Wycombe Wanderers’ unbeaten away record came to an end at the County Ground, as they went down 1-0 to Swindon Town.
Harry Smith’s strike in the 15th minute was enough to hand the Robins all three points in a game marred by blustery conditions.
Gareth Ainsworth made three changes for this one, with Marcus Bean, Matt Bloomfield and Paris Cowan-Hall coming into the side. Injuries to Sido Jombati, Anthony Stewart and Jack Williams meant that the Chairboys could only field five subs, with Dominic Gape slotting in at right back.
Wanderers started the game on the front-foot with some teasing low balls into the box which asked questions of the Swindon defence.
It was Scott Brown who was the first keeper to be called upon, diving to his right to deny Amine Linganzi’s header, and again he was alert to deny Smith from the resulting corner and pounce on the loose ball.
The striker would get his goal on 15 minutes however, as he stole a march on Joe Jacobson to latch on to Matt Taylor’s cross and volley in off the post.
A few minutes later, Adebayo Akinfenwa could only head wide after JJ’s free kick from halfway was only half-cleared, before Marcus Bean struck wide of the target from 30-yards.
In terms of possession, it was all Wycombe, but the clear-cut chances were falling to Swindon. Brown yet again with superb reflexes to deny Smith a second with a free header at the back-post on 27′.
Sam Saunders showed good skill to drive at the Robins defence, bursting into the box and shooting just over with ten minutes of the first half remaining.
Just before the first 45 was up, both Akinfenwa and Nick Freeman connected with crosses, but both saw the headers miss the target.
Half-time: Swindon 1-0 Wycombe
Wycombe came out the traps quickly in the second half and put their footprint on proceedings, as Swindon struggled to get the ball out of their half.
Akinfenwa produced the Chairboys’ first shot on target, as he appeared to balance the ball on his head in the box before letting the ball drop to his feet and force Reice Charles-Cook into a smart stop to his right.
At the other end Smith missed a glorious opportunity to put breathing space between the sides as he shrugged off Adam El-Abd before snatching his shot wide on 57 minutes.
Cowan-Hall, shortly after being booked for a late challenge on Swindon defender Matt Preston was substituted alongside Saunders, and were replaced by Craig Mackail-Smith and Ebere Eze on 65 minutes.
Adam El-Abd put in a brave block to deny a goalbound shot from Donal McDermott in the box – the handball appeals were waved away by referee, John Brooks.
With just over 15 minutes left of normal time, Brown – yes Scott Brown – forced Charles-Cook to nervously tip over as his free kick from well inside the Wycombe half picked up pace in the wind. Eze then saw his shot blocked on the edge as the Blues looked to make it a grandstand finish.
Ainsworth’s final roll of the dice was to introduce Dayle Southwell in place of Freeman with just under 10 minutes to go.
Brown would the next to be called upon as time ran out – Denying sub Mullin at his near post after the winger found space as the Chairboys committed bodies forward.
The biggest chance came in the dying minutes of the five added on, as the ball dropped to Eze. The playmaker, cut-in and and looked to curl one towards the top-right corner which was within a whisker of drawing Wycombe level.
1-0 it finished though, and Gareth Ainsworth’s men will look to bounce back next weekend, in a home fixture vs Cheltenham Town.