A fine second-half strike from Jack Muldoon earned Town a point this afternoon in an entertaining 1-1 draw at home to Swindon Town.
Town had fallen behind just before the mid-point of the half courtesy of Jake Young’s fine effort from the edge of the area but Muldoon’s finish capped an excellent display from a Town side who were unfortunate not to come away with all three points.
Simon Weaver made four changes from the side that was defeated 2-0 at Carlisle in the Bristol Street Motors Trophy in midweek. Anthony O’Connor, Kayne Ramsay, Matty Foulds and Sam Folarin all returned with Warren Burrell, Liam Gibson, George Horbury and Jeremy Sivi all dropped down to the bench.
For the visitors there was one change from their last outing with George McEachran missing our through injury. His place in the starting eleven by Liam Kinsella.
The early back and forth was broken when a hopeful ball forward was picked up by Jake Young who held off both O’Connor and Rod McDonald to get a right-footed shot ion goal. He dragged his effort wide of Jonathan Mitchell’s right-hand post though.
There was an immediate response from Town though. Clever play from Folarin played in Abraham Odoh, who skipped beyond the visitors defence but his shot was turned away by Murphy Mahoney.
On 15 minutes the Robins had a glorious opportunity to take the lead. Town’s defence was caught out by a long ball that saw Dan Kemp bear down on goal with Charlie Austin in support. Kemp’s heavy touch allowed Ramsay to recover the danger and Town to breathe a sigh of relief.
Folarin then used his pace to spring the offside trap and receive Odoh’s cleverly weighted pass but once again Mahoney was equal to the task.
Barely two minutes later the visitors had the lead. The dangerous Young picked up possession, cut inside and arrowed the ball beyond Mitchell for his 13th goal of the season.
Kinsella went into the book shortly after for bringing down Odoh before the Town forward sliced a half-chance wide from just inside the area.
Folarin had another good chance for Town on the half-hour. Muldoon threaded a pass through to him and he looked to guide the ball beyond Mahoney but the Swindon keeper got a strong hand to the shot to turn behind for a corner.
Town were purposeful immediately after the breaking, looking to take the game to Swindon and get back on level terms. And Matty Foulds almost got on the end of George Thomson’s free-kick that was delivered to the far post.
Ten minutes into the half the wily Austin stole in at the near post to poke Dan Kemp’s corner goalbound. Mitchell was alert enough though to get down low and make the save.
Odoh then had a good opportunity when he raced on to O’Connor’s defence-splitting pass but his first-time strike was just inches the wrong side of the post. The pace of Odoh and Folarin was continuing to cause problems to the Swindon backline.
Town got their reward on 66 minutes though. One-touch play from Folarin and Odoh set up Muldoon who struck beyond Mahoney off the post to level at 1-1.
Minutes later Muldoon then raced the length of the field into his own box to make a last ditch clearance to thwart a Swindon counter-attack.
The visitors made the first change of the afternoon on 70 minutes when Austin was withdrawn in favour of Tom Brewitt.
Town were indebted to Mitchell with fifteen minutes remaining when a clever turn from Kokolo saw him one on one with the Town keeper. He stood tall though to deflect the shot away from goal.
Kokolo then went into the book for a cynical foul on Folarin when Town were about to launch a dangerous breakaway.
Simon Weaver made his first change of the afternoon with ten minutes remaining when the fresh legs of Levi Sutton were called for with the midfielder replacing Dean Cornelius in a like for like change.
The quick thinking of Odoh then saw him play in Folarin with a quick throw-in but he hesitated at the final moment which saw Mahoney get just enough on his shot to prevent the goal.
The visitors thought they had nicked a late winner with five minutes remaining when they bundled the ball home but the referee correctly adjudicated that Mitchell had been fouled in the build-up.
The point was enough to end Town’s run of defeats at home but it was a day where they could, and perhaps should, have come away with more.