Swindon exited the EFL Trophy on Tuesday night after a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Colchester United at the Round of 32 stage.
The last contest between the two sides saw a goalless stalemate at the County Ground in late September. Colchester would make five changes from their previous starting 11, whereas Swindon would make all 11 changes with Anthony Grant starting for the first time since the 28th of August.
Unlike the last meeting there had to be a winner, with the potential of a deciding penalty shoot out.
Despite Swindon winning an early corner it would be Colchester who flew out of the traps thanks to a flurry of set pieces. The first on five minutes saw a Tommy Smith header being deflected into the side netting. Then the following corner saw Lewis Ward tip over Alan Judge's curling delivery.
With Colchester looking particularly potent from corners it would be third time lucky for the U's as Luke Chambers had it in the back of the net. Alan Judge drilled his delivery into the box which was met by Chambers after peeling off to the back post where he would head past Ward into the far corner. It was a tame goal to give away from Town's perspective with the sheer number of changes being the likely cause as it was a free header.
Five minutes later Colchester doubled their lead thanks again to Luke Chambers. Alan Judge whipped in a free kick from the right wing which saw Chambers get ahead of everyone to get the faintest of touches, to take the ball past the diving Ward and into the far corner. Swindon would respond with two Alex Gilbert shots from distance, the first was was straight down the throat of Turner and the second sailed well over the bar. Twenty-five minutes in, a low Ryan East shot from 25 yards out crept just past the post.
Minutes later a mistake from Jordan Lyden saw the ball land at the feet of Freddie Sears but his effort was more than matched by Ward. Then from the resulting corner Chambers, again, won the initial header but this time he couldn't direct it towards goal. Harry McKirdy then had a curling effort saved by a full stretch Turner with 35 on the clock. Ten minutes later McKirdy turned architect. With Gilbert playing a short corner to Swindon's number 11, McKirdy then swung in a delicious delivery to the back post, where Romoney Crichlow was on hand to power it home, meaning Swindon went in to half time with just the one goal deficit. It would be all up for grabs come the second half.
The second half would see a lack of quality from both sides as changes were made throughout the half. The withdrawal of Harry McKirdy after the hour mark took away the spark required for the ignition. The second half saw few chances but with 10 minutes to go Swindon took it up a gear. Jayden Mitchell Lawson nearly engineered a shot at goal after Gilbert found him inside the box. However the ball was pinched away from him. Then in stoppage time Ryan East dinked a beautiful ball into the box where Mitchell Lawson could only head it down the throat of the goalkeeper.
So 2-1 to Colchester it would finish as Swindon bowed out of the EFL Trophy. It's by no means the end of the world with league and cup being the main priorities as proven by the number of changes.
Next up for Town is their tasty second round clash away at Walsall in the FA Cup.