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MATCH REPORT: Swindon Town (1) Plymouth Argyle (3)

A sluggish first-half performance lead to Swindon Town losing 3-1 at home to Plymouth Argyle and crashing out of the EFL Trophy at the group stage. Total Sport’s Joe Acklam reports on the defeat.

Will Jenkins-Davies and Oscar Halls both scored their first senior goals for Plymouth during a first-half in which Swindon lacked any real energy and drive.

Swindon had a strong second-half in which they created plenty of chances and looked a lot more dynamic but failed to find the finishing touch, before Hardie finished it off at the end and Rushian Hepburn-Murphy scored a late consolation to get off the mark.

Defeat sends Swindon out of this year’s EFL Trophy as despite Crystal Palace and Bristol Rovers not having played their second game, any result will make two sides uncatchable for Town.

Scott Lindsey kept four starters in from the team which had beaten Doncaster Rovers on Saturday, as Sol Brynn, Remeao Hutton, Tom Clayton, and Tyrese Shade all kept their places, and Reece Devine and Morgan Roberts were both handed their debuts for Swindon.

Six minutes in Ellis Iandolo and Ricky Aguiar combined to slip the ball out to Hutton, who burst beyond his marker and picked out Mo Dabre with his floated cross, but he headed it well over the top.

Plymouth opened the scoring just before the half hour mark as a shot from outside the area took a kind deflection to find Will Jenkins-Davies who curled the ball beyond Brynn and into the bottom corner.

Then two minutes later they got a second as a cross was looped in from the left and picked out Oscar Halls at the far post and his header dropped into the far corner of the net to double the Pilgrims’ advantage.

Iandolo nearly struck back on his return a few minutes later after Aguiar couldn’t find space on the edge of the box he poked it on to the Swindon captain and he drove the ball at the bottom corner and forced a fine save out of Callum Burton.

With three minutes left of the first-half Mo Dabre had a shot cleared off the line. Shade just kept the ball in on the line and cut it back for Dabre to shoot and he had the keeper beaten but Brandon Pursall got back in to prevent it from going in.

Shade came out of the dressing room looking a lot more lively, five minutes in the second period he had already made two openings and on the second  he turned James Wilson both ways down the right before cutting the ball across to Dabre who failed to get a shot off under pressure from behind.

He was at it again shortly after when he tricked his way down the right and had his shot parried to two Swindon players but both failed to get it over the line after lightning reactions from Burton.

Town substitute Hepburn-Murphy made a quick impact after coming on, twice exploiting the space in behind Plymouth and forcing Burton into saves within five minutes on being introduced.

Two minutes from time Ryan Hardie finished it off when he tucked home an fine finish after finding space in the box.

Hepburn-Murphy then finally got his first goal as he ran clean through and tucked home on his Swindon debut.

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Swindon Town FC

Swindon Town Football Club

STFC are Swindon's top football team, based at The County Ground Stadium.

The County Ground, County Road, Swindon, Wiltshire , SN1 2ED

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