Swindon Town 0 Milton Keynes Dons 1: Into the abyss
Swindon Town are staring down the barrel of relegation to League Two after their former defender Sean O’Hanlon capped a disappointing Robins performance with the only goal of the game to hand victory to the Milton Keynes Dons. Scot Munroe provides a brief match report from the County Ground on a demoralising day in Wiltshire.
The game was delayed for around seven minutes as the referee James Linington was not happy with one of the nets.
It was the visitors who started off well as the impressive winger Daniel Powell found space on the edge of the box and unleashed an effort, but Phil Smith in the Swindon goal got down well and parried the effort. Smith then recovered and gathered it at the second attempt with Jabo Ibehre ready to pounce.
The Dons took the lead after seventeen minutes when Powell floated in a corner from the right and found O’Hanlon who nodded home unmarked from six yards.
It took until ten minutes before the interval for the home side to create their first opportunity as a Jonathan Douglas effort smashed into O’Hanlon. The rebound fell to Jon-Paul McGovern who hit his effort just wide.
McGovern looked busy down the left hand side and was involved once again, combining well with Alessane N’Diaye before curling his effort just past the post.
Swindon then came close to equalising before the break when the hosts rattled the woodwork. McGovern fed in David Prutton, whose drilled cross found Calvin Andrew. The striker couldn’t keep his effort down from close range and it thumped the crossbar.
Just after the break, Ian McParland was sent to the stands following a spat with Dons boss Karl Robinson. An incident involving Paul Caddis and Stephen Gleeson saw both players booked as the referee failed to take control of the game.
O’Hanlon should have doubled the lead for the away team with seventeen minutes remaining, once again finding space for a free header, but the defender sent his effort well wide.
As Swindon continued to strive to get the equaliser, a long throw from Michael Rose was flicked on by Andrew to Elliott Benyon. The former Torquay striker’s header went straight into the arms of visiting goalkeeper David Martin with the goal gaping.
Swindon were dealt a huge blow when on-loan defender Andy Frampton was shown a second yellow after wrestling with Jabo Ibehre.
Rose then saw his free-kick flash wide in the dying moments as Swindon attempted to force the pace. The final whistle blew to a chorus of boos and the fans and players were left to reflect on another poor performance at the County Ground.
Milton Keynes Dons enjoy a seven-point cushion in the play-off race, while League Two is now beckoning for Swindon with only four games remaining. The only gap that matters to Paul Hart’s men is the five point gulf that separates them from 20th place.