Swindon Town picked up another valuable League Two point as they held in-form Leyton Orient to a 1-1 draw in an entertaining encounter at SN1.
Town were quick off the mark as Harry McKirdy scored his first goal of the campaign with just three minutes on the clock, before Orient responded almost immediately through Paul Smyth.
Town boss Scott Lindsey made just one change to his starting eleven from the weekend draw with Carlisle, with Tom Clayton replacing French defender Mathieu Baudry at the back.
Fans witnessed an explosive start to the tie with Town breaking the deadlock after just three minutes on the clock.
Jacob Wakeling was slotted through on goal and the striker unselfishly squared the ball to Harry McKirdy to tap into an empty net.
However, Swindon’s lead didn’t last long as Orient responded just three minutes later. Theo Archibald was spotted wide on the right, and the forward drove into the box before squaring it low to Paul Smyth, who shot low past Sol Brynn.
As we hit the quarter of an hour mark, Orient threatened to take the lead with two good opportunities.
Goal scorer Smyth tried his luck first, picking the ball up deep and driving into the area before dragging his shot wide, before Charlie Kelman tested the reflexes of Sol Brynn with a downward header at the far post which looked to be heading in.
Further efforts from Orient duo Idris El Mizouni and George Moncur followed, with both players pulling shots wide, while at the other end, Angus MacDonald fired over the bar after a set from Frazer Blake-Tracy on the edge of the box.
On 39-minutes, some twisting and turning from McKirdy and a clever pass set Ben Gladwin up, who turned his marker before shooting inches wide of the right hand post, leaving O’s stopper Lawrence Vigouroux beaten.
As we approached the break, Sol Brynn was forced into two fine saves from Paul Smyth and George Moncur again, before referee Rob Lewis called a halt to proceedings for half time, giving us all the chance to draw breath.
Into the second period and it was Harry McKirdy testing the Orient goal straight away, as the striker cut inside on the left flank and attempted a shot on goal, but Vigouroux got down well to claim.
That proved the only clear-cut chance after the interval, as Town boss Scott Lindsey opted for a double switch on the hour, with Ronan Darcy and Tyrese Shade replacing Saidou Khan and Jonny Williams.
Both sides continued to press and limit one another to chances, and it wasn’t until 70-minute mark Harry McKirdy was able to threaten again with a powerful effort, but off-balance, he was unable to get any direction and shot over.
Moments later, Town stopper Brynn was called upon again with three saves in quick succession, earning him his second Man of the Match award of the season, first denying George Moncur before parrying a free kick from the same player, and then pulling off an unbelievable stop to deny him for a third time after a goal mouth scramble, with sub Ruel Sotiriou putting the rebound wide.
Into the last ten minutes of the game, Lindsey shuffled his pack once again, introducing Ricky Aguiar and Tomi Adeloye in place of the impressive Louis Reed and Jacob Wakeling – with the latter on a yellow card.
The visitors looked to press in the remaining five minutes of stoppage time, but Town held firm and defended well to earn a share of the spoils.
Swindon Town Line-up:
1. Sol Brynn (GK) – 21. Angus MacDonald ©, 4. Tom Clayton, 20. Frazer Blake-Tracy, 2. Remeao Hutton, 23. Saidou Khan (10. Ronan Darcy 62mins), 7. Ben Gladwin, 5. Louis Reed (17. Ricky Aguiar 80mins), 24. Jacob Wakeling (9. Tomi Adeloye 80mins), 8. Jonathan Williams (28. Tyrese Shade 62mins), 11. Harry McKirdy.
Subs not used: 12. Lewis Ward (GK) – 6. Mathieu Baudry, 26. Cian Harries.
Yellow Cards: 24. Wakeling 74mins
Red Cards: None
Scorer: 11. McKirdy 4mins
Leyton Orient Line-up:
22. Lawrence Vigouroux (GK) – 4. Shadrach Ogie, 32. Rob Hunt, 2. Tom James, 19. Omar Beckles, 15. Idris El Mizouni, 18. Darren Pratley © (12. Jordan Brown 60mins), 14. George Moncur, 7. Paul Smyth (10. Ruel Sotiriou 67mins), 11. Theo Archibald, 23. Charlie Kelman (9. Harry Smith 73mins).
Subs not used: 1. Sam Sargeant (GK) – 24. Jayden Sweeney, 6. Adam Thompson, 5. Daniel Happe.
Yellow Cards: 2. James 88mins, 15. El Mizouni 71mins
Red Cards: None
Orient scorer: 7. Smyth 7mins
Referee: Robert Lewis
Assistant Referees: Mark Derrien & Jack Clench
Fourth Official: Christopher Wade
Attendance: 8,160 (442 away)