IT means everything to the one thousand plus travelling Swindon Town fans at Exeter on Saturday, but nothing to club manager Richie Wellens.

Have you guessed what it is yet? Swindon Town are top of the league.

And who do Town fans have to thank for this rare occurrence – a chap who appeared on the front page of Bradford City’s programme.

That’s right. Such was the confidence in the Bantams media team with regards to keeping proven goalscorer Eoin Doyle, they placed him on the front cover of their programme ahead of Oldham Athletic’s visit to the Northern Commercials Stadium.

Unknown to them, the 31-year-old Irishman was in the process of swapping League Two clubs – and he was officially revealed by Town on the eve of their trip to Devon.

Of course, like it or not, praise must be granted to club chairman Lee Power for attracting Doyle to SN1 on a season-long loan deal in such a short space of time.

But, ultimately, it was Doyle’s late flick-on from Zeki Fryers’ cross that rescued a point for Wellens’ side at St James’ Park – a stadium that has been a rotten hunting ground for Town since the turn of the millennium.

Exeter still haven’t lost at home to Town in the league since 1986. But 1,063 members of Wellens’ red and white army made the trip back up the M5 feeling distinctly satisfied having watched their team snatch a point at the death.

You could argue Saturday’s performance warranted more. With barely 20 minutes on the board, three golden opportunities to score had been squandered.

Lloyd Isgrove had a penalty appeal turned down, Keshi Anderson watched his effort from eight yards cleared spectacularly off the line and man-of-the-moment Doyle was denied by the Grecians’ right post when shooting from outside the area.

At this moment, there were perhaps echoes of Tuesday night’s performance at Colchester in the Carabao Cup – a game that ended 3-0 to the hosts despite Town dominating large parts of the game.

Fans had every right to fear the worst at half time, and those fears became reality when City’s impact substitutes Lee Martin and Matt Jay combined to put the hosts ahead with 71 minutes played.

Turn the clocks back 12 months, and Town might have bottled it at this stage.

But the relentless work of remaining trio Jordan Lyden, Michael Doughty and Eoin Doyle didn’t go without its reward – and Town pulled a goal back in the dying seconds of normal time to leave Exeter with a point.

Chants of ‘we are top of the league’ drowned out home fans’ applause, as Plymouth Argyle’s loss at Newport County quickly became apparent to those who made the trip.

Next up, Northampton.

Unsurprisngly, Wellens made one enforced change from last Saturday’s side that defeated Carlisle.

Suspended Jerry Yates was replaced by new recruit Eoin Doyle while the rest of the side was unchanged.

Two minutes hadn’t passed before Town had their first sight on goal.

Lloyd Isgrove benefitted from Town debutant Doyle’s smart flick on midway through the hosts’ half before the winger made a dashing run into the penalty area.

Grecians ‘keeper Lewis Ward came out to collect the ball, resulting in the pair colliding.

Visiting fans’ cries for a penalty were understandably shunned by referee Chris Sarginson, who awarded a corner that was cleared.

Keshi Anderson then missed a golden opportunity to hand Town the lead.

Following smart build-up play on the left wing by Woolery and Fryers, Doyle’s effort on the edge of the six-yard box was blocked – with the ball falling fortuitously to Anderson’s feet.

The 24-year-old’s strike somehow evaded Ward’s goal – taking a wicked deflection that dribbled wide of the home ‘keeper’s right post.

City ‘keeper Ward again had an external source to thank with 20 minutes played. A devastating counterattack that caught Exeter off guard led to Doyle shooting from 20 yards after Isgrove’s darting run from the half-way line.

Doyle’s right-footed shot pinged off Ward’s left post – granting the hosts another lifeline.

Doyle again missed out on opening his Town account on the half-hour mark, but this time through his own wrongdoing.

A nodded down ball from Woolery picked out the former Bradford man 12 yards out. But his powerful drive was hit high and wide.

Sandwiched between those two efforts was home skipper Taylor’s deflected strike on the edge of Town’s penalty area, which undoubtedly had travelling fans concerned for a moment.

Exeter’s attempts to pierce Town’s dogged back four were unsuccessful in the concluding 15 minutes of the half.

No changes were made by either manager at half-time, and so Town’s dominance on the game continued.

Three corners for the visitors went without reward before City boss Taylor made two substitutions in quick time – ex-Town forward Ajose exited the pitch for Martin while captain Taylor made way for Jay.

And it was Taylor’s two substitutes that combined to break the game’s deadlock.

Lee Martin’s shot from the edge of the penalty area was flicked into the roof of McCormick’s net by a well-placed Matt Jay who wheeled away in celebration.

Jay would’ve doubled his goal tally four minutes later had it not been for the ill-placed Dean Moxey who blocked a ball destined for the back of the net.

Just at it seemed City had established a foothold in the game, Doyle had a goal ruled out after Ward’s clearance was judged to have struck the arm of Town’s new frontman before it dribbled into the net.

A stalling Town required changes – in came Twine and May for Isgrove and Anderson.

And with minutes on the clock, it was substitute Twine that played a smart ball to Fryers who found Doyle in the centre.

Doyle’s tidy flick-on beat Ward’s far-post reach, and Town were level. For a moment, there was hope of Town snatching a late winner.

But time was called on this west-country derby – Wellens content with a point.