SWINDON Town manager John Sheridan was left to rue another costly mistake from one of his players after Sunderland beat the Robins 1-0 at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday night.

In a game of very few clear-cut chances until late on, an accidental trip on goalscorer Charlie Wyke gave the Black Cats a chance to put a dangerous ball into the box midway through the second half.

Former Oxford United man Chris Maguire duly obliged by swinging an inviting cross onto the head of Wyke, who flicked home the only goal of the game.

Though Town had two excellent chances to snaffle a point away, Hallam Hope saw his close-range strike saved while Scott Twine’s last-gasp free-kick thundered off the bar.

Reacting to a narrow loss against a team that is well fancied to go up this season, Sheridan said he told his players to keep their chins up afterwards.

He explained: “I’ve said to the lads afterwards: “keep your heads up because it was a good display from us.”

“We’ve come to a big club, and a team who’s fancied to go up automatically, and we’ve done well.

“We knew it would be tough, but I felt we competed really well. There was lots of endeavour and a willingness about us, but unfortunately we’ve come away with nothing.

“I think we could have kept the ball a little bit better than what we did, especially in the first half, but we did it better in the second half.”

Town’s game plan was clear from the first whistle – stay compact and defend resolutely. The tactic was working wonderfully, except the visitors lost the majority of their cutting edge.

Apparently keen to keep the game at 0-0 for as long as possible and then spring a surprise on the counter-attack, Sheridan admitted to being deeply frustrated at conceding a goal in the manner Town did.

He said: “I said to them beforehand: “don’t be giving cheap or silly fouls away because they’ve got good delivery”.

“That’s what’s undone us really – it’s a cheap free-kick, and we’ve conceded a cheap goal.

“They’ve had one or two chances towards the end of the game when we’re chasing it, but we’ve probably had the best chances of the game with Hallam Hope and Scott Twine’s unbelievable free-kick.

“We had a good system, and we’ve got a good work ethic and lots of honesty to us.

“I’m very disappointed to come away with nothing after the quality of the performance.”