Swindon were held to a goalless draw at Abbey Stadium by Cambridge as their play-off hopes were further dented.
Despite looking out of the picture at the start of the day, Exeter’s loss at home to Crawley meant renewed hope. However, despite huffing and puffing in both halves Richie Wellens’ side were unable to break down a U’s side still fighting to ensure safety.
Kyle Knoyle and Kaiyne Woolery had the best of Town’s chances with Kyle Bennett having the clearest sight of goal in the second.
Michael Doughty was almost Swindon’s hero once again but his free-kick was tipped fantastically round the post by Dimitar Mitov in the Cambridge goal.
The game started at a lightning-fast tempo – Swindon dominating and working the ball through the lines quickly. Keshi Anderson was the beneficiary of that intensity when he picked up the ball 20 yards out but his effort went wide of the post.
Cambridge sat off Town and let them play with style – Kyle Bennett slalomed through the midfield and slipped a pass to Kaiyne Woolery. His shot, on ten minutes, was wide of the mark too.
His next one was from further out but found the target – Dimitar Mitov had his palms stung by the fierce 25-yard drive.
The home side worked their way back in, quite literally , pressing them and forcing them into rushing the ball and making mistakes – on 33 minutes Jabo Ibhere twisted in the box and tested Luke McCormick for the first time.
The experienced goalkeeper got down low and smothered the ball fantastically. Three minutes later, it was Michael Doughty that kept the scores level, not with his hands, however. He booted the ball off the line after Greg Taylor had risen highest and nodded Jevani Brown’s header down towards the corner.
The half looked like it would fizzle out goalless but not without Kyle Knoyle threatening to score his first goal in Swindon colours with seconds to play in the first period. He latched onto a loose ball at the back post and struck a stinging volley towards goal but also straight at Mitov.
The intensity that both sides had played at in the first half didn’t quite continue into the second – mistakes were being made both in amber and red.
Anderson was the first man to show any quality, dribbling through the midfield and finding Kyle Bennett – his show was saved well again by Mitov in the home goal.
It took another 20 minutes for anything close to goalmouth action as the game become cagey – Doughty was set by Robinson, who came on for Ben House as a second-half substitute, but his powerful effort was stopped by the U’s keeper once again.
And it was Doughty that almost won it at the death for the visitors. He struck a beauty of a free-kick from 25 yards out but was thwarted by the outstretched left hand of Mitov once again.