ALAN McLoughlin believes Swindon Town’s 2-2 draw with Cheltenham Town in the Central League served dual purpose for both himself and first team boss David Flitcroft.

Town chief Flitcroft watched over the game at the Webbswood Stadium but did not speak to the media afterwards, running the rule over McLoughlin’s crop, while the game also providing valuable minutes for those on the periphery of his first team picture. 

Matty Taylor, who captained the XI, Ben Purkiss, John Goddard, Kellan Gordan, James Brophy and Paul Mullin all started the game on a heavy surface at Swindon Supermarine.

Town took the lead through Mullin in the 13th minute, when he slotted home from Goddard’s pass, as the first half ended 1-0 to the hosts. 

Swindon made it two shortly after the restart through youngster Oliver Rejek, before Cheltenham hit back with a goal of their own in the 56th minute, when Ryan New headed home.

The visitors continued to push for an equaliser and their hard work was rewarded late on as George Lloyd snatched a late draw with his 84th-minute strike.

“The young players have been able to showcase their talents in front of the manager, which isn’t always easy to do,” said former Town midfielder McLoughlin.

"Until he sees these players live, it is only word of mouth where he hears about these players.

“It was dual purpose really. It is for players who have been left out of the first team recently, whether that is because they have been left out or they are coming back from an injury.

“It gets them some minutes and there are lots of reserve team games between now until the end of the season, which is good, because it allows the young players to impress the manager.

“I don’t want to heap too much pressure on them for these types of games, but it is important we play them and find things which we can work on.

“We have seen that some of the players have played really well. The work-out was sufficient. We got what we needed out of the game for the scholars, and the professionals got what they needed too, which was game minutes.” 

Despite his side holding a 2-0 advantage shortly after the restart, McLoughlin thinks the 2-2 draw was probably a fair result between the two teams.

“Cheltenham were the more aggressive side in the first 15 minutes,” said the former Town man.

“Eventually we became braver and really dominated the first half, it was really good play from Goddard and Mullin (for the goal) as you would expect.

“The second half wasn’t as good, but still, we got in great position but didn’t get far enough ahead.

“The game ended up a draw, but it was a very entertaining game.

"Overall I am pleased with the workout, and I am pleased with the young players as well.”

TOWN: Henry; Romanski, Giamattei, Purkiss (Pryce 68); Rejek, Taylor (captain) (Bancroft 45), Goddard, Gordon (Graham 64), Brophy; Mullin, Twine.

Not used: Matthews.