SWINDON were beaten 3-2 by Aston Villa at The County Ground with the visitors' winning goal coming in the 90th minute.
Town produced a stirring second-half comeback to draw level with Villa before Christian Benteke struck at the death to secure a passage through to the next round of the Capital One Cup for Paul Lambert’s men.
Against the backdrop of a packed County Ground, chances were few and far between as the early exchanges bore all the clichés associated with a cup tie. Town did however, manage to force the visitors to clear off their own line after a ball into the box caused the visitors problems.
After half an hour of cagey midfield battles, the visitors took the lead. Stephen Ireland’s cross from the left was perfectly placed to worry the Town back-line and in muscled Christian Benteke to bullet a header into the roof of the net past Foderingham from close range.
Ten minutes later, Villa had doubled their advantage. Another swift counter attack carved Town in two with Agbonlahor leading the charge. The wide-man was given too much time and space to cut in off the left flank and drill an unstoppable shot across Foderingham and into the far corner.
Had it not been for the reflexes of Town’s Number One it might have been three but the ‘keeper did well to acrobatically tip over a goal-bound effort.
The second half began with the home side on the front foot and pushing for a way back into the match.
Joe Devera and Simon Ferry both saw their crosses fly across the box with no-one making contact while Gary Roberts headed over and Ritchie fired straight at Shay Given.
Roberts also could not take a golden opportunity at the far post, heading wide after throwing himself at Ritchie’s deep cross.
With ten minutes to play, substitute Miles Storey pulled one back for Swindon. Fellow second-half substitute Andy Williams raced onto a ball on the edge of the area before cutting it back for the waiting Storey who poked the cross across goal and into the far corner.
With the capacity crowd roaring them on, Swindon drew level two minutes later. A low cross from the right dropped nicely for Storey six yards from goal. Despite his momentum carrying him forward and away from the ball, a wonderful piece of invention from the young striker saw him flick the ball with his right foot back between his legs and into the far corner, cueing scenes of absolute bedlam around SN1.
Then, as the tie looked to be heading into extra time, Villa launched one last charge and snatched a late winning goal. A cross came all the way through to Benteke on the left edge of the area who wrapped his foot around the ball and slammed it low and hard beyond the rooted Foderingham.
Town: Wes Foderingham, Joe Devera, Alan McCormack (Capt), Aden Flint
, Jay McEveley, Matt Ritchie, Simon Ferry, Tommy Miller, Gary Roberts, Paul Benson, James Collins
Substitutes: Leigh Bedwell, Troy Archibald-Henville, Nathan Thompson, Louis Thompson, Andy Williams, Miles Storey, Raffaele De Vita
Aston Villa: Shay Given, Matthew Lowton, Ron Vlaar (Capt), Chris Herd, Eric Lichaj, Karim El Ahmadi, Andreas Weimann, Barry Bannan, Stephen Ireland, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Christian Benteke
Subs: Brad Guzan, Darren Bent, Marc Albrighton, Brett Holman, Fabian Delph, Enda Stevens, Graham Burke