Swindon Town were held to a 0-0 by local rivals Bristol Rovers at The County Ground. In a game of few chances, Town could claim to have had the better of the game but couldn't find that killer touch in the final third, writes Tom Otrebski.
Paolo Di Canio made two changes to the side that lost at Wembley last weekend. Aden Flint and Ronan Murray replaced Oliver Risser and Paul Benson respectively with both players dropping to the bench.
Swindon were up and at their opponents from the off. Matt Ritchie's break down the right allowed him to get the ball across to Alan Connell who touched the cross into the path of Jonathan Smith but he could only fire straight at the Rovers goalkeeper.
Connell saw his curling effort easily saved before Ritchie found himself in a shooting position inside the area. Having robbed the defender of the ball, Ritchie advanced into the box and looked set to score before a covering Rovers defender did enough to put him off and the Town midfielder hit his effort off target.
Swindon's best chance of the half and perhaps of the game came just five minutes before the break. Ritchie had worked hard to keep a ball from going over the whitewash and drilled it across the six yard box. Connell had peeled away at the far post but wasn't expecting the cross to come at him so quickly. Subsequently, the Town striker was off balance and, as he stretched to make contact with the ball, could only poke it onto the crossbar before watching as it bounced down onto the line and into the grateful arms of goalkeeper Scott Bevan.
The second half produced much of the same: Swindon in control but somewhat lacking in the final third. Murray's looping header was too weak to trouble the goalkeeper while Connell's shot was well kept out at the near post. Paul Benson made an appearance off the bench and was soon in the thick of the action but his snapshot on the turn was easily held. Inside the final ten minutes, a cross from the right found Benson at the near post but the striker's diving header whistled narrowly past the near post.
Di Canio's men now have a two-point cushion at the top of League Two with two games in hand on their nearest rivals going into a busy Easter period.