Town were unable to prevent a second successive Sky Bet League One defeat after falling to a 2-1 loss to Bury this afternoon, despite putting in a spirited second-half display at The County Ground.
In a first 45-minutes that was marred by controversy, the hosts were punished for a slow start after Hallam Hope was in the right place at the right time to fire the Shakers into the lead.
Town then had what looked like a perfectly good goal ruled out for offside, misery that was then compounded by Hope’s second strike of the afternoon.
However, it was a much improved display by the Robins after the interval and they gave themselves a glimmer of hope thanks to Jon Obika’s first goal of the season.
But despite carving out numerous opportunities and openings, there was to be no happy ending as Bury stood firm to take the spoils.
Town Head Coach Luke Williams rung the changes with seven fresh faces coming into the Starting XI, including Nathan Thompson, Yaser Kasim, Conor Thomas and Nathan Delfouneso, who opened his account for the club in midweek.
It was Bury who flew out of the traps the quickest though as Danny Mayor forced Will Henry into an early save.
Kasim then leathered a shot over at the other end before Delfouneso curled an effort into the arms of Bury keeper Ben Williams with Town beginning to look threatening.
But those missed chances would soon prove to be costly after the visitors stormed into the lead with just twelve minutes played.
Henry did brilliantly to somehow keep out Tom Pope’s thunderous header from Zeli Ismail’s cross, but Hallam Hope reacted quickest to stab home the rebound.
Town did muster up a quick response with Obika diverting Sean Murray’s long-range drive into the back of the net but, and despite allowing the home side to celebrate for quite some time, the referee eventually waved off the effort.
And Swindon’s afternoon soon took a turn for the worse with Jamie Sendles-White having to be stretchered off following a heavy collision with Pope.
Darnell Furlong replaced the centre-back but those two setbacks in quick succession took the wind out of Town’s sails and they found themselves two goals down on the stroke of half-time.
The Reds were caught in possession deep inside their own-half and paid the ultimate price, Hope bursting clean through on goal before calmly tucking home to double his tally.
It looked to be a different story after the break as Town came out all guns blazing with Obika causing the Bury defence plenty of problems.
And that bright play was rewarded just past the hour mark courtesy of Murray’s third assist in two games – the former Watford man playing a raking pass into the path of Obika who did superbly to pick his spot under pressure.
That sparked Town into life and they soon began to flex their attacking muscles with Kasim firing a free-kick over the bar, before Obika was inches away from grabbing a second goal after latching onto John Goddard’s clever pass and hammering an effort wide.
There was plenty of endeavour from the Reds but they just could not find their clinical edge with Bury defending for their lives at times.
Kasim was unable to get his shot through a crowd of bodies and Obika didn’t fare any better minutes later after firing wide.
Henry was a mere spectator for much of the second-half but he had to be alert to get down low to smother Andrew Tutte’s strike.
Luke Norris was thrown on as the final roll of the dice by Town but they were unable to make their second-half dominance count.
HOW THE TEAMS LINED-UP:
SWINDON TOWN –Henry; Rossi-Branco, Thompson (C), Sendles-White (Darnell Furlong 29); Barry, Kasim, Thomas, Murray (John Goddard 67), Brophy; Delfouneso (Luke Norris 82), Obika.
Subs Not Used –Ormonde-Ottewill, Rodgers, Smith, Hylton.
BURY –Williams; Jones, Kay (C), Maher, Leigh; Mayor (Anthony Dudley 90), Mellis (Andrew Tutte 74), Soares, Ismail; Pope, Hope (Tom Walker 68).
Subs Not Used –Rachubka, Burgess, Miller.
REFEREE –Charles Breakspear
TOWN –Brad Barry, Yaser Kasim, Raphael Rossi-Branco, Nathan Thompson.
BURY –Jacob Mellis, Tom Soares, Hallam Hope, Anthony Kay, Danny Mayor, Tom Pope.
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