DANNY Wright’s last-gasp winner saw Swindon Town suffer an agonising defeat at Cheltenham Town after Reice Charles-Cook’s earlier penalty save had looked set to earn them a deserved point this afternoon.

Wright smashed home from close range four minutes into stoppage time after Town failed to clear a free-kick, with the Cheltenham striker having earlier been denied by Charles-Cook from the penalty spot.

Brian Graham’s first-half opener at Whaddon Road was cancelled out by Matt Preston’s looping header soon after the restart and the teams looked set to finish with a point apiece until the late drama.

The defeat is just the second for David Flitcroft’s side from six away games in League Two this term and sees them fall two places to 11th in the table.

Cheltenham were the first to threaten as Graham tried his luck from the edge of the box after four minutes, with the ball deflecting off a defender but just eluding the run of Jerrell Sellars as Charles-Cook gathered gratefully.

Sellars was causing a few headaches for the visiting defence and his late run to the back post was picked out by a good cross from Harry Pell but the header flew over the top.

Town’s first sight of goal came after 11 minutes, although in truth it was not really threatening as a Matt Taylor corner was nodded back across the box by Olly Lancashire, with Luke Norris’ looping header sailing safely over the bar.

A strong challenge by Preston and clearance by Lancashire snuffed out a chance for Mohamed Eisa after Sellars looked to slip him into the box before the hosts did break the deadlock after 20 minutes.

Town had enjoyed a solid few minutes without actually creating much but they were suddenly carved open by a rapid Cheltenham break as Pell sent a cracking ball into the box and Graham ghosted in at the back post to plant a low effort past Charles-Cook.

The Swindon stopper was then relieved to see a looping Sellars effort land on the roof of his net after his shot from the edge of the box took a wicked deflection off James Dunne and almost caught Charles-Cook out.

Strong defending from the hosts denied Town an equaliser just after the half-hour mark as a Taylor corner caused confusion in the box but Lancashire and Amine Linganzi both saw efforts blocked by diving bodies.

Keshi Anderson then sent a tame effort well wide from 25 yards as Town tried to find a way back into the match before the break but they could not prevent Cheltenham from heading back to the changing rooms with a slender advantage.

Flitcroft was clearly unsatisfied with his team’s performance and rang the changes at the break, sending on John Goddard and Donal McDermott in place of Kellan Gordon and Kaiyne Woolery.

The substitutions had the desired effect and Town were level within eight minutes of the restart. Dunne was left flattened by a lunge from Pell, Taylor lofted in the free-kick and Preston climbed highest in a crowded box to loop a header over goalkeeper Scott Flinders and into the net.

And the visitors almost made it a repeat of that goal just after the hour mark when again Preston met a Taylor free-kick but this time Flinders was able to push the ball over the top.

Cheltenham were given a golden opportunity to retake the lead after 65 minutes when Dunne nibbled at Joe Morrell in the box, with the home midfielder going down and referee Robert Jones pointing to the spot.

Wright, who had been on the pitch less than two minutes, shouldered the responsibility for the hosts but Charles-Cook got down well to his left to push the strike away.

By now, the contest had really opened up and Swindon were next to threaten as Goddard cut in from the left and sent in a curling shot, although it was straight at Flinders.

Both sides pushed for a winner in the closing stages, with Town looking the most likely to get one as first Taylor saw a low free-kick fly just past the post before Norris wriggled away from Taylor Moore in the box but was denied by Flinders.

And the visitors were then made to pay in the cruellest circumstances possible as Wright snatched the win for Cheltenham with virtually the last kick of the match after a free-kick caused confusion amongst Swindon’s defensive ranks.

CHELTENHAM TOWN: Flinders; Winchester, Moore, Grimes, Cranston; Pell, Storer (capt), Morrell; Sellars, Graham (Wright 63), Eisa. Subs not used: Flatt, Atangana, O'Shaughnessy, Boyle, Bower, Davey.

SWINDON TOWN: Charles-Cook; Purkiss, Lancashire (capt), Preston, Taylor; Dunne, Linganzi; Gordon (Goddard 46), Anderson (Mullin 81), Woolery (McDermott 46); Norris. Subs not used: Henry, Robertson, H Smith, Knoyle.

Referee: Robert Jones

Attendance: 5,050, (1,402 away)