Swindon Town have guaranteed that this season will be their worst in the EFL after a 2-0 defeat away to Grimsby Town.

Swindon had the better of the opening period but were having trouble creating space in the Grimsby defence to create big chances.

Liam Smith and Donovan Wilson both fired home in the second half to see Swindon finish yet another away day with nothing.

Town have now guaranteed their lowest-ever league finish by failing to win as they will not be able to reach the 58 points tally set by the 1983/84 team.

Having been given his first taste of professional football on Tuesday night, Gavin Gunning handed Harley Hunt his first start as he came in for Conor McCarthy in one of four changes. Udoka Godwin-Malife, George McEachran, and Charlie Austin were all restored to the line-up.

The Mariners had a big opportunity inside a minute as Donovan Wilson ran into space in the channel. He played the ball back and it was whipped into the middle for Harry Wood, but with the goal at his mercy, he fired a shot well over the top.

It was a free-flowing opening to the game and Swindon soon had a good chance themselves. A backheel from Paul Glatzel released Dawson Devoy into space and he spotted the run of Joel McGregor down the right. His clipped cross was right onto the head of Austin, but he nodded wide.

Grimsby were showing the energy that they needed to try and bag the point required to secure their safety this afternoon, but Swindon were standing up to the task well, particularly Hunt, who looked especially calm for a defender making their first appearance.

There was plenty of strong approach play from both teams, but not many shots were following. A well-worked free-kick saw Wood put in a lovely cross that nobody could get on the end of and at the other end Devoy found Williams Kokolo unmarked at the back post, but he couldn’t find room for a shot.

Town had two near-misses in quick succession as first Austin’s header into Glatzel forced the German youth international to try a bicycle kick that didn’t quite come off. Then a minute later Kokolo burned his defender down the left but failed to find a red shirt with his pass with the goalkeeper committed.

Nnamdi Ofoborh made a great challenge in midfield to get Austin into space with runners ahead of him. He lofted a ball into Glatzel, who couldn’t quite bring it under his spell, and his stretching effort was comfortable for Jake Eastwood.

Charles Vernam’s free-kick took a big deflection off the wall and nearly wrong-footed Jack Bycroft entirely, but the goalkeeper was just about able to recover and tip it beyond the post.

In stoppage time Wilson found some space in the box but slipped and had to toe the ball into the path of Kieran Green. From point-blank range, he had a shot that the out-stretched leg of Bycroft somehow managed to get behind it and make the block.

Grimsby also started the second half quicker and could have taken the lead after a free kick had to be blocked by Ofoborh before landing at the feet of Wood, who sent a shot over the crossbar.

A quick passing move from Swindon created space for them down the left and Devoy was able to find Austin on the edge of the box. He chested down for Glatzel, but he got it all wrong and sent his first-time shot into the stand.

Chances were at a premium in the second half but Grimsby had a big one in the 69th minute as a loose pass from Ofoborh allowed Wilson to get away. He challenged with Hunt and got the better of him physically before getting a shot off that Bycroft did very well to save and bail Swindon out.

Then after a triple change from Dave Artell, Smith was afforded room to roam down the right and he was picked out, before going through on Bycroft and dispatching his finish coolly.

With time running out and Swindon drained of confidence, Wilson picked up the ball in midfield and drove into the green space in front of him before thundering a wonderful strike into the back of the net from outside the area.

Swindon knew that they needed to win their final two games of the season to avoid the Beamish Line, but defeat here means that at the very least this will be their lowest points tally in the four-tier structure.

It was a fitting final away day of a miserable campaign to place that nail into the coffin as once again they had no trouble controlling the play and looking slick outside the penalty area, but lacked the ruthlessness to make it count.

GTFC starting XI: Eastwood, Smith, Green, Rodgers, Thompson, Holohan, Vernam, Wood, Wilson, Mullarkey, Maher.

GTFC substitutes: Auton, Eisa, Ainley, Andrews, Khouri, Hume, Bramwell.

STFC starting XI: Bycroft, Blake-Tracy, McEachran, Glatzel, Kokolo, Devoy, Godwin-Malife, Austin, McGregor, Hunt, Ofoborh.

STFC substitutes: Evans, Elbouzedi, Hepburn-Murphy, McGurk, Drinan, McCarthy, Aguiar, Evans.

Attendance: 6,752 (231 away).