WES Foderingham was delighted to have kept Swindon Town’s first clean sheet in seven matches at Bristol City on Saturday, even if he was left feeling the effects at the end of the match.

Foderingham returned to the Town starting line-up for the first time since February 17 at Ashton Gate, after recovering from a groin injury, and made a number of important saves as Swindon fought hard for a point despite playing with 10 men for 35 minutes after Alex Pritchard was sent off.

The goalkeeper expressed his pleasure at shutting out City but he said after the game that his body hadn’t taken kindly to a return to competitive action.

“We haven’t kept one for a while. It was my first game coming back, young Jack came in for the first time at centre-half and I thought we played really well, especially with all the pressure we were under,” he said.

“I did alright, made a couple of saves. I’m happy to do my job when called upon. I didn’t feel too great, to be honest, my legs were a bit stiff and a bit sore. You can do all the gym work in the world but going out and playing is a whole difference scenario.

“I’m getting stronger, I’m doing alright, the groin is good so hopefully I’ll go from strength to strength. When you hear the roar from the fans it always helps and I thought the fans today were fantastic.”

After back-to-back home defeats to MK Dons and Wolves, and with dreams of a place in the League One play-offs all but extinguished, Foderingham admitted the stalemate with City was an important step in the right direction for Town.

“I think everyone was expecting us to come and get turned over,” he said. “Our recent form hasn’t been great, I can’t remember the last time we won, to be honest, I’ve not counted the fixtures. We needed to come here and get a result, whether it was a win or a draw.

“We got a draw and defended half the game with 10 men so it’s a great point.”

Foderingham was impressed with debutant Jack Stephens, who made his first start for the club after signing on loan from Southampton on Thursday.

“I’ve had a look at him in training and he’s comfortable on the ball and he’s a very level-headed young man. He’s a little bit shy, to be honest, so we’ve got to encourage him to come out of the shadows a bit more,” said the keeper.

“He was fantastic today and made a few great blocks. It’s massive to come into a derby for your first game. You want to put in a good performance for yourself, you haven’t played with the boys before and I think he did really well.”