Town were held to a 1-1 draw by Shrewsbury Town at the New Meadow Stadium earlier today.
John Goddard’s first-ever goal for the club gave the visitors a deserved lead following a bright start to proceedings.
Town dominated first-half proceedings although they were hit with a sucker-punch on the stroke of half-time after Ivan Toney finished off a swift counter-attack to send the two sides in at the break level.
Chances were few and far between in a scrappy second-half and, despite the hosts being reduced to ten men late on, the Robins were unable to grab a winner.
Town Head Coach Luke Williams opted to make two changes to his Starting XI with Sean Murray and Nathan Delfouneso both coming into the fold.
Murray, who opened his account for the club in midweek, replaced the injured Lloyd Jones whilst Delfouneso took the place of Luke Norris up-front, who dropped to the bench.
And Town were handed a boost prior to kick-off with James Brophy fit enough to be named amongst the subs after recovering from a chest infection.
Both sides enjoyed little spells of pressure in the early stages of the game as Nathan Thompson saw his effort blocked before Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill blazed over the bar, whilst former Robins’ loanee Adam El-Abd failed to get his header on target at the other end.
That miss would prove to be costly for the hosts just minutes later after Town opened the scoring.
Darnell Furlong whipped in a delightful cross into the Shrewsbury penalty area and John Goddard was in the right place at the right time to head home his first goal for the club.
The home side tried to respond through Jim O’Brien who could only nod over from Ivan Toney’s cross, before Thompson fired over the bar at the opposite end of the pitch after embarking on a determined run.
Yaser Kasim thumped a shot wide and Louis Dodds’ saw his pile-driver deflected into the arms of Lawrence Vigouroux as the frantic nature of the first-half continued.
However, the tempo soon seeped out of proceedings and the game became a scrappy affair with opportunities few and far between.
But there was to be one more twist in the tale before the half-time whistle was blown with the hosts hauling themselves level.
After Delfouneso saw his curled shot deflected out for a corner, Town were hit on the counter-attack and paid the ultimate price as Ivan Toney latched on to Dodds’ lofted pass before stroking home the equaliser.
Town shook off that late disappointment and made a bright start after the interval with Goddard seeing a free-kick deflected out for a corner.
There was a lack of spark in the game with both sides happy to remain patient in their build-up play, although Lawrence Vigouroux did well to get down low and hold on to Olly Lancashire’s volley.
Vigouroux then did superbly to somehow claw away Ryan McGivern’s close-range effort, although the off-side flag was already up.
With time ticking away, Town decided to throw on Luke Norris in a bid to inject some fresh legs into their attack.
And it seemed to work as the Reds’ began to flex their attacking muscles, although they were unable to find the target.
Obika warmed the gloves of Leutwiler before Norris cut in and sent a rasping drive high and wide.
Kasim was then off-target from a long-range free-kick as Town began to dominate in the game’s closing stages.
However, Shrewsbury were presented with a golden chance to snatch all three points themselves late on after AJ Leitch-Smith was picked out by Jack Grimmer inside the area, but the former’s point-blank effort was somehow kept out by Vigouroux.
And the drama didn’t stop there with Gary Deegan being sent for an early bath after picking up two yellow cards, but Town were unable to take advantage of having an extra man and were made to settle for a point.
TEAMS AND STATS:
SHREWSBURY TOWN 1-1 SWINDON TOWN
SCORERS - John Goddard (8), Ivan Toney (43).
SHREWSBURY TOWN - Leutwiler; Lancashire, El-Abd, McGivern; Grimmer, Deegan, Black, Brown; Dodds (AJ Leitch-Smith 63) (Antoni Sarcevic 90), O’Brien; Toney.
Subs Not Used - Halstead, Riley, Mangan, Choulay, Ebanks-Blake.
SWINDON TOWN - Vigouroux; Rossi-Branco, N Thompson (C), Thomas; Furlong, Kasim, Murray, Goddard, Ormonde-Ottewill (James Brophy 79); Obika, Delfouneso (Luke Norris 66).
Subs Not Used - Henry, Rodgers, Smith, Iandolo, Hylton.
REFEREE - John Brooks
SHREWSBURY TOWN - Gary Deegan, Junior Brown.
Darnell FurlongTOWN -
ATTENDANCE - 5,103 (422 AWAY FANS).