SWINDON Town were dumped out of the FA Cup in the first round after losing 2-1 to National League North outfit, Darlington on Saturday.

Adam Campbell gave the hosts a shock lead in the first half before Brett Pitman equalised for Town five minutes before the break.

However, despite standing 42 places below their League One opponents, Darlington booked their place in the second round after Campbell’s deflected strike off Jonathan Grounds wrong-footed Matej Kovar on the hour.

Defeat means Swindon have now failed to make the FA Cup second round in consecutive years while also denying them the chance to reach the third round for the first time since 2012.

Caretaker boss Noel Hunt made three changes from the midweek defeat to Plymouth Argyle.

Jonny Smith was suspended for one game while Hallam Hope dropped to the bench. Dion Donohue pulled out through injury in the warm up and was replaced by first-year pro, Harry Parsons.

Ellis Iandolo made a rare start at left-back, Brett Pitman was brought in up top and Jordan Stevens started on the wing.

For Darlington, former Crewe Alexandra defender Nicky Hunt started in the heart of defence.

The Quakers also featured a number of experienced players in their side - Adam Campbell came through the youth ranks at Newcastle United while Michael Liddle had played for Sunderland and Accrington Stanley.

It was a scrappy start to proceedings at the County Ground with the first chance not coming until the 10th minute.

It was Swindon who went close as Jack Payne swung a free-kick in from the left corner of the box straight onto the head of Iandolo.

The left-back powered his effort goalwards, however, a top reaction save from Darlo stopper, Jonathan Saltmer denied him on the line.

Saltmer was at his best again two minutes later to deny Joel Grant.

Pitman hooked a pass over the top for Grant to run onto, the winger then steadied himself before shooting towards the corner.

However, Saltmer got down really well to turn the ball away.

With Town fully in the ascendancy, Darlington almost gave Town a nasty shock as the National League North outfit had a goal ruled out for offside in the 20th minute.

The visitors broke quickly, and Adam Campbell's shot deflected into the path of Luke Charman who volleyed in, but the linesman instantly raised his flag to save the hosts’ blushes.

However, a little over 10 minutes later, Town were not so lucky as an awful error from Jonathan Grounds saw Darlington open the scoring.

The ex-Middlesbrough man made a mess of his attempted head back to Kovar following a long hopeful ball forward, and former Newcastle United man, Campbell simply nipped in to dab the ball past Kovar and into the net.

The League One outfit were not behind for long though after equalising in the 40th minute.

Matt Smith played a lovely pass inside the left-back for Joel Grant to slide over to Pitman first time.

The striker tapped in from six yards to haul Town level and bag his second goal for the club five minutes before the break.

Within minutes of the restart, Swindon felt they should have been given the chance to take the lead from the penalty spot after Joel Grant went down inside the area.

Stevens crossed into the middle towards the winger, but after missing the ball six yards out, Grant appealed for a penalty, though nothing was given.

Despite utterly dominating the ball for the opening 15 minutes of the second half, Town once again found themselves behind after Non-league Darlington took the lead on the hour mark.

Campbell collected the ball in midfield and drove towards the box unopposed.

The winger’s wayward shot looked to have been going wide before taking a wicked deflection off Grounds and squirming in.

Hunt sent Hope on up front in a bid to save the game as Town swapped to a 4-4-2 formation with 25 minutes still to play.

The hosts continued to dominate the ball, but the next chance didn’t come until the 77th minute.

Grounds played a wonderful pass into Pitman, who broke the offside trap, but after cutting back onto his left, the striker shanked his effort well, well wide.

Up the other end, Darlington almost killed the game with a third after Odimayo dallied on the ball and was robbed by Luke Charman.

Luckily for Town, Kovar stood up to deny Darlington one-on-one.

But with time expiring, Swindon never really looked like equalising as while the hosts did see plenty of the ball, there were no further chances to report for either side.

STFC starting XI: Kovar, Caddis, Grounds, Odimayo, Donohue, A Grant, M Smith, J Grant, Payne, Iandolo, Pitman.

DFC starting XI: Saltmer, Liddle, Wheatley, Hunt, Hedley, Campbell, Rivers, Storey, Holness, Charman, Reid.