SWINDON Town manager Richie Wellens paid tribute to the club’s “knowledgeable” fans after his side came from two goals down to secure a 2-2 draw against League Two leaders Lincoln City on Saturday.

With Lincoln leading 2-0 but down to 10 men at half-time, Wellens was proud to hear a lack of boos from the stands as his players left the field – something that he said allowed the Town management team to keep belief high during the interval and aid a second-half recovery.

A brace from substitute Michael Doughty rescued a deserved point for Town as they stayed 12th in the table as a result of their 10th draw of the campaign.

Despite fear from some of the Town faithful that Saturday’s game may have ended in another heavy defeat, Swindon battled hard in the first half-an-hour and Wellens was delighted with his side’s attitude and pressing game.

The Town chief called his side’s opening third of the game “unbelievable” and thanked the fans for allowing him to lift the players at the interval and send them back out with genuine belief.

He said: “Usually, if the whistle goes at half-time and you’re 2-0 down, what happens? The home fans boo. But the fans here are knowledgeable. They knew we were the better team.

“So, the biggest thing for me is that the fans didn’t get on the players backs.

“We’ve come in, we give them a positive message, we tell them; ‘listen, in the first 35 minutes, we’ve been unbelievable’.

“We stressed to them that if we score the next goal and if it’s 2-1 with 20 or 25 minutes to go, then we can win the game.

“With 10 minutes to go, I still want to win the game, but you’ve got to equalise first.

“I think we’ve equalised a bit too late, but there’s a melee in the box right at the end and you’re waiting for the net to ripple.

“You take a 3-2 and everyone leaves the ground with unbelievable belief.

“But still, 2-0 down at half-time and it ends 2-2 against a really strong, resolute, physical and probably the best team in the league at managing a game.”

Wellens went on to reference the gamesmanship that Lincoln have often used to frustrate teams and grind games out, insisting it left a bad taste in his mouth.

The Town manager felt the visitors’ time-wasting tactics went too far and was left asking for more time for his players to complete the potential comeback from referee Ben Toner.

Wellens said: “On Monday, the headline will be ‘Lincoln hold on for 35 minutes with nine men.’ It’s not 35 minutes because the ball is going to be in play for 12 of those 35 minutes.

“I’ve never seen a goalkeeper dive from 15 yards to collect a slow rolling ball. It’s a bit ridiculous, isn’t it?

“They managed the game well. They wasted a lot of time and we have to trust the referee to put more than six minutes on the board because they probably wasted about 15 minutes in the end.”