Swindon Town were left to rue missed chances as they once again conceded late to draw 1-1 with Salford City.

The football in the opening half was frantic, with neither side earning a great deal of control and snatching at chances when they came their way.

George McEachran slotted home at the near post late on with what seemed like the winner, but Callum Hendry scored in stoppage time to earn the Ammies a point.

Swindon have still never beaten Salford City at the County Ground and the draw sees them fall to eight points from the play-off places.

Gavin Gunning made two changes from the defeat at Newport County last weekend, as George McEachran came back into the squad to start in place of Jake Cain and Charlie Austin dropped to the bench in favour of Zac Elbouzedi.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: McCarthy wins a headerMcCarthy wins a header (Image: Andy Crook)

Salford demonstrated their physicality in the opening stages by putting a number of balls into the box. Harry Smith nodded wide inside two minutes and Junior Luamba had a shot deflected wide for a corner.

But Swindon were still moving the back quickly and after nine minutes the ball was played into Rushian Hepburn-Murphy, who rolled the ball into the path of Williams Kokolo as he made a dart outside him. The left-back fizzed a cross into the six-yard box but nobody could get on the end of it.

Paul Glatzel threaded a perfect pass through the middle of the Salford defence to Hepburn-Murphy. His path around the goalkeeper was blocked, but he found Elbouzedi. He stood up a cross into Dawson Devoy with the goalkeeper scrambling back, although he managed to save the header. The rebound fell to Glatzel, but his shot was blocked.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Bycroft comes for a cornerBycroft comes for a corner (Image: Andy Crook)

A flurry of chances then fell for Swindon within a few minutes. The best of which came when Udoka Godwin-Malife played Elbouzedi in down the right and he motored away from the defender and had a powerful shot saved at the near post.

Swindon had taken control of the game towards the end of the first half but time and time again they were getting in their own way. Hepburn-Murphy had countless opportunities to get away in behind but took too many touches. Elbouzedi was also struggling to make the most of the situations that Town were getting themselves into.

Salford themselves still carried a threat when they went forward but had also been getting in their own way. Matt Smith was flagged offside on a few occasions in dangerous areas and twice Connor McAleny struck shots into the car park behind the Town End.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Elbouzedi with a flickElbouzedi with a flick (Image: Andy Crook)

The opening 45 minutes came to an end and both sides would have been frustrated with their respective performances. There was a lot of frantic energy that was fashioning some chances but neither side could get much control.

Just after halftime, Devoy received the ball on the halfway line and drove forward. The options ahead were well covered and he elected to shoot and curled it just wide of the top corner.

After a shot fromDevoy had been deflected behind for a corner, Salford half-cleared the initial ball into the middle back out to McEachran. He took a touch and looked to shoot from the corner of the box and the ball took a huge ricochet off a defender. Cairns was completely wrong-footed but managed to claw the ball off the line and Conor McCarthy was just too far away to tap in.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: McKirdy comes closeMcKirdy comes close (Image: Andy Crook)

The chances kept coming and fell again for Devoy as Jack Bycroft kicked cleverly to set him away down the left. His dancing feet saw him waltz inside and he tried to pick out the top corner, but his shot flew over the top.

Swindon were well on top and Glatzel made a balletic turn in the area to get away from Curtis Tilt. Cairns came flying out and the German youth international’s shot flicked off his arm and went beyond him. A Salford defender came charging back and only just managed to hook it off the line.

Seconds later after the Ammies failed to clear, Glatzel’s shot was again tipped around the post by Cairns and he had to be left wondering what he had to do to score.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Swindon strike the barSwindon strike the bar (Image: Andy Crook)

With Swindon left desperately frustrated by their inability to get the ball over the line, Gunning made a triple change after 65 minutes, bringing on Austin, Aaron Drinan, and Harry McKirdy.

Shortly after this, a slick move saw the ball find Drinan at the far post. He headed the ball down into Austin but from inside the six-yard box, he couldn’t divert a shot on target.

Swindon finally bagged when Austin laid the ball off perfectly for McEachran to race beyond the defence and finished with aplomb beyond Cairns.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: McEachran thought he had won itMcEachran thought he had won it (Image: Andy Crook)

In stoppage time Hendry was able to fire home from inside the box to give Salford a share of the points.

STFC starting XI: Bycroft, Blake-Tracy, McEachran, Elbouzedi, Khan, Glatzel, Hepburn-Murphy, Kokolo, Devoy, Godwin-Malife, McCarthy.

STFC substitutes: Brann, Johnson, McKirdy, Brewitt, Cain, Drinan, Austin.

SCFC starting XI: Cairns, John, Watt, Watson, Tilt, Smith, McAleny, Garbutt, N’Mai, Vassell, Luamba.

SCFC substitutes: Torrence, Ingram, Mariappa, Lund, Hendry, Chesters, Morton.

Attendance: 8,272 (80 away).