TOWN'S final away-day of 2013/14 ended in defeat at Notts County after they were reduced to nine men.
Goals in either half sealed the points for the home side whilst Troy Archibald-Henville and Nathan Thompson were both shown a straight red card and two yellow cards respectively.
Mark Cooper made just one change to the starting line-up. Match-winner Lee Cox kept his place in midfield while Miles Storey had to be content with a place on the bench as Nathan Byrne took his place in the side.
On a difficult pitch, it was the visitors who had the better of the first half. Jimmy Spencer’s downward header that drifted wide appeared to set the tone for the hosts because, after just nine minutes, Alan Sheehan, ex of Swindon, gave Notts the lead.
Collecting the ball on the left-hand corner of the penalty area, the full-back struck a low, left-footed shot across the face of the box and into the far corner beyond the grasp of Wes Foderingham.
Town set about trying to find a way back into the game and Alex Pritchard fashioned an opening for himself 20 yards out but curled his shot just wide of the far post.
It was then Michael Smith who went close after a flowing attack from the visitors. As the ball went from left to right, Nathan Thompson’s teasing cross picked out the striker, who could only steer his volley wide of goal.
Smith also hacked a blocked Pritchard free-kick over the crossbar before Troy Archibald-Henville nodded a header wide after Raphael Rossi-Branco had helped a corner back into the danger zone.
Jay McEveley also smashed a first-time shot well wide and former Town loanee, Ronan Murray, skewed a half-volley off target as the hosts went into the break a goal to the good.
Early in the second half, Massimo Luongo inadvertently sent Murray clean through on goal as the ball skimmed off his head and looped over the Town back-line. One-on-one, Wes Foderingham stood up well and managed to divert the effort wide for a corner.
Just after the hour mark, substitute Louis Thompson, having only just come on, played a neat slide-rule pass into the path of the marauding Luongo. The Australian took the ball in his stride but lashed his shot into the side netting from a very tight angle.
As the game moved into the final ten minutes, Notts almost doubled their lead with two chances in as many minutes. Firstly, Foderingham had to stretch to tip Smith’s looping header away from his own goal before Sheehan’s low effort skipped across goal and just evaded the far post.
On 90 minutes, Swindon were reduced to nine men after an off-the-ball incident between Troy Archibald-Henville and Jimmy Spencer ended with the former being sent off. After the melee that ensued in the aftermath, Nathan Thompson was shown a second yellow and was dismissed whilst Michael Smith and Louis Thompson were also booked for their part in the fracas.
Then, in the nine minutes of stoppage time added, Town were awarded a free-kick on the left touchline. With Foderingham up for the set-piece, County cleared the danger, raced away downfield and Callum McGregor was left with the simple task of tapping into an empty net.
Swindon Town: Foderingham, Thompson N (C), Stephens, Archibald-Henville, McEveley, Branco, Luongo, Cox, Byrne, Pritchard, Smith
Subs: Belford, Barthram, Barker, Thompson L, Gladwin, Storey, Waldon