IN A game which saw a red card, a penalty and a first team debut, Swindon Town can’t be too disgruntled that they came away from Sincil Bank with a point.

Disaster struck for David Flitcroft and his troops in the 23rd minute when Matt Preston was left chasing down Lincoln City striker Matt Green, after he broke free of the visiting defence.

Preston caught up with the 31-year-old before a rush of blood to the head saw him dive in with a naïve challenge, resulting in a penalty, when in hindsight he may have been better off holding up the Lincoln man.

Referee Antony Goggins had no hesitation in sending the 22-year-old off, much to the pleasure of the 8,000 home fans who were calling for the Town man’s head.

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Ollie Banks got Town's second of the game

Midfielder Lee Frecklington stepped up and dispatched the spot-kick for the hosts, his penalty hit low and hard to Reice Charles-Cook’s right-hand side.

From there, it looked a long way back for Town, who named an unchanged starting XI from the side that were 1-0 winners at Stevenage last Tuesday night.

New signing Rollin Menayese was named on the bench, as Swindon looked to secure back-to-back wins in League Two.

The latest recruit was thrown into his debut in the first half, top scorer Luke Norris being hooked in a tactical change from Flitcroft, who reshuffled his pack after the red card for Preston.

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Matt Preston gave away a penalty by fouling Matt Green.

Timi Elsnik, who has been superb since his return from injury, got the ball rolling for the visitors as he flicked the ball over his marker on the edge of the area before lashing the ball goalwards keeper Paul Farman could do nothing more than palm the ball away, and luckily for Town, it fell in the path of Marc Richards who had little left to do as he fired home to restore parity in the 33rd minute.

A matter of minutes later Swindon would have surely shocked even their most upbeat supporter as they took a surprise lead in Lincolnshire, midfielder Ollie Banks notching his third goal since arriving at the Energy Check County Ground on loan from Oldham Athletic.

The 22-year-old surged forward for Town with just over 10 minutes of the first half remaining and, after being afforded oceans of time and space, decided to test the keeper.

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Rollin Menayese came off the bench to make his debut. 

His shot, which he struck with the outside of his right foot, flew into the bottom right corner at Sincil Bank to hand Town a 2-1 lead going into half-time.

The second half proved largely uneventful, on what was a dreary afternoon, as the hosts looked to make the most of their numerical advantage.

In a bid to slow down the game, Charles-Cook nearly got himself into trouble with the officials on more than a few occasions as the home fans continued to voice their displeasure.

Swindon definitely felt the pressure at times, but rarely looked uncomfortable with what the hosts were doing as they clung on to their one-goal advantage.

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Lee Frecklington put the hosts ahead with a penalty

With a quarter of an hour left, Town had a fine chance to get a good ball in from a free-kick only for it to be headed behind for a corner.

From there, Matt Taylor would take the set-piece, but couldn’t find a teammate as he over-hit his cross into the box.

Flitcroft’s troops then breathed a sigh of relief after Imps substitute Tom Pett was unable to steer his free header into the back of the net, it falling just wide after he had found a pocket of space between Town’s defenders.

Elsnik nearly took the game into his own hands by sealing the deal for Town with less than 10 minutes to go, as he was allowed plenty of time on the ball to the left of the penalty area.

The teenager opted to shoot and watched his effort slide off of the top of the crossbar.

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Reice Charles-Cook took to social media to apologise for his performance after the game. 

Two minutes plus injury time stood between Town and three points and in order to claim all three, Flitcroft used his third and final substitute to bring on Chris Robertson to see out the game.

However, the hosts equalised deep into added time with a late corner, which was bundled into the back of the net.

Initially, it looked as though Charles-Cook had managed to get two hands on the ball, before it squirmed to Michael Bostwick at the back post in the 93rd minute.

The result itself was not a disaster.

Given the circumstances during the game it could prove to be an important point for Swindon, who are seventh in the League Two table.

Tuesday’s away trip to promotion rivals Accrington Stanley now promises to be another acid test of the promotion credentials of Flitcroft’s troops, especially now Town are a point behind them and will be without the suspended Preston.