Swindon boss Scott Lindsey delivers verdict on game-changing red cards against Bristol Rovers
Swindon Town had two players dismissed in the first-half of their 3-0 loss to Bristol Rovers
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In a torrid last 15 minutes of the first half for Swindon, Ciaran Brennan was shown a second yellow card and teammate Ricky Aguair joined him just 12 minutes later on the stroke of half-time.
Two red cards for the away side swung the tide and proved costly when the players emerged from the dressing room. Bristol Rovers had more space in the second-half with the remaining nine players forced to work harder to fill the space.
The Gas performed much better in the second half and made easy work of Swindon in the end as they made their way into the knockout stages of the Papa Johns Trophy.
Goals from Ryan Loft, Harry Anderson and Luke McCormick in the second half sent Joey Barton’s side beyond the group stages as they finished second to Plymouth Argyle.
Lindsey’s much rotated side were consigned to three losses in as many games in the competition. They ended up recording no points with defeats to Rovers, Plymouth and Crystal Palace Under-21’s.
“We were in complete control, we were the better side in my opinion,” said Lindsey in his assessment of the match. “I felt that we continued to be the better side after the first red card.
“The first one, I think they are two yellow cards if I’m honest with you but I can’t say more than that really.”
It was then Aguair’s sending off that changed the game just before half time after the referee saw something in a challenge between himself and Alfie Kilgour. Aguair’s dismissal was a straight red compared to Brennan’s two yellow cards.
The midfielder protested his innocence but joined his teammate in the dressing room for an early bath. It was minutes away from half-time and was a major blow to what had been a positive performance from Swindon.
Swindon boss Lindsey added: “I think Ricky’s is difficult to see because the camera moves at the moment where there’s contact, speaking to Ricky he doesn’t think there’s much in it. I think it is a difficult one so I don’t want to comment on that”
The additions of Aaron Collins, Sam Finley and Antony Evans after the Gas scored their first completely swung the tie in the direction of Rovers. They added a further two goals in the last 15 and made it five wins on the trot in all competitions.
“We got the second one and its backs against the wall,” he added. “It was always going to be difficult in the second half, and it was a long second half.”