Swindon Town’s 1-0 FA Cup defeat to local rivals Cheltenham will be a huge disappointment to fans and chairman Lee Power alike, writes Peter Mitchell.

I’m not such an anorak that I can verify this, but I understand this was Town’s ninth successive cup replay defeat! The appalling record goes on, and Swindon have now failed to beat any league opposition in the cup since Paolo Di Canio’s team beat Wigan at the start of 2012.

Town had their chances but just didn’t take them. As early as the second minute, Kaiyne Woolery was barged off the ball, but Michael Doughty’s pretty tame spot-kick was saved by Scott Flinders. This might have formulated a Plan B in the visitors’ minds, whereby they could see a penalty shootout as their possible salvation.

There were other chances as well for Swindon, who didn’t play badly, but they just didn’t capitalise. Town’s three or four coaches all had ample warning of Cheltenham’s Alex Addai’s danger from the first match, but seemed to do very little to counter it. In the first half he had a goal-bound shot deflected and fizzed a couple of very dangerous balls across Swindon’s six-yard box. He wasn’t being closed down enough and Town paid for it just five minutes after the restart. Addai was left with far too much room on the left wing and then cut inside to deliver a sizzling shot past Steven Benda. I don’t have any coaching badges but it was obvious to all that he was always going to be their key attacker.

In the second half Doughty was put through with only Flinders to beat, but hit the post instead of the net.

There were some strange substitutions by Ritchie Wellens late on, when he took off both Ellis Iandolo and Diallang Jaiyesimi, both of whom looked as though they might prise open Cheltenham’s pregnable defence. They were replaced by the lightweight Scott Twine and Tyler Reid. It was probably too late by then anyway.

So now the stock answer to all this will be that at least we can concentrate on the league. Let’s hope that losing this eminently winnable game is the only price we have to pay for gaining promotion in late April.