SWINDON Town’s hopes of beating the drop in League One were dealt a blow as they were held to a 0-0 draw at home to AFC Wimbledon.
In a game that Swindon really needed to claim all three points in, they came up short as they were restricted to just two shots on target, both coming in the first half.
Town pushed late on but it was too little too late as they came up short at the County Ground.
Swindon made one change to the side that had started the last three games, with club captain Nathan Thompson falling foul to a foot injury he had been trying to manage.
Bradley Barry took his place at right-back, with Raphael Branco adopting the armband, and Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill coming in on the substitutes bench.
In what was an uninspiring opening 15 minutes from both sides, it took until the 19th minute before Swindon had their first sight at goal.
However, it is a chance that Conor Thomas will want to forget as Jonathan Obika left Sean Kelly on his backside with a fine bit of skill to get into the box down the right.
His cutback found Thomas in space but his first-time effort went straight into the ground and bounced well wide for a goal kick.
It took until the 25th minute for the game to record its first shot on target, with John Goddard having only moments earlier headed down the tunnel to address a head injury inflicted by Tom Soares’s high boot which earned the Wimbledon man a yellow card.
It was Obika who registered Town’s shot on goal as he tried his luck from the edge of the box but it was straight down the throat of goalkeeper Joe McDonnell.
Swindon were given a let off on the half-hour mark as George Francomb, who was getting forward with ease down Town’s left, found Tyrone Barnett in space at the back post.
However, the burly striker was unable to control the bouncing ball and his effort was eventually collected by Lawrence Vigouroux at the second attempt.
Goddard returned to action with a warm applause from the home fans and looked like a man possessed, with a bandage around his head reminiscent of Terry Butcher.
In the 35th minute, the young midfielder cut inside off the left before letting fly with a low curling effort that McDonnell could only palm wide.
However, with both Nicky Ajose and Thomas waiting for the rebound, the Wimbledon keeper got enough on the ball to concede just a corner, which was wasted by Town.
The visitors came back into the contest in the closing stages of the first half but solid defending from Branco and Dion Conroy kept them at bay.
The second half started much in the same vein as the first, with an Ajose free0kick clearing the crossbar into the Town End the closest the hosts came in the early exchanges.
With Ben Gladwin coming on to replace Goddard just shy of the hour mark, the game momentarily found some resemblance of life as a poor Jake Reeves corner was latched onto by Branco and the Brazilian drove Town forward in numbers.
However, with the ball eventually working its way wide right to Charlie Colkett, his ball into the box was just ahead of Obika and McDonnell claimed.
Wimbledon broke immediately on Town with the ball ending up at the feet of Barnett in the box, whose shot on the turn was deflected just wide of Vigouroux’s goal.
On the 73rd minute, Luke Williams rolled the dice as he stuck a third striker on in the form of Luke Norris.
Moments later a fine piece of build-up play from the hosts saw Gladwin set Barry away down the right, who put in a dangerous ball but McDonnell was down well at the feet of Obika to snuff out the chance.
However, it was the visitors who came closest to snatching the win late on when Reeves was played in one-on-one with Vigouroux down the right and the keeper was able to deflect the ball behind for a corner.
SWINDON TOWN XI: Vigouroux; Dabo, Branco, Conroy, Barry; Ince, Colkett (Norris 73’), Thomas, Goddard (Gladwin 58’); Obika, Ajose
Unused subs: Henry, Ormonde-Ottewill, Rodgers, Brophy, Starkey
Referee: Michael Salisbury
Attendance: 7,716 (869)