DESPERATE Swindon Town slumped to a sixth League Two match without a victory at the Energy Check County Ground last night when out-of-form Cambridge United recorded a two-goal victory.

Woeful defending in the first part of the opening half gifted United a pair of effortless goals before Phil Brown’s men failed to find the back of the net for a third successive fixture – stretching their goalless run to beyond 290 minutes in total.

Boos greeted the full-time whistle for the first time this season too as Town slipped into the bottom half of the table, now just eight points clear of the relegation zone – a far cry from the club’s stance just a month ago when level with the play-off frame occupants.

A dejected Brown stood in almost disbelief at the performance he had witnessed as a proportion of the 5,824 fans remained to watch all 11 players leave the field, with only goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux receiving any kind of applause for his efforts between the sticks.

Crosses were aplenty and ambitious strikes from range, but a desperate edge to Town’s game when advancing forward couldn’t failed to be missed.

Brown was forced into making one change from Saturday's 0-0 draw at home to Mansfield Town as the suspended Sid Nelson made way for Dion Conroy, who last appeared during the 2-0 defeat against Exeter 10 days ago.

Town made an edgy start when Vigouroux was forced to put the ball behind for a corner when Reggie Lambe burst into the penalty area before fumbling his shot.

The visitors continued to press and could’ve took the lead moments later when David Amoo’s pacey cross from the right was nervously edged behind by Conroy, who almost put the ball in the back of his own net.

Cambridge’s pressure eventually told when a midfield error from Toumani Diagouraga gifted Lambe a one-on-one opportunity. Vigouroux proved no match for the 27-year-old, who comfortably put Joe Dunne’s United side ahead.

The lead was doubled on 12 minutes when further complacency in midfield gifted Jevani Brown an opening.

He quickly moved into the penalty area and dispatched his shot past Vigouroux’s reach, prompting severe voices of discontent from the terraces.

If Town’s situation wasn’t already desperate, standout midfielder Michael Doughty was then forced off the pitch with only 15 minutes played.

Town’s leading goalscorer hobbled off the field with assistance and was replaced by James Dunne.

Swindon’s first chance came on 21 minutes when a cross following a corner met the head of central defender Conroy, whose effort was comfortably saved by David Forde.

George Maris came close to adding what would’ve been a spectacular third goal for the U’s. His curling right-footed effort from 20 yards skimmed the top of Vigouroux’s net.

Town’s woeful start prompted an attempted revival midway through the opening half.

James Dunne’s half-volley was blocked before his subsequent follow-up effort was pushed wide, Conroy then watched his ambitious 35-yard strike sail just wide of Forde’s top right corner.

James Dunne was again on-target with seven minutes remaining in the opening half as another ambitious strike was fumbled by Forde before United cleared their lines.

Town’s string of hit-and-hope chances continued to flow when Keshi Anderson’s effort from 20 yards was deflected off the back of George Taft for a corner.

The half-time whistle was, unsurprisingly, met by boos though as Town seemingly gifted the visitors points before Phil Brown’s men had even clicked into gear.

Cambridge started the second half better, Town’s frustrations from the opening half clearly lingered as Conroy picked up a thoughtless yellow card when tugging Maris to the ground by holding onto his shirt.

The hosts pressed forward and created a trio of chances in the opening 10 minutes of the half. No goals resulted from Matt Taylor or Kyle Knoyle’s crosses, though, while Anderson leisurely punt from close to the corner flag was comfortably smuggled by Forde.

In an attempt to switch things up, Town boss Brown replaced holding midfielder Diagouraga with Kaiyne Woolery, who formed part of an attacking four including Richards, Adebayo and Anderson.

James Dunne’s misjudgement of an aerial ball then granted United with a chance to score a third on the hour mark.

Jevani Brown received the ball from the midfield before advancing into United’s third one-on-one of the game. Vigouroux this time made a low save to his left, palming the ball wide for a corner.

Anderson and Richards then linked up as Town edged painfully slowly towards the direction of United’s penalty box.

An eventual pass forward by Anderson found Richards, whose twisting – but weak – strike struck the outside of Forde’s right post, redirecting wide for a goal kick.

Richards was presented with a further opportunity on 63 minutes when Taylor’s low corner was flicked into Forde’s side netting.

Chances came few and far between for both teams in the concluding half-hour.

While Town worked the ball into Cambridge’s half, the game followed a similar pattern to what was witnessed in recent fixtures against Exeter and Mansfield.

United substitute Ade Azeez could’ve piled more misery onto Swndon when he was sent clear into the box by Jevani Brown.

Azeez’s strike was struck wide before Lambe wasted a similar opportunity seconds later.

The loss stands Town in a desperate position in the table with confidence hitting a low.

A further defeat against Notts County on Saturday could see Town positioned closer to the relegation zone than their targeted play-off spot.