TOWN tasted defeat for the first time in six outings, going down 1-0 at Carlisle United.
Gary Madine’s first-half strike was enough to settle matters in the home side’s favour.
Mark Cooper made just one change to the side that had claimed all three points against Sheffield United last time out. Massimo Luongo was restored to the line-up in place of Ben Gladwin, who dropped to the bench. There was also a place among the substitutes for Alex Pritchard, who returned after serving a three-match suspension.
In the opening quarter, chances were few and far between with both sides failing to take advantage of any sporadic attack. Jack Stephens stepped out from the back three to drive an effort of the bar whilst at the other end, Gary Madine steered a James Berrett corner off target.
Michael Smith also smashed an effort wide before Wes Foderingham produced a save of the highest quality to keep out Madine’s thumping header from close range.
It was Madine who broke the deadlock with seven minutes of the half remaining. Picked out in the box by a fellow team-mate, the striker was given time and space to turn on a sixpence and drill the ball into the net.
Early in the second half, substitute Alex Pritchard won the ball in midfield and set Michael Smith free with a clear sight of goal. The frontman smacked his shot straight at Carlisle ‘keeper, Jamie Pickford. Moments later, Pritchard found himself in a similar situation but his effort found the goalkeeper’s gloves.
With the change in personnel, Swindon had the better of the chances in the second forty-five but couldn’t turn any of their half-chances into clear-cut goalscoring opportunities.
As the clock ticked nearer the 90-minute mark, substitutes Nathan Byrne and Louis Thompson both saw efforts from distance fly wide of the mark.
Despite a late rally and a red card for the hosts’ James Berrett, Carlisle held on to register all three points.