FIFTY years after winning the League Cup, a toothless Swindon Town crashed out in the opening round of this year's competition at the hands of Forest Green Rovers at the Energy Check County Ground.

Swindon were in need of a result after their disappointing league outing at Sincil Bank on Saturday, but after a good start came up short as Tahvon Campbell’s second-half strike fired the away side to a 1-0 win.

Phil Brown opted to make three changes from the team that was comfortably beaten away at Lincoln at the weekend.

The change in personnel also signified a change in formation for the Swindon boss, as Sid Nelson and Joe Romanski joined skipper Olly Lancashire in a back three.

Kyle Knoyle and Matt Taylor retained their starting berths, as wing-backs, while Toumani Diagouraga completed a midfield three with Martin Smith and Michael Doughty.

Elijah Adebayo and Keshi Anderson made up the top two as Town looked to claim a Carabao Cup victory.

Three minutes in Adebayo, who is on loan from Premier League Fulham, almost found the back of the net when a dazzling run saw him get within shooting range. However he dragged his shot wide.

A quarter of an hour in, Swindon fans were on their feet in disbelief as Smith latched onto pass from Forest Green keeper James Montgomery before firing an audacious effort from the centre circle which hit the post.

Doughty nearly extended his goalscoring form after 20 minutes when Taylor’s low free-kick was parried into the path of the former QPR man who could only put the ball wide.

The midfielder was at the centre of things again for Swindon with 20 minutes of the half to go when his smart backheel allowed Taylor to whip in a ball to Anderson, but the striker’s glancing effort was beaten away.

Swindon were the dominant force in the opening 45 minutes, but the only thing they were missing was the lead as Doughty forced Montgomery to spring to his right and push the ball round the post.

The performance had shades of their display against Macclesfield Town on the opening day of the League Two season as they were forced to settle for 0-0 at the break, despite being far superior than their counterparts.

The second half started as the first had ended with Town on top after Anderson was hauled to the floor, winning the hosts a free-kick on the right.

Taylor stood over the ball and lined up as if he was going to cross the ball but deceived the keeper with a shot on goal which got Montgomery scampering across his line to save.

As the second instalment wore on, Swindon’s stranglehold on the game began to fall off as the game started to become scrappy, especially in midfield where no-one was able to get a foot on the ball.

Adebayo had a half-chance on the hour mark when he shifted the ball well to his right foot, before lashing a shot at goal.

His effort was well held, and the visitors got things going quickly when the ball dropped in the path of Campbell who was able to bear down on goal and slot past Lawrence Vigouroux.

The goal provided a shot in the arm for the hosts, who were determined not to let their hard work count for nothing.

Former Town manager Mark Cooper saw his Forest Green side slow the game down, as the home supporters grew increasingly frustrated with their own team.

Smith was the next to draw a collective sigh from the crown when his neat one-two outside with Anderson saw him create a shooting opportunity, only for his effort to lack any real conviction as Montgomery gathered.

In truth Town struggled to show the authority they had demonstrated in the opening half. Brown rolled the dice with 10 minutes remaining by throwing on Steven Alzate and Jermaine McGlashan for Anderson and Diagouraga respectively.

In spite of waning interest from the home fans, they were handed a lifeline when the fourth official added five minutes of injury time.

In that time, referee David Webb slammed the door shut on any hopes of salvation when he waved away a penalty claim from Doughty as Town suffered their third defeat in seven days.

Boos rung around the County Ground at the final whistle, the atmosphere being a far cry from last Saturday’s optimism.

SWINDON TOWN: (3-5-2): Vigouroux, Knoyle, Nelson, Lancashire, Romanski, Smith, Doughty, Diagouraga (Alzate 80), Taylor, Anderson (McGlashan 80), Adebayo.

Subs not used: McCourt, Iandolo, McCormick, Twine, Pryce.

FOREST GREEN ROVERS (4-3-3): Montgomery, Shephard, Rawson, Hollis, Laird, Archibald, Collins (James 74), Digby, Grubb (Reid 88), Campbell (Winchester 68), Doidge.

Subs not used: Sanchez, Brown, Williams, Pearce.

Referee: David Webb

Attendance: Not announced