MATT Smith scored a 94th minute equaliser as Swindon Town drew 3-3 with Shrewsbury Town in new manager John Sheridan’s first game in charge.

Despite going 3-1 down, Sheridan’s men rallied in the second half and produced a spirited comeback to take their first away league point of the season.

Swindon made an awful start as Aaron Pierre and Matt Millar both headed goals inside the opening 20 minutes before Joel Grant pulled a goal back just before the break.

Shrewsbury regained their two-goal advantage just short of the hour as Dave Edwards wonderfully guided into the top corner before the visitors began their comeback.

Hallam Hope made it 3-2 on the hour before Smith’s late deflected strike snatched a draw at the death.

The Swindon management team made six changes from the midweek victory over Forest Green Rovers in the EFL Cup – with the most notable swap coming in goal.

Matej Kovar was dropped to the bench, therefore Joe Fryer made his first league start for the club on what was his 25th birthday.

Paul Caddis started at right-back, Jonathan Grounds came back into the heart of defence while former Shrews man Anthony Grant wore the captain’s armband.

Jack Payne, Joel Grant and Hallam Hope all returned.

As if to highlight the point the new manager had made in his first interview about Swindon needing to toughen up defensively, Town conceded a particularly soft goal in the 10th minute as Shrewsbury took the lead.

Former Bournemouth man, Charlie Daniels whipped in a corner to the back post which Pierre nodded into the back of the net.

It could have got worse just moments later as Fryer slipped when trying to clear and the ball fell straight to Pugh 25 yards out.

The Shrews striker snatched at his effort though under pressure from retreating Swindon defenders, and it dribbled harmlessly wide.

In the 16th minute, it did get worse for Swindon following another Daniels corner from the right.

Daniels’ delivery was flicked out of danger by Anthony Grant, but Pugh got to the ball first and crossed low for Millar to stoop low at the near post and nod past Fryer.

Shrewsbury thought they had added a third in the 26th minute when a wonderful ball from the right was headed over Fryer and into the corner by Tottenham Hotspur loanee, Shilow Tracey, but the linesman had his flag raised to signal offside.

The visitors did gradually grow back into the game as the first half wore on, though only Jonny Smith went close to halving the deficit as he curled over when well placed.

Two minutes before the break though, Swindon managed to pull a goal back through a rare moment of quality from the visitors.

Caddis clipped a ball into the right-hand channel and, caught out by the wind, Pierre inadvertently nodded the ball into the path of Joel Grant.

He steadied himself before faking to shoot not once but twice, finally cutting onto his left and blasting through Harry Burgoyne and into the net.

As Swindon began to gain more confidence in the early stages of the second half, Shrewsbury regained their two-goal advantage in the 56th minute.

Tracey's cross from the right was only cleared as far as Edwards who jogged onto the ball and beautifully placed it into the top left corner from the edge of the box.

However, four minutes later, Swindon made it 3-2 thanks to a wonderful goal from Hope.

Jonny Smith's ball from the right travelled all the way across the edge of the box to Hope on the left.

The striker simply opened his body up and whipped a right-footed shot into the top corner to pull a goal back.

With less than 20 minutes to go, Swindon could have tied the game up, but for another poor decision from Jonny Smith.

With substitute Brett Pitman available for a tap-in had the ball come in straight away, Smith opted to take too many touches before chopping back onto his left foot and seeing the chance fizzle out.

Matt Smith went close moments later following great work from Joel Grant down the left. The shot from the edge of the box towards the near post travelled into the side netting, however.

The visitors had a strong penalty appeal waved away inside the last 10 minutes after Pitman acrobatically volleyed wide despite appearing to be held and pulled down by Ethan Ebanks-Landell.

Referee Sam Allison saw nothing doing, however, and waved play on.

Just before added time was shown, Swindon were denied a deserved equaliser by a stunning save from Burgoyne.

Matt Smith slipped Hunt in down the left, Hunt crossed into the middle for Pitman whose shot was scuffed into the path of Jonny Smith.

It looked for all the world as if the net would burst, only for Burgoyne to stick out a leg and deny the visitors an equaliser.

However, Swindon were not to be denied as Matt Smith saw a heavily-deflected strike bounce over Burgoyne and into the net in the 94th minute.

Shrewsbury starting XI: Burgoyne, Pierre, Edwards, Williams, Whalley, Norburn, Millar, C Daniels, Tracey, Ebanks-Landell, Pugh.

Swindon starting XI: Fryer, Caddis, Grounds, Odimayo, Hunt, M Smith, A Grant, J Smith, Payne, J Grant, Hope.