SWINDON Town’s faint play-off hopes went up in a plume of smoke at Notts County, as they ended with nine men in a 2-0 defeat.

Alan Sheehan’s ninth-minute opener and Callum McGregor’s strike deep into second-half stoppage time did for Town, who had Troy Archibald-Henville and Nathan Thompson sent off.

Swindon struggled to adapt to the terrible state of the Meadow Lane pitch in the first half and the Robins went behind early on.

Slapdash defending allowed Sheehan to find plenty of space inside the Town area and the former Swindon full-back produced a clinical finish to beat Wes Foderingham low to the goalkeeper’s left.

Michael Smith missed a golden chance to volley the visitors level midway through the period, when he met Nathan Thompson’s cross six yards out, but Notts boasted the majority of the chances in the opening period.

Jimmy Spencer’s goalbound flick from a Sheehan corner was turned away from danger by Jay McEveley, Ronan Murray carted a poor effort wide from 15 yards and Spencer headed off-target when he should have troubled Foderingham.

Foderingham then produced an excellent save in the early stages of the second half, denying Murray after Massimo Luongo’s header had played the County striker through one on one, while County felt they should have had two penalties after the break but both shots were turned down by referee Richard Clark.

Alex Pritchard had Swindon’s best sight of goal in the second half, a swerving effort from range which Bartosz Bialkowski held onto at the second attempt, as the away side continued to struggle to create.

The frustration of the afternoon came to a head in injury time, as Archibald-Henville was sent off for violent conduct. The incident cued a ruck of players in the Town penalty area, as a result of which Thompson was shown a second yellow card and a subsequent red.

With Foderingham in the opposition penalty area in the ninth minute of stoppage time, County broke and Jamal Campbell-Ryce set McGregor up for a tap-in.