TOWN were held to a 1-1 draw by Hartlepool United.
Simon Ferry opened the scoring before Andy Monkhouse came back to haunt his former club and snatched a point for the visitors.
Manager Paolo Di Canio made two changes to the starting line-up, introducing Simon Ferry and Alan McCormack in place of Alan Navarro and Jay McEveley respectively. The pair dropped to the bench.
In front of a vocal home crowd, Swindon started on the front foot right from the first whistle. Scott Flinders had to be alert to claw Gary Roberts’ header off the line before tipping Adam Rooney’s poked half-volley over the crossbar.
With 15 minutes on the clock, Town swept into the lead thanks to Simon Ferry. Swindon sprang from defence to attack in an instant with Raffa De Vita leading the charge. He fed Roberts on the left and the winger in turn slipped the ball inside for Ferry. The Scotsman allowed the ball to run onto his left foot before side-footing his shot low to the goalkeeper’s right and into the net.
Having played a part in the goal, De Vita had chances of his own to add to the lead. He collected a pass from Andy Williams and rifled wide before seeing his deflected effort pushed away from goal by Flinders. Sandwiched in between, Williams fashioned a shooting chance but fired over.
Before the break, a slick passing move was started by Alan McCormack and, as Town sliced through the visitors’ backline, the skipper latched onto the return pass but slid his effort past the far post.
After the break, Town continued to apply pressure on the visitors. Flinders pulled off two superb saves to keep the score at 1-0. Firstly he managed to paw away Rooney’s close-range header before acrobatically tipping away Roberts’ goal-bound volley seconds later.
Acrobatics must still have been on Simon Ferry’s mind when he came onto a high ball with his back to goal on the edge of the area. Leaping into the air, the midfielder launched himself into a scissor kick that dipped inches over the crossbar.
Williams and Roberts both squandered further opportunities before the visitors began to get a hold of the game. After a period of sustained passing, Hartlepool gradually began advancing further up the pitch and Wes Foderingham had to throw himself to his left to push a volley around the post.
With fifteen minutes to play, they got their reward. Swindon failed to deal with a ball into the box and substitute Andy Monkhouse was on hand to poke home and level against his former employers.
With the clock against them, Town went in search of a winner. Two half-chances dropped to James Collins but he could take neither and Swindon had to settle for a point.
Swindon Town: Wes Foderingham; Nathan Thompson, Aden Flint, Darren Ward, Alan McCormack (Capt); Gary Roberts, Simon Ferry, Tommy Miller, Raffaele De Vita; Adam Rooney, Andy Williams
Substitutes: Leigh Bedwell, Jay McEveley, Alan Navarro, James Collins, Miles Storey, Aaron Oakley
Hartlepool United: Scott Flinder, Neil Austin, Ritchie Humphries, Sam Collins, Evan Horwood, Jonathan Franks, Simon Walton, James Poole, Jack Baldwin, Peter Hartley (Capt), Charlie Wyke
Substitutes: Adam McHugh, Andy Monkhouse, Nathan Luscombe, Greg Rutherford, Jordan Richards, Darren Holden, Luke James