SWINDON Town’s home troubles continued courtesy of a 3-1 to Bradford City at the County Ground on Saturday.

Caolan Lavery scored his first goal in seven months in the 16th minute before Levi Sutton tapped home a second for Bradford five minutes before the break.

Ex-Town striker Theo Robinson curled a wonderful long-range strike home third late on, only for Jack Payne to reply from the penalty spot shortly after.

But Swindon could not find another goal, leaving the club’s home record at: played seven, won one, drawn three, lost three.

Town made one change to the side that bagged a precious three points away at Sutton United on Tuesday night. Ben Gladwin came in for Ellis Iandolo - seeing Town switch from five at the back to four. For Bradford, ex-Town striker Robinson started on the bench.

Tyreece Simpson saw an early shot blocked out for Town while Bradford were snuffed out in their first attempt to catch the hosts on the counter.

While Garner’s men were controlling play and knocking the ball around nicely in the opening 15 minutes, no chances were created, and they were soon made to pay by the Bantams courtesy of a long throw.

Oscar Threlkeld launched the ball in onto the head of Alex Gilliead, and Lavery reacted quickest to turn the ball home right-footed from seven or eight yards out. Wollacott got a hand to it but couldn’t keep the ball out.

Gladwin and Mathieu Baudry were both booked for separate poor tackles soon after as Town began to lose control slightly.

Shortly before the Frenchman’s yellow, Baudry prevented Town from going two down though with a superb goal-saving tackle after defensive partner Romoney Crichlow missed his header. Lavery blasted goalwards, but the experienced centre-back threw himself in the way of the shot.

Town won a handful of corners in their pursuit of an equaliser, but none of them resulted in a shot on goal.

Crichlow – who continued to struggle – almost netted a comedy own-goal to double Bradford’s lead in the 36th minute. Lavery delivered low from the left, and Crichlow half-heartedly stuck out a boot to just about divert the ball onto the roof of the net.

In the 40th minute, Bradford did double their lead after a comedy of errors from Swindon. A chipped ball forward from left-back was missed by Crichlow as Sutton rose too, and Cook held off Rob Hunt to flick onto the post. Wollacott was unable to collect the rebound before Sutton nipped in to tap into an unguarded net while Crichlow continued ball-watching.

After Crichlow was hooked at half-time in favour of Kaine Kesler-Hayden, Town came out a rejuvenated outfit and began trying to burrow a way back into the contest. A couple of early second-half corners came to nothing, however.

Gilliead hammered a shot at goal from outside the box in the 52nd minute as the Bantams took a rare breather from their own defensive third, but that was well blocked by Baudry.

Shortly before the hour mark, Bradford really should have killed the game off. Town were caught on the break as Gilliead charged forward and slipped Cook in down the centre. Cook turned Hunt this way and that before finally shooting over with his right from inside the box when well set.

Up the other end, Payne hammered a low shot towards goal that Richard O’Donnell just about dealt with.

Harry McKirdy whipped a shot narrowly wide of O’Donnell’s left-hand post midway through the second half, and Bradford created another good opportunity to kill the game off when Threlkeld’s low ball in from the right travelled towards Lavery, but the Bantams striker couldn’t quite divert his effort and Wollacott collected.

With 15 minutes to go, the game really kicked into life when Theo Robinson – who spent time on loan at the County Ground in 2018-19 – curled a wonderful long-range effort into the top corner less than a minute after coming on.

Town were quick to reply though – Payne netting a penalty low into the bottom-right corner after Paudie O’Connor was penalised for handball from Gladwin’s deep cross.

Despite giving themselves a faint lifeline after Payne’s goal, Town rarely created anything of note in the final 10 minutes and entered five minutes of added time seemingly lacking ideas or belief.

Garner’s men created one final chance in the dying moments – Payne crossed from the left onto the head of McKirdy, but O’Donnell beat it away seconds before the full-time whistle.

STFC starting XI: Wollacott, Odimayo, Crichlow, Baudry, Gladwin, Simpson, Payne, McKirdy, Williams, Hunt, Reed.

SUBS: Iandolo, Ward, Mitchell-Lawson, Gilbert, Kesler-Hayden, East, Grant.

BCFC starting XI: O’Donnell, Threlkeld, O’Connor, Canavan, Songo’o, Cook, Gilliead, Foulds, Watt, Sutton, Lavery.

SUBS: Verham, Kelleher, Evans, Robinson, Staunton, Cousin-Dawson, Scales.