After last Tuesday fantastic home performance in the Capital Cup first round win over Brighton, Swindon travelled to the north to take on Hartlepool in the first game of the season in league one. Manager Paolo Di Canio kept the same eleven that beat Brighton in the cup which meant Paul Caddis was still frozen out of the squad and James Collins returned to the bench after his U21 call up to the Republic Ireland.
Swindon started the strongest in the opening minutes when both Tommy Miller and Andy Williams had effort comfortably saved by Scott Flinders. Paul Benson had a glancing header that went just wide; Matt Ritchie had a back post header comfortably saved by Flinders. After a frantic first couple of minutes Hartlepool started to find their feet in the game and started to dominate in the first half, when James Poole, Steve Howard and Jonathan Franks all missed chances for the home side. James Poole then had a long range distance which went over the bar.
Just as the first half ended, the second half begun in the same manner in Hartlepool attacking the Swindon goal but the home side only really created two chances, Evan Horwood free kick was headed over by Anthony Sweeney, then Steve Howard header rattled the up right. But with twenty minutes remaining Swindon were awarded a penalty when a handball was spotted by the referee. Tommy Miller stepped up but he blazed his penalty over the bar and wasted a golden chance to give Swindon the lead.
With the home side fitness started to wilt after going gung-ho in the second half and Swindon started to create more chances with James Collins missing two chances after his introduction. Both Andy Williams and then Joe Devera had late efforts well saved by Hartlepool keeper Scott Flinders.
The final whistle blew and both teams had to settle with a draw, for both teams they had to reflect on missed chances. For Swindon it was back to back clean sheets after Tuesday night win in the Cup at home to Brighton. For Hartlepool it was a good showing after getting blown away by Crewe in the cup 5-0 the week before.
We found out after the game that Swindon boss Paolo Di Canio did not speak to the media and gave the Swindon team a dressing down in the changing room.