TEN-MAN Town battled back from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw at Peterborough in the First Leg of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Area Final.
The match was sadly overshadowed by a distressing incident where a supporter appeared to collapse in the stands and received CPR pitchside before being taken to a waiting ambulance.
Dany N’Guessan was recalled to the starting line-up while there were also returns for Nile Ranger and Jay McEveley. Ben Gladwin was also handed his first senior start. Ryan Harley, George Barker and Nathan Byrne all had to be content with a place on the five-man substitutes’ bench.
After an early spell of pressure from Swindon, the home side went in front after just ten minutes. A corner from the Town left was arced into the box and Raphael Rossi-Branco arrived in the wrong place at the wrong time to thump a header past Foderingham and into the net.
Still shell-shocked from the opener, Swindon went further behind just four minutes later. Kyle Vassell snaffled possession in the Town box before steering the ball low into the corner of the net.
Despite the set-back, the visitors pushed for a way back into the game. Gladwin’s fired over the bar and McEveley’s corner almost sneaked in at the near post. Just past the half-hour mark, Louis Thompson burst forward from midfield and set Nile Ranger clear through on goal. The striker made no mistake, slotting past Olejnik.
An action-packed first half continued to throw up drama: McEveley went in high on Britt Assombalonga and was shown a straight red card for a dangerous challenge.
The first forty-five concluded with Swindon finding an equaliser. Ranger’s flick-on found Luongo. He, in turn, fed Gladwin on the right. Gladwin’s cross curled into the area where Shaun Brisley attempted a clearance but only succeeded in slicing the ball into the far corner beyond a stranded Olejnik.
Faced with the prospect of playing a further 45 minutes with just ten minutes, Town still continued to go forward. Darren Ward’s header from the edge of the area looking to be spinning goalbound but dropped just the wrong side of the post.
Next, a quick break upfield, led by the effervescent Luongo, ended with Gladwin firing over from just inside the 18-yard box.
Town’s second-half rear-guard action was enough to secure them a 2-2 draw to take back to The County Ground.
The thoughts and prayers of everyone at Swindon Town are with the supporter who had to be rushed to hospital.
Swindon Town: Foderingham, Thompson N, Branco, Ward (C), McEveley, Kasim, Luongo, Thompson L, Gladwin, N'Guessan, Ranger
Subs: Belford, Byrne, Harley, Reis, Barker