Swindon were forced to settle for a share of the spoils against AFC Wimbledon as the visitors defended resolutely to emerge from Wiltshire with a clean sheet, with Town denied a possible penalty in the dying moments.
own Head Coach, Scott Lindsey made four changes to the side that lost to Crawley last weekend, with injuries to Tom Clayton, Ben Gladwin, Luke Jephcott and Saidou Khan forcing them out.
Marcel Lavinier, Ronan Darcy, Tyrese Shade and Jonny Williams were drafted in, with the latter, fresh from his exploits for Wales in Qatar, handed the captains armband.
Angus MacDonald and Rushian Hepburn-Murphy were named among the subs, bench that also included academy ace Anton Dworzak.
Onto the action, and there wasn’t a great deal to report from the opening eleven minutes, as both sides cancelled each other out and struggled to create any chances on a bitterly cold afternoon at SN1.
When the games first opportunity did arrive, it fell to the feet of former Town loanee Josh Davison, who received the ball just inside the Swindon box before cleverly turning his marker and shooting low at goal, but Sol Brynn did well to get down low and push the ball to safety.
Just two minutes later, Ethan Chislett was presented with a chance to catch Brynn off guard as the Town stopper slipped while clearing the ball, but the Dons midfielder, trying his luck from distance, couldn’t get any direction on his half-volley and it was scooped up by the loan keeper.
Town created their first chance on seventeen minutes, as Tyrese Shade did well to skip past his marker on the far right and cut inside, before sending in a dangerous low cross for the onrushing Jacob Wakeling, but it was just out of the strikers reach.
Town seemed to be growing in confidence and created two further chances in the space of five minutes as we reached the twenty-forth, with Ellis Iandolo just unable to reach a Marcel Lavinier cross from the left and Jonny Williams firing over with his left foot just inside the Wimbledon area after Jacob Wakeling had done well to create space for himself and drive forward.
Loose play from the visitors defence then saw Wakeling feed Shade as we reached the half-hour mark, but the forward shot way over from distance and failed to trouble Nik Tzanev in the Dons goal.
Ten minutes followed without either goal threatened, before some fantastic play from Ronan Darcy in the centre of the park on forty minutes created space for Jonny Williams, and the captain hit a belting curling effort at goal that sailed narrowly wide of the right hand post with Tzanev beaten.
Referee Sam Allison brought the first period to a close with the first forty-five ending goalless.
The second half started in a similar vein to the first with little to choose between the two sides, although Paul Kalambayi could have opened the scoring as he met Ethan Chislett’s corner from the right with a powerful header, but he was unable to direct it on target.
Town created their next chance on the hour mark, as Ellis Iandolo did well to regain possession on the left side and slip Lavinier in just outside the box, but his curling shot bounced wide of the right post.
Then came Town’s best chance of the clash which fell to Tyrese Shade on sixty-five minutes.
Louis Reed sent a pinpoint lofted ball into the Dons area to Darcy, whose delicate first touch set Shade to blast one at goal, but Tzanev made a fantastic one handed save to push it away from danger.
On sixty-nine minutes, Town boss Scott Lindsey introduced Morgan Roberts for Jacob Wakeling, with Rushian Hepburn-Murphy making a timely return to the fold coming on shortly after for Tyrese Shade, and the energetic attacker was straight into the thick of it.
Good work from Remeao Hutton on the right byline saw his cross met by the substitute, but it was just a little to high for him and he sent the effort well over as we approached eighty minutes.
Still neither side were able to find a way through for that all important opener as the clock ticked down.
Then controversy as we entered five minutes of added time, as Morgan Roberts burst into the Dons box, only to have his run on goal halted by several Wimbledon defenders, but referee Sam Allison saw nothing wrong on waved play on, much to the frustration of the home supporters and Town bench.
That proved the last action of the game with Swindon forced to settle for a point and once again finding a goal hard to come by, but on the positive side, a valuable point and clean sheet with just a point separating them from the play-off places.
Swindon Town Line-up: 4-3-3
1. Sol Brynn (GK) – 22. Marcel Lavinier, 20. Frazer Blake-Tracy, 34. Ciaran Brennan, 2. Remeao Hutton, 5. Louis Reed, 3. Ellis Iandolo, 10. Ronan Darcy, 8. Jonny Williams ©, 28. Tyrese Shade (19. Rushian Hepburn-Murphy 75mins), 24. Jacob Wakeling (33. Morgan Roberts 69mins).
Subs not used: 41. Jack Copland (GK) – 21. Angus MacDonald, 17. Ricky Aguiar, 9. Tomi Adeloye, 35. Anton Dworzak.
Yellow Cards: 20. Blake-Tracy 29mins, 22. Lavinier 89mins.
Red Cards: None
AFC Wimbledon Line-up: 4-2-3-1
1. Nikola Tzanev (GK) – 30. Paul Kalambayi, 20. Husseyin Biler, 12. Ryan Towler, 26. Jack Currie, 4. Alex Woodyard ©, 11. Ethan Chislett (18. Kyle Hudlin 75mins), 8. Harry Pell, 19. Paris Maghoma, 10. Ayoub Assal, 9. Josh Davison.
Subs not used: 13. Nathan Broome (GK) – 2. Chris Gunter, 15. Alex Pearce, 6. George Marsh, 25. Courtney Senior, 7. Nathan Young-Coombes.
Yellow Cards: 8. Pell 63mins, 19. Maghoma 81mins, 4. Woodyard 71mins, 9. Davison 90mins.
Red Cards: None
Referee: Sam Allison
Assistant Referees: Ravel Cheosiaua & Andy Bennett
Fourth Official: Kevin Horwick
Attendance: 8,430 (529 away fans)