Town had to endure late heartbreak in the Sky Bet League One at Sixfields this evening after suffering a 2-1 defeat to Northampton Town.
Lawrence Vigouroux came up trumps for the visitors inside the opening ten minutes after superbly keeping out Marc Richards’ well-taken penalty.
The Robins were forced to weather an early storm and they were able to hold their nerve to go in level at the break thanks to some determined defending.
Swindon were much-improved in the second-half despite falling behind to an own goal and they looked to have rescued a point late on after Luke Norris notched against his former club, but John-Joe O’Toole came up with an instant response to win it for the Cobblers.
Town plumped for two changes with Lloyd Jones and Jon Obika returning to the starting line-up, while both Rohan Ince and Jermaine Hylton missed out.
Obika was given the chance to rekindle his partnership with Nicky Ajose up top, while Luke Norris shook off a groin injury to take his place on the bench.
The Reds knew they could ill afford another slip up but they were forced to weather an early storm.
Keshi Anderson found himself in space inside the final-third and did well to pick out Marc Richards, but the Cobblers’ Skipper could only fire over the bar.
Richards was then presented with a second bite at the cherry just a minute later after Anderson was brought down in the area by Fankaty Dabo.
However, the striker was unable to beat the in-form Lawrence Vigouroux who produced a stunning stop to push the spot-kick onto the post and out for a corner.
Northampton continued to have the better of the early exchanges though and they carved out another chance when Michael Smith leathered a low drive wide past the far post.
Town had to bide their time for their first opportunity of the game and it arrived just before half-time as Charlie Colkett hammered a shot into the chest of Adam Smith.
Vigouroux then did well to smother Richards’ stooping header before Dion Conroy was unable to keep his venomous strike down at the other end.
Swindon opted to make a change at the break with Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill replacing Fankaty Dabo, who had picked up a booking earlier in the evening.
That change in personnel seemed to do the trick as the Reds were much-improved after the break and they came so close to making the breakthrough just after the interval.
Colkett swung a corner deep into the Northampton penalty area and Raphael Rossi-Branco was there to meet it, but his bullet header was somehow kept out thanks to an outstanding save by Smith.
And unfortunately that proved costly after Northampton nudged themselves ahead just past the hour mark.
Neal Eardley was given time to whip in a dangerous cross and, despite his best efforts to clear the danger, Lloyd Jones could only watch on as the ball fizzed off his boot before hitting the back of the net.
Town decided to make two changes in quick succession in the wake of going a goal down with Luke Norris and John Goddard replacing Jon Obika and Dion Conroy respectively.
Anderson nearly doubled the Cobblers’ lead moments later but his strike bounced back off the post before the danger was cleared.
And that miss paved the way for Swindon to haul themselves back into the contest with less than ten minutes remaining.
James Brophy embarked on a surging run and picked out Norris perfectly inside the area, with the striker powering home an unstoppable header.
However, that joy was short-lived and the hosts restored their lead seconds later courtesy of John-Joe O’Toole, who nodded home from Matt Taylor’s cross.
Richards was twice denied by Vigouroux in the closing minutes with Northampton pressing for a third goal and Town were forced to suffer late heartbreak at Sixfields.
TEAMS AND STATS:
SCORERS - Lloyd Jones OG (64), Luke Norris (81), John-Joe O’Toole (82).
NORTHAMPTON TOWN - Smith; Buchanan, Diamond, Boateng, Eardley; Taylor (Jak McCourt 85), O’Toole, Nyatanga; Anderson (Gregg Wylde 85), Richards (C), Smith.
Subs Not Used - Cornell, Phillips, Hanley, Beautyman, P Anderson.
TOWN - Vigouroux; Rossi-Branco, Thompson (C), Jones; Dabo (Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill 45), Conroy (John Goddard 69), Gladwin, Colkett, Brophy; Ajose, Obika (Luke Norris 65).
Subs Not Used - Henry, Thomas, Rodgers, Kasim.
Referee - Darren Handley
NORTHAMPTON TOWN - Michael Smith.
TOWN - Fankaty Dabo, Charlie Colkett, Ben Gladwin, Raphael Rossi-Branco.
ATTENDANCE - 5,094 (423 Town Fans).