INJURY-HIT Swindon failed to secure what would have been an unlikely victory against promotion hopefuls Taunton Vale on Saturday, with the hosts losing 4-2.

Swindon were reduced to a bare 11 players for their latest Verde Recreo Championship game, which the visitors controlled throughout.

Nonetheless, the hosts created some strong chances at the start of the first half before stamina eventually told as Taunton grabbed a pair of quick goals before the half-time break.

There was a glimmer of hope for Swindon at the start of the second half as Henry Cheney netted after Phil Scarisbrick was dragged to the floor after being hit by the visitors’ goalkeeper.

Soon afterwards, Swindon were reduced to 10 men and were placed onto the back foot and faced an uphill battle to remain in the match.

Two further goals confirmed Taunton’s 12th win of the season from 15 games – and ensures they remain in touch with division leaders Cardiff and Met.

Swindon, meanwhile, dropped down to sixth after Firebrands A recorded a 3-1 victory at home against Cheltenham A.

Swindon Ladies also dropped points as they could only hold bottom side Hereford to a 1-1 draw in their latest Premier Division 2A contest in the West Clubs Women’s Hockey League.

Playing with a bare 11, Swindon made a slow start to the game but opened the scoring with 19 minutes played.

Build-up work from Mary Goldsmith and Angele Cooke allowed Chloe Lewis allowed Chloe Silvester to calmly prod the ball into the net from close range.

Adriana Boullose could have doubled the home side’s shortly afterwards as she benefitted from Lewis’ accurate pass from inside the hosts’ own half.

Her one-on-one effort was struck wide, though, granting Hereford a lifeline.

Hereford took inspiration from their half-time team talk to level the game with 15 minutes played. Despite efforts to re-establish their one-goal lead, Swindon were denied a match-winning goal.

Swindon have a week off to look forward to before travelling to Gloucestershire to face table topping Gloucester on Saturday, February 23.