SWINDON Town head coach Ben Garner was proud of how well his team competed against a physical Bristol Rovers side in the pair’s 1-1 draw at the County Ground on Saturday.

Town emerged out of the blocks quickly on home soil and took the lead through Tyreece Simpson in the 16th minute.

But after Garner’s men failed to capitalise on their dominant opening, Rovers found an equaliser 10 minutes before the break when Sam Finley’s deep cross missed everyone waiting in the middle and nestled into the far corner.

In a scrappy contest at the County Ground where referee Tom Nield handed out seven yellow cards in total – six of which were shown to players in yellow and green – Garner was pleased his team stood up to the aggressive threat Rovers possessed.

He said: “I was really pleased with how we competed. I thought it was a difficult game – they were very aggressive and on the front foot all over the pitch. I was pleased with how we stood up to that.

“We weren’t as good with the ball as we normally are or we should have been.

“I’d have liked for us to be a little bit braver, but we can improve that. But in terms of the character and the desire to compete, that was very pleasing.”

Despite the frustration felt after the anticlimactic stalemate, Garner believed there were plenty of positives to take against his former club.

He said: “It became a bitty game, it became a stop-start game because of the number of fouls and stoppages, so it became hard to get a flow into the game which was how they probably wanted it.

“But that’s four points from six against them – one of the biggest teams in this division and certainly one of the biggest budgets.

“We’ll take the positives from that, and it’s five unbeaten at home in the league. We just want to try and turn those draws into wins.”