Swindon Town head coach Ben Garner felt a point was a fair result against Harrogate Town after Jack Payne’s late penalty rescued a 1-1 draw at the County Ground on Saturday.

Jack Diamond put the Sulphurites ahead midway through an impressive first half by the visitors – meanwhile, Swindon’s opening 45 was as disappointing as has been seen all season.

Swindon were totally dominated in the first period as Harrogate pressed the home defence and caused Jojo Wollacott to kick long in testing weather conditions.

An improved second half, helped by the introduction of Harry McKirdy and Jayden Mitchell-Lawson, saw Garner’s men draw level – and the home side could even have won it on a few separate occasions.

Asked if he felt Swindon were fortunate to escape with a point in the end, Garner said: “First half, yes – second half, we were much the better side and they were just trying to stop us from playing before breaking off of that.

“I think overall, I’d say a draw was fair with them being better in the first half and us being better in the second half.

“But when you have the chances we had at the end, and we should have had three penalties, that puts the game out of sight.

“If we have three penalties given and all three go in, it’s game over. So there’s frustration on that part as well.”

There was frustration from the terraces at half-time too – with a large percentage of the 8200 fans booing at the sound of the referee’s whistle based on what they had witness from the home team.

A combination of a perceived lack of direction from Swindon, and brilliant pressing from Harrogate, had seen Garner’s team out-played – something the head coach was quick to admit post-match as he explained how his first-half plan was suppressed.

Garner said: “We’ve played that shape before several times this season. The only difference was the way they set up against it – they let Jojo (Wollacott) have the ball and then went man on man.

“They pressed us all over the pitch, and we weren’t bright enough with our movement. We didn’t move the ball quickly enough to expose that, so we changed shape and then freshened up in the second half.

“So it wasn’t a case of us setting up any differently to how we have in a lot of other games, it was just the way they played against it was different to what we’d faced previously.”