STRIKER Marc Richards says he and his Swindon Town teammates simply weren’t good enough early on as they slipped to a 2-1 defeat at Accrington Stanley on Tuesday.

Despite the defeat, the 35-year-old kept up his fine scoring form since arriving at the Energy Check County Ground last month.

With four goals in his opening five appearances for Town, including Tuesday night’s consolation from the spot, Richards is already Town’s joint-third top scorer this season.

Yet Town have given away a penalty twice in their last two outings, in addition to receiving red cards – for both Matt Preston and Kellan Gordon – against Lincoln City on Saturday and Accrington and with the club in the midst of a crucial month, veteran striker Richards admits it is hard enough to register a result with 11 men, let alone 10.

“We are bitterly disappointed with the result,” he said, despite insisting there were also positives to take away from their defeat.

“I don’t think the first-half performance was quite up to scratch. We didn’t quite look at the races but I certainly think the second-half performance was a better turnaround.

“We dug in and managed to get a goal back and I think if we had managed to keep 11 players on the pitch we’d have had a lot better chance to get something out of the game.

“Going down to 10 men, it is obviously hard to come back into a game when you are 2-0 down.

“There was still good character and good fight from the lads so there are plenty of positives as well as a few negatives.

“The (red) card kills our momentum. In the second half we well and felt like we were in the game, the pressure was on them and for us to lose a man like that in circumstances that were out of our control is disappointing because you expect the officials you get big decisions like that right – the linesman was right there facing the play.”

The former Northampton Town man stepped up to dispatch a penalty on Tuesday night as routine taker Luke Norris had been substituted.

Richards, who averages a goal every 94 minutes for Town, says he is more than happy to take spot kicks when Norris is off the pitch.

He added: “I am a keen penalty taker, I practice them all the time. I knew exactly where I was going and what I was doing so there was never an issue.

“I made sure I got enough power on the ball and thankfully it went in to give us a goal. I will step up and take them any time.”