A match report from Swindon Link's STFC correspondent Alfie Howlett.
Swindon picked up their first point of the campaign after a spirited second half showing.
After a lacklustre first half and a Harry McKirdy sending off Swindon appeared to be heading for consecutive defeats. However, thanks to some half time changes the hosts took control of a feisty contest ending in a goal-less stalemate.
The visitors, Salford, arrived at the County Ground having got their 2022-23 League Two campaign off to a winning start. Swindon on the other hand were victims of a 3-0 shelling at Harrogate Town.
In response to the opening day massacre Scott Lindsey made two changes. Saidou Khan and Jacob Wakeling replaced Jonny Williams and Tomi Adeloye. The scene was set for the first home game of the season.
An even first ten minutes began with Swindon seeing a lot of the ball. Six minutes in, a piece of brave goalkeeping from man of the match Sol Brynn denied Salford from a corner. Just shy of the half hour mark Salford had their first opportunity of the contest.
After breaking free of the defence, Callum Hendry cut inside and layed the ball off to Conor McAleny. From just outside the box, the midfielders low effort beat the diving Sol Brynn as well as the post. Swindon would follow that with their first shot of the afternoon as Ben Gladwin's effort sailed over the bar for a goal kick.
With the first half coming to a close Harry McKirdy was shown his second yellow of the afternoon.
After picking up an earlier booking for descent McKirdy was deemed to be the perpetrator in a 50/50 challenge on half way. Despite the card being somewhat undeserved, it was still reckless from McKirdy considering he was already on a yellow.
With Town down to ten it was down to Sol Brynn to preserve the clean sheet before the interval. First he stood tall to deny a powerful Theo Vassell effort. Then he produced another fine save to deny Ryan Watson's long range strike.
Half time score: Swindon Town 0-0 Salford City.
Scott Lindesy greeted the second half by making two substitutions with Ronan Darcy and Tom Clayton coming on for Town. Five minutes into the half Darcy had his first shot in a Swindon shirt, after picking the ball up just inside the Salford half his driving run resulted in a long range effort dipping just past the post.
It's fair to say that with Swindon now playing four at the back the Robins certainly looked much brighter. With 53 minutes on the clock Remeao Hutton swung a delicious delivery towards the near post which was met with a flick header from Jacob Wakeling, despite a good connection the ball fell narrowly wide of the post.
After the hour mark an incredible Sol Brynn save prevented Salford from taking the league. Callum Hendry peeled off the back post to meet Luke Bolton's cross with a first time volley. Taking one bounce the ball fizzed towards the goal only for the fingertips of the diving Brynn to push the ball over for a corner.
Minutes later a Tom King mistake saw Ben Gladwin's goal bound effort deflected for a corner. In the latter stages Brandon Thomas-Asante failed to connect with a high ball as he spurned a glorious opportunity 1-on-1 with Brynn. It would come back to haunt the Salford striker as a compact, spirited, resolute Swindon side walked away with a point.
Although the first half saw few positives the second half offered many to Scott Lindesy. With the hosts switching to a four at the back system they looked much brighter going forward.
Ronan Darcy offered much needed creativity and Sol Brynn proved the doubters wrong in goal. But for me the biggest positive came in the form of the character shown in the team.
After last week I was so pleased to see every player leave everything on the field. As a fan - what more can you want?