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17:52 8th October 2011

Report: Town 3 Hereford 3

Swindon Town were held to a 3-3 draw at home to Hereford United on Saturday afternoon with the visitors coming back three times to take a share of the spoils.

Simon Ferry's late goal looked to have given Town all three points before a last-ditch effort from former Bristol Rovers midfielder Harry Pell leveled the game up. The Robins made three changes from the side that beat Exeter City in midweek with Ferry, Raffaele De Vita and Mehdi Kerrouche coming into the line-up. Ahmed Abdulla and Alan Connell dropped to the bench with Lander Gabilondo left out of the squad.

The visitors made a bright start to the game and Michael Townsend had an opportunity just one minute into the game, but he could only fire well wide following a cross from the left.

Town didn't take long to get into their stride though with Jake Jervis, on his home debut, powering through the home defence on three minutes but his weak shot was gathered by veteran goalkeeper Russell Hoult. The opening goal arrived - with just seven minutes played. A simple free-kick on the left was floated in by Kerrouche with De Vita on hand to send a glancing header into the far corner of the net past the despairing dive of Hoult.

Town continued to show attacking intent with Jervis again finding space on the edge of the box but he dragged his effort wide with 14 played. The home side kept the pressure on and could have doubled the lead on 26 minutes. A corner by Kerrouche was met by Alan McCormack but the Irishman glanced his header just the wrong side of the post. Hereford kept Town at bay with the home side seeing further efforts from Jervis and Jonathan Smith fly wide and over. The second goal of the game arrived on 39 minutes with a great finish from Kerrouche. The Algerian collected a ball inside the box with his back to goal, but spun superbly before unleashing a low shot into the bottom left hand corner.

The healthy lead was retained going into the break with the Robins emerging unchanged for the second period. The first substitution of the game followed on 54 minutes with Smith replaced in the heart of midfield by Ahmed Abdulla. Kerrouche then saw a penalty appeal waved away after claiming to have been pushed in the back with his back to goal. Town forced a fine save from Hoult with 57 on the clock, with Jervis firing in a powerful effort which was palmed away by the stopper.

Ferry should have added to the scoreline just before the hour but his sidefooted effort from close range sailed over in front of the Town End. The game took a turn on 68 minutes with the visitors grabbing a bizarre equaliser. A cross-shot from the right from Barkhuizen flew across Lanzano and nestled into the far corner of the goal, beating Lanzano. Town responded with a double change soon after with loanee Liam Ridehalgh and striker Lukas Magera replacing Cibocchi, carrying a slight injury, and Kerrouche with 71 minutes played. 

The visitors continued to press for a second and they got their rewards with substitute Yoann Arquin, a former Town trialist, looping a header in over Lanzano following a cross from the left with 78 on the clock. The drama continued with Town regaining the lead just two minutes later. A good move on the edge of the box involving Ritchie and Magera saw Ferry go one on one with Hoult before clipping the ball into the corner to make it 3-2. There was still time for the visitors to grab a point with Arquin heading over from close range on 86 minutes. The equalising goal came right at the end of normal time with substitute Winnall floating over a free-kick into the box which Pell glanced into the far corner. Shortly after the full-time whistle blew with the Robins left to reflect on their first draw of the 2011/12 season ahead of consecutive away trips to Accrington Stanley and Plymouth Argyle.

    Data provided by Press Association