SWINDON Town returned from Gloucestershire with a point following a hard-fought contest against Forest Green Rovers at the New Lawn this afternoon. 

A quick-thinking Forest Green took an early lead through proven goalscorer Christian Doidge before Michael Doughty's calmness from the penalty spot again served Town well just minutes after the hosts opened the scoring. 

Brown made three changes to the side that drew 2-2 in dramatic circumstances at Crawley in mid-week.

Marc Richards was preferred up front to Elijah Adebayo while Martin Smith and Stevan Alzate filled the midfield roles – largely due to the suspensions picked up by James Dunne and Toumani Diagouraga following their red cards.

Town made a disastrous start when poor marking on the left granted Liam Shephard with the opportunity to run into space and deliver a cross.

Digby’s cross led to a blocked shot, before proven goalscorer Christian Doidge deflected Reece Brown’s follow up effort past the reach of a stranded Lawrence Vigouroux.

The early goal prompted Rovers to push forward further, culminating in George Williams’ shot from 25-yards beating Vigouroux’s right reach before hitting the post.

Town were soon to level though as Keshi Anderson’s bursting run into the penalty box saw him fouled by Rovers’ keeper Robert Sanchez.

Initially, referee Andy Davies awarded a corner. But he reversed his decision and pointed to the spot, allowing Michael Doughty to comfortably slot his 12-yard effort into the left corner.

Williams again tried his luck from range for the hosts on 19 minutes when Town’s midfield backtracked deep into their own half. His effort resulted in a corner, which Reuben Reid got a foot too from inside the six-yard box – but blasted his effort over the bar.

Reece Brown and Christian Doidge then linked up well to carve out Rovers’ next opportunity on 22 minutes, which Doidge eventually hit wide of Town’s goal.

Doidge again went close on 24 minutes when Town’s weakness on the left was again exploited, forcing Vigouroux into making an acrobatic save.

Rovers’ number nine was again desperately unlucky not to re-establish the home side’s one-goal lead when he lobbed effort from a through ball was only denied by the woodwork on 28 minutes.

Against the run of play, Doughty and Andersen linked up with a series of passes on the edge of the 18-yard box – resulting in Anderson breaking free into Rovers’ penalty area.

The forward’s effort was well saved by Sanchez though, denying Town what would’ve been an unlikely lead.

Brown’s men started to grow into the game and counted themselves misfortunate not to take the lead on 42 minutes.

Though Forest Green held up play well on the edge of their penalty box, a gap in the defence allowed Stevan Alzate to chance his luck from 18-yards out.

His low shot beat Sanchez’s far reach before hitting the inside of the post and spinning out for a goal kick.

The game’s sudden turn extended into the concluding minutes and injury time, with Swindon enjoying far more possession and attacking time.

But they were unable to capitalise and ended the first half level.

Mark Cooper’s men started the second half stronger than Town. Swindon’s back four had Martin Smith to thank when his sliding interception from Shephard’s cross denied Rovers what would’ve been a clear-cut chance close to the six-yard box.

It was an otherwise subdued start to the second half, a stark contrast to a back-and-forth opening 10 minutes.

Reuben Reid went close for Forest Green on 56 minutes when his shot from inside the area following hesitation was headed behind by Sid Nelson for a corner, which Vigouroux punched clear.

A total of three substitutions were made when Brown opted to bring Elijah Adebayo and Jak McCourt on in place of Marc Richards and Steven Alzate.

Mark Cooper meanwhile took troublesome George Williams off for Dayle Grubb.

Grubb had an instant impact on the game when his direct pass to Carl Winchester allowed Rovers’ midfield an unchallenged strike on goal. His weak effort though was comfortably gathered by Vigouroux.

Matt Taylor had a chance from a free-kick on 71 minutes after Adebayo was tugged to the ground by Digby.

The former Premier League winger’s effort was cleared though as chances at either end of the pitch continued to be limited by both teams’ defensive units.

Doidge was presented with a header at the back post after Rovers earned two corners with 15 minutes of play left.

The forward’s effort went wide of Town’s goal though, largely as a result of strong physical pressure from Knoyle and Nelson.

Reece Brown was next to shoot for the hosts as Rovers started to dictate proceedings in the closing 10 minutes.

Brown’s strike following a series of passes on the edge of the penalty box was struck into the stands, though it was clear Town were being put on the back foot.

A free kick on the edge of Town’s penalty box towards the left for the hosts almost resulted in them snatching a late winner on 85 minutes.

After being headed back into play, Winchester’s effort from the back post was blasted in direction of the 1,200 plus Swindon fans on the far side of the pitch.

Goalscorer Michael Doughty then shot from range, though Sanchez made a comfortable save as the game opened up in the concluding minutes.

Keshi Anderson cut inside on 93 minutes before sending his effort into the side netting, which proved to be Town's final chance as the game ended level. 

Forest Green Rovers: Robert Sanchez, Liam Shephard, Lloyd James, Farrend Rawson, Carl Winchester, Christian Doidge, Reece Brown, George Williams (Dayle Grubb, 60’), Paul Digby, Joseph Mills, Reuben Reid (Tahvon Campbell, 82’).

Swindon Town: Lawrence Vigouroux, Kyle Knoyle, Michael Doughty, Sid Nelson, Olly Lancashire, Jermaine McGlashan (Ellis Iandolo, 77’), Marc Richards (Elijah Adebayo, 60’), Keshi Anderson, Stevan Alzate (Jak McCourt, 60’), Martin Smith, Matt Taylor.