes on the clock. The second of those corners fell to Douglas whose acrobatic effort failed to trouble Smithies.

Scott Cuthbert was next to deny the home side with a superbly timed challenge inside the box to deny Rhodes. Jamie McCombe then saw his looping header fly narrowly past the post with the Terrier throwing everything at Swindon.

Swindon went into the half-time break the happier of the two sides, although there was some concern about midfielder Michael Timlin following a clash of heads just before the break.

The Robins emerged unchanged for the second period and again made a bright start. Excellent work down the left hand side from Andrew saw the ball crossed in for Ritchie, whose left footed effort struck the post.

On the hour Alan Sheehan forced a save out of Smithies with a free-kick from the edge of the box with Swindon still doing their best to impose themselves on the hosts.

Paul Hart then made his first change of the afternoon with Kevin Amankwaah coming off the bench to replace Grella with Caddis pushed up into midfield. The Scot, impressive again from right-back, continued to take advantage of the open expanses following Town's tactical switch.

Further changes followed with twenty minutes remaining with Michael Rose and Lecsinel Jean-Francois entering the fray in place of Matt Ritchie and Alan Sheehan.

Swindon continued to match every effort from the home side with more controversy not far away as the clocked ticked on. Kevin Kilbane's cross into the box moments from time was met by substitute Alan Lee who saw his header clip the crossbar.

The fourth official's board was soon raised with five minutes of added time to be played which offered the home side two more opportunities to go close.

First, a header from Peter Clarke was cleared off the line by David Prutton before Peter Clarke's header was palmed away by Lucas from under his own crossbar.

The result was enough for Huddersfield to extend their unbeaten run - their best for some 91 years. For Swindon, it was a valuable point as the battle to avoid the drop continues.

    Data provided by Press Association