FORMER Swindon Town striker Alex Revell’s first-half header, combined with Ilias Chair’s spectacular stoppage-time strike, proved to be the difference as Richie Wellens’ side were beaten away at Stevenage tonight.

Revell broke the deadlock for the home side 10 minutes before the break before Town’s fate was sealed when Chair netted a long-range effort with just seconds remaining in second-half stoppage time.

The defeat was Swindon’s second in League Two in the space of four days following Saturday’s reverse at Carlisle United and marks an unwanted drop in form amid a period of games that could prove decisive in their fading play-off hopes.

Wellens’ men now find themselves seven points below the top seven and although they have a game in hand, time is running out to salvage what will likely be a disappointing and frustrating season.

Town boss Wellens made three changes to the team that started the previous defeat at Carlisle on Saturday as Matt Taylor, Toumani Diagouraga and James Dunne came in to replace Kyle Knoyle, Jak McCourt and Canice Carroll.

A more sizable presence featured in Town’s starting line-up, with the likes of Tom Broadbent and Luke Woolfenden alongside Diagouraga allowing others to go about their business without the need to compete physically.

Town found themselves having to defend their own box early on as the spritely Chair – on loan from Championship side Queens Park Rangers – set his sights on more than one occasion.

Visiting goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux let what should have been a comfortable collection spill out of his hands and if not for a weak effort from Joel Byrom and Dion Conroy’s intervention on the line, Town would have compounded their poor start by going a goal down inside 10 minutes.

Wellens’ men grew into the game slowly, though, with plenty of time being afforded to Town’s midfield.

Kaiyne Woolery sent in a few dangerous crosses before Keshi Anderson forced home keeper Paul Farman into an athletic tip over the bar to deny the visitors an opener.

The Town number 10 received the ball on the edge of the box before spinning onto his right and whipping an effort just underneath Farman’s bar – unfortunately for Swindon, a big, strong hand reached up to tip it over.

With Swindon growing into the game with every passing minute, the sucker-punch goal came 10 minutes before half-time and came courtesy of a familiar source.

Revell out-battled his marker to nod in an in-swinging corner at the back post and put Stevenage in front.

With the first half fizzling out with very little action to report, the goal would have frustrated Wellens further as for the vast majority of the opening period, Stevenage appeared rusty and devoid of the confidence they had lost as a result of their recent five-game winless run.

The second half began in a similar pattern to the first, with the home side dominating possession but with little to show for it until a Kurtis Guthrie header was brilliantly kept out by Vigouroux.

Chair cut inside onto his right foot – leaving Anderson on the floor – before curling a cross onto the head of Guthrie.

The Stevenage striker headed down powerfully, but Vigouroux showed his lightning reflexes to claw the ball away down to his left.

With half-an-hour still to play, Wellens elected to send on all three of his substitutes at the same time – Knoyle, Carroll and Marc replacing Taylor, Diagouraga and Woolery.

The changes seemed to help as Theo Robinson saw a shot fly over, while Anderson had a superbly-struck free-kick palmed away by Farman.

But while Town pressed for an equaliser, the game became much more stretched and Dino Maamria’s hosts posed a threat of their own as they pressed for a second goal that they so desperately desired.

Vigouroux again had to be at his athletic best to deny Guthrie, following a loss of possession from Broadbent as he strode forward.

Guthrie took aim towards Vigouroux’s right, only for the Chilean to deny him at full stretch.

With the home fans twitching in their seats, Town pressed for an equaliser that they probably deserved.

Anderson was in full flow as he burst down the line and slid a cross towards the waiting Richards – the Town striker of last season might have buried the chance, however, a rusty Richards saw his shot fly over the stand that the travelling supporters were housed, much to their frustration.

Anderson looked the most likely to find that elusive equaliser as his lively performance appeared to be causing the home side’s defenders the most issues.

However, with Town desperately chasing a deserved leveller and share of the points, Vigouroux came up for a succession of corners at the death, one of which enabled Chair to kill off the visitors for good.

Chair pounced on the ball in the dying seconds to fire a spectacular effort into an unguarded Town goal from 15 yards inside his own half.