Swindon Town’s first competitive match since lockdown ended in a frustrating 3-1 defeat against Charlton Athletic in the first round of the Carabao Cup.
Goals from Macauley Bonne, Charlie Barker and substitute Chuks Aneke sent the visitors into the second round of the Carabao Cup.
Jonny Smith scored a fantastic, solo goal on his debut to make the score 1-1 in the second half in what was a very promising sign of things to come from the Bristol City loanee.
Diallang Jaiyesimi created the first real chance of note with a ripping left footed 25-yard strike which went past the far post and a very grateful Ben Amos in the Charlton goal.
Matej Kovar, who was making his competitive debut for the Town since arriving on loan from Manchester United, was called into action after midfielder James Vennings’ first-time effort testing the Czech keeper’s handling.
The away side started to impose themselves and it was their number nine Macauley Bonne who opened the scoring, latching onto a through ball and volleying into the top corner.
Swindon almost levelled just before half-time after Jordan Lyden carried the ball and cut the ball back across goal superbly, however the Charlton defence recovered just in time to clear the ball away.
Swindon started the second half in stronger and faster fashion and came very close to levelling when Jack Payne’s corner to the near post was met superbly by defender Ellis Iandolo, however he could not guide his diving header on target.
Goalkeeper Ben Amos was a spectator for most of the first half but was extremely busy in the early stages of the second half.
Some resolute goalkeeping from the Addicks goalkeeper was needed, as he kept out Jack Payne with a low save to his left and then a rebound from Jonny Smith immediately after.
Town always looked the most likely to score next and their persistence and improvement was rewarded with a fantastic equaliser came from not one, but two Swindon debutants.
Jonny Smith controlled a floating pass from fellow new boy Akin Odimayo beautifully, cut inside two Charlton defenders, before calmly sliding the ball into the bottom left corner.
Charlton were on the back foot for the majority of the second half, but then suddenly hit Town with a sucker punch out of nowhere.
Substitute Chuks Aneke cushioned the ball into Charlie Barker’s path and the defender headed into the bottom left hand corner with 17 minutes to go.
Kovar kept the Reds in the contest with an impressive save from Alfie Doughty who was put through one-on-one.
The visitors put the game beyond Swindon almost straight after as Aneke finished powerfully past Kovar.
It was a frustrating conclusion to the contest for the boys who host West Brom under 23's in the Football League Trophy in their next match.