THERE are unlikely to be many records Swindon Town will want to eradicate more than their miserable return from trips to Cheltenham Town.

Prior to Saturday’s latest meeting between the local rivals, seven times Swindon had made the short journey north into Gloucestershire to take on their near neighbours and seven times they have travelled back without a win.

The only previous positive result was a 1-1 draw way back in 2007, with the other six matches all ending in defeat for the visitors.

Until they finally do break that unwanted hoodoo, Swindon are unlikely to go as close as they did this weekend.

Twice striker Eoin Doyle put the visitors ahead at the Johnny-Rocks Stadium but twice the home side hit back with a quickfire equaliser.

All that took place in a breathless first half on Saturday as first Chris Hussey and then Luke Varney responded to Doyle putting Swindon ahead on the scoreboard.

The second period was not without its own drama, though, as first the visitors looked to have re-established their lead, only for Mathieu Baudry to have a header ruled out for offside.

Swindon’s hopes of a maiden away win over their local rivals were then effectively ended as the contest edged into its final quarter as Michael Doughty was shown a straight red card for a clumsy high challenge.

Although the result means Swindon must wait for a first-ever win at Cheltenham, it does at least extend the encouraging early-season away record for Richie Wellens’ side in League Two this season.

After an opening-day win at Scunthorpe United and draw at Exeter City a week ago, Swindon have claimed five away points from three matches on the road – and eight in five in the league overall.

Wellens made two changes to the Swindon side that started the previous game – Tuesday night’s controversial 1-0 defeat at home to Northampton Town.

Both alterations were because of injury, with one player ruled out and another returning.

Full-back Zeki Fryers pulled up in the second half against the Cobblers and was replaced by Tyler Reid at Cheltenham for his first League Two start for the club, while Keshi Anderson was fit to return after missing out against Northampton and took the place of Adam May.

Swindon showed no signs of a hangover from their midweek disappointment as they broke the deadlock against Cheltenham with the first real attack of the game after six minutes.

A whipped cross from the right by Lloyd Isgrove was flicked on by Anderson and fell nicely to Doyle in space in the box. Although home stopper Scott Flinders got a hand to the shot, it had too much power to keep out.

A minute later, Doyle was again in a position with just Flinders between himself and the goal after a surging Anderson run sent him through, but the forward’s touch was a poor one and the Cheltenham keeper gathered.

Almost a quarter-of-an-hour had been played before Cheltenham mustered their first chance of note, although it took a good stop from Swindon keeper Luke McCormick to deny them as he used his body to block a drilled effort from Varney after neat play from the hosts on the edge of the box.

At the other end, Flinders pushed a low effort around the post as Anderson spun and shot from 30 yards before the home side drew level after 19 minutes.

A cross from the right went all the way to former Swindon loanee Hussey on the left, who drilled across the face of goal to beat McCormick and find the bottom corner.

McCormick then did make a good save on the angle to deny Varney after he had been played in by Ryan Broom before Swindon’s Kaiyne Woolery could not control his header from a powerful Reid cross, sending it wide from close range.

The visitors were able to get themselves back in front just after the half-hour mark when Doyle found space between two Cheltenham defenders to lunge to meet a whipped low cross from Isgrove from the right and divert it into the roof of the net.

Cheltenham were opened again by more quick play from Swindon shortly afterwards, but Doyle miscued his finish after gathering on the edge of the box.

That miss was to prove costly as the hosts hit back once more to level the scores four minutes before half-time.

Reid was punished for failing to clear up the line as Hussey nipped the ball off his toes to whip a cross to the near post where Varney flicked a header past McCormick to send the teams back into the changing rooms all-square.

Chances continued to come at either end as the second half got under way, with McCormick saving well from Cheltenham half-time substitute George Lloyd before Doughty curled a free-kick from the edge of the box just the wrong side of the post for Swindon.

The drama remained unrelenting as the hour mark arrived, with the visitors having the ball in the back of the net via Mathieu Baudry’s header, only for the goal to be ruled out for offside.

With the Swindon players still celebrating, Cheltenham keeper Flinders took the free-kick quickly and his long punt almost caught opposite number McCormick unaware as he had to scramble the ball away as Gavin Reilly looked to pounce.

Wellens made his first change with 20 minutes to play, sending Ellis Iandolo on in a full-back role as Reid was withdrawn.

The home side were handed a significant advantage shortly after that when Swindon were reduced to 10 men, with Doughty shown a red card after catching Chris Clements with a high challenge on halfway.

Wellens responded by beefing up his midfield as Danny Rose came on for Isgrove to make his first appearance of the season having been ruled out since picking up an early-summer injury.

Swindon certainly did not shut up shop and try to make do with a point despite their decrease in numbers in the closing stages and Iandolo even went close to a winning goal two minutes from time when he threw himself to meet a long free-kick from the back from Dion Conroy but flicked his header just the wrong side of the post.

Cheltenham began to push forwards again in the closing stages in an effort to make their extra man count but the visitors remained resolute to ensure they made the short trip home with something to show for their efforts.