Swindon Town were unable to sign off the 2016/17 season with a win after suffering a 3-0 defeat away at Charlton Athletic earlier this afternoon.
Anton Rodgers glanced the bar for his side in the opening exchanges but it was the hosts who landed the first blow courtesy of Josh Magennis’ emphatic header.
The Reds were forced to ride out wave after wave of attack although they did force Declan Rudd into a couple of stops, but Jake Forster-Caskey’s close-range finish on the stroke of half-time ensured that they had it all to do in the second-half.
It didn’t get much better for the visitors after the break either and defeat was confirmed after Ricky Holmes added a third for The Addicks late on.
With relegation to the Sky Bet League Two already confirmed, Head Coach Luke Williams opted to make six changes to his Starting XI.
Jesse Starkey was handed his Town debut while the likes of Will Henry, Ellis Iandolo, James Brophy, Islam Feruz and Luke Norris all came into the fold.
Conor Thomas was given the task of captaining The Reds while young striker Scott Twine was named amongst the subs.
However, Town were forced into making a late change with Anton Rodgers replacing Rohan Ince who had picked up an injury during the pre-match warm-ups.
There was nothing riding on this fixture for either side and it took a while for the first opportunity of the game to arrive.
And it went the way of the visitors as Anton Rodgers clipped the crossbar with a well-struck free-kick moments after Will Henry had to endure a couple of nervy moments at the other end.
Patrick Bauer then skewed a tame effort well wide for the hosts but they were on target with their next effort just minutes later.
Town were guilty of giving up possession inside their own half and they were punished as Jay Dasilva whipped in a superb cross for Josh Magennis to rise highest and head home beyond Henry.
Swindon tried to muster up an instant response as Luke Norris saw his drive tipped around the post by Declan Rudd, but the visitors were soon forced to do plenty of defending.
Chris Solly picked out Magennis inside the area but the striker could not add to his tally as he hammered wide, before Jason Pearce converted from close-range only to see his celebrations cut short after being adjudged to have committed a foul on Luke Norris in the build-up.
Town were trying their best to get back into the contest however and they were still carving out chances with Jesse Starkey thumping a shot wide.
However, Charlton were looking dangerous with every attack and they had further opportunities to extend their lead with Bauer glancing a header inches wide from Ricky Holmes’ corner.
Dion Conroy then went close for The Reds as his free-kick from distance forced Rudd into a good save down low, while Magennis headed over at the other end.
Nathan Byrne, who was of course a hugely popular figure during his time at SN1, was the next Charlton player to try his luck in-front of goal but his effort flashed just past the post.
The home side kept on pushing though, and they went close again just before half-time as Magennis managed to loft the ball over Henry who was quick off his line, but Conroy did well to get back in the nick of time and hack clear the danger.
Charlton did double their advantage before the break however, Byrne keeping his cool to find Jake Forster-Caskey inside the area and the midfielder was able to tuck home from close-range.
The hosts were quick out of the traps in the second-half and they flexed their attacking muscles once more as Forster-Caskey forced Henry into a smart stop down low.
Henry then had to be at his best once more to brilliantly deny Johnnie Jackson one-on-one after the midfielder had burst into the box.
The tempo had seeped out of the game somewhat with chances few and far between at both ends of the pitch, although Town were beginning to have more of the ball.
Ellis Iandolo sent a shot high and wide after latching onto a loose ball, before Islam Feruz had the ball in the back of the net only for the offside flag to cut short any celebrations.
Holmes was then off-target at the other end of the pitch before succeeding at the second attempt minutes later, sweeping home from Byrne’s pinpoint cross moments after Norris had warmed the palms of Rudd.
Town opted to make a trio of substitutions late on with Jon Obika, John Goddard and Scott Twine all coming on, with the latter making his Swindon Town debut.
The changes nearly made an instant impact as John Goddard arrowed a shot inches over the frame of the goal, before Norris planted a header wide.
Magennis was a threat all afternoon but he continued to be frustrated in his search for a second goal with his acrobatic effort flying wide.
Holmes then found Karlan Ahearne-Grant inside the area but he could not get his header on target, and that proved to be the final action of the game as Town ended the 2016/17 campaign on a low note.
TEAMS AND STATS:
SCORERS - Josh Magennis (14), Jake Forster-Caskey (42), Ricky Holmes (66).
CHARLTON ATHLETIC - Rudd; Solly (Aaron Barnes 86), Bauer,and Pearce, Dasilva; Holmes, Jackson (C) (Karlan Ahearne-Grant 73), Crofts, Forster-Caskey, Byrne (Joe Aribo 82), Magennis.
Subs Not Used - Phillips, Botaka, Ulvestad, Novak.
TOWN - Henry; Dabo, Thomas (C), Conroy, Brophy; Rodgers, Colkett, Starkey (John Goddard 68), Iandolo (Jon Obika 68); Feruz (Scott Twine 68), Norris.
Subs Not Used - Vigouroux, Gladwin, Barry.
CHARLTON ATHLETIC - Patrick Bauer.
TOWN - Jesse Starkey.
Referee - John Brooks
ATTENDANCE - 11,132 (578 Town Fans).