SWINDON Town manager Richie Wellens has praised the club’s supporters for the part they played in Saturday’s 2-2 draw away at local rivals Cheltenham Town.

The visitors looked like ending an unwanted record at the Johnny-Rocks Stadium at the weekend, with Swindon having never won at the home of their Gloucestershire neighbours on seven previous visits.

Striker Eoin Doyle twice put Wellens’ side ahead in the first half but the home side responded each time to ensure it finished honours even and keep the hoodoo over their local rivals.

Swindon’s hopes of a first-ever victory at Cheltenham were realistically over with 18 minutes to play when they were reduced to 10 men following the sending off of midfielder Michael Doughty.

Almost 1,500 Swindon supporters made the short trip north to watch the weekend West Country derby, with Wellens hailing the impact they had on his side – particularly in the closing stages when the visitors were playing a man short.

“I am sure the fans went home happy,” said Wellens.

“We keep the curse going of not winning there – and I apologise for that – but I think we were entertaining, and we put everything into it.

“The fans were brilliant, and I wish we could have seen it out for a little bit longer at 2-1 because then we would have picked Cheltenham off and the fans would have been in even better voice because we would have been playing really well.

“With four or five minutes left, the fans could sense we were getting penned in a little bit because Cheltenham were putting balls in and we had to defend the box because we only had 10 men.

“It was a roasting hot day, so they knew players’ energy levels would deflate pretty quickly.

“There was a little moment where the supporters just lifted their voice and we got a second wind from that.

“When the board went up for six minutes of stoppage time, Cheltenham didn’t get the ball in our box as we defended really well.”

Town are now preparing for just their second Saturday home game of the new season this weekend when Morecambe travel south to the Energy Check County Ground.