SWINDON Town’s Checkatrade Trophy ambitions came to an end in the second round this evening as Christian Doidge’s late winner for Forest Green Rovers saw them suffer a fourth defeat on the bounce.

David Flitcroft’s side were knocked out of the FA Cup at the same stage on Saturday in a heavy defeat at Stevenage and were looking to bounce back to form at the Energy Check County Ground.

Swindon were the better side for much of the contest but failed to make that tell on the scoreboard and were punished 10 minutes from time when Doidge struck to hand former boss Mark Cooper victory on his first return to SN1.

Both sides finished the contest with 10 men after referee Rob Lewis showed second yellow cards to Town’s Keshi Anderson and Rovers full-back Dale Bennett in stoppage time.

Flitcroft made five changes to the side knocked out of the FA Cup at the weekend, with the Town boss naming three central defenders as Chris Robertson came into the XI.

Loanee Anderson reclaimed a starting spot after failing to win clearance to play in the Cup from parent club Crystal Palace, with Kyle Knoyle, Ellis Iandolo and Luke Norris also involved from the outset.

James Dunne, John Goddard, Kellan Gordon and Kaiyne Woolery all dropped to the bench, which also included Tom Smith, with Harry Smith and Ben Purkiss the men to miss out altogether from the matchday 18 at the Lamex Stadium.

Town were the first to threaten after six minutes when Iandolo whipped in a teasing low cross from the left that was only half-cleared by the Rovers defence, with Matt Taylor driving the loose ball back towards goal but it cannoned off the lurking Anderson and away to safety.

A corner provided the visitors’ maiden sight of goal when full-back Scott Laird looped the ball to the back post but Alex Iacovitti could not quite get a clean connection.

At the other end, a corner was then the catalyst for Swindon’s next opening as Taylor played the ball short to Paul Mullin but Matt Preston was just beaten to the cross by Lee Collins.

After few clear-cut chances, what seemed a gilt-edged one came the home side’s way after 26 minutes but they were denied the opening goal by a super save from Rovers keeper Brad Collins.

Iandolo floated the ball in and although Iacovitti beat Luke Norris in the air, the dropping ball fell perfectly to Anderson 12 yards out only for Collins to somehow make a stunning reaction stop with his feet.

Town continued to look the more threatening side in the lead up to half-time but no goal was forthcoming.

A Taylor corner was headed over at the back post by the charging Preston before Norris raced onto a long ball over the top from Olly Lancashire but he could not quite bring the ball down and the effort was blocked behind as the teams returned to the changing rooms all-square.

Town were again the brighter of the teams after the restart and Mullin drilled the ball into the box after a corner was not cleared but Lancashire could not quite prod a foot at it to poke home.

It took an hour but Rovers finally forced Lawrence Vigouroux into a save when space opened up for Reece Brown to let fly from 25 yards, with the Town keeper tipping over at full stretch.

Anderson then made room for himself to shoot from 20 yards at the other end but the strike went well wide before substitute Kaiyne Woolery wriggled into the box only to blaze over the top.

Taylor then looked to catch the visitors napping with a quick free-kick that sent Anderson free up the right and his low cross was met by substitute Kellan Gordon but the effort was deflected behind.

Having been on the back foot for most of the match, the visitors took an unlikely lead with 10 minutes to play.

Doidge wriggled into the box and shot and although Vigouroux got out well to block the effort, the ball trickled towards goal and the Rovers striker was able to run in and finish the job ahead of the Town defence.

Swindon were incensed by the goal and almost grabbed an instant equaliser as Woolery drilled across the face of goal but the lunging Gordon could not quite reach it to help it over the line.

The home side continued to up the ante in the closing stages and put plenty of pressure on the Rovers goal but could not fashion out that one telling chance and their hopes were finally extinguished in stoppage time when Anderson was sent off after collecting a second booking for dissent.

Although referee Lewis swiftly evened up the numbers when visiting full-back Bennett was shown a second yellow card, it was much too late to have any bearing on the outcome.

SWINDON TOWN: Vigouroux; Lancashire, Preston, Robertson; Koyle, Linganzi (Dunne 65), Taylor, Iandolo; Anderson, Norris (Woolery 52), Mullin (Gordon 70). Substitutes: Charles-Cook, T Smith, Brophy, Goddard.

FOREST GREEN ROVERS (3-5-2): B Collins; Bennet, Fitzwater, Monthe, Iacovitti (Cooper 46), Wilshart; L Collins, Brown, Laird (Stevens 62); Doidge, James (Gomes 66). Substitutes: Russell, Bugiel, Roberts, Gomes, Simpson.

Referee: Rob Lewis

Attendance: 1,320