Anyone connected with Sheffield Wednesday must doubt whether the efforts made to get to Swindon were worth it.
Everything other than their performance went against the Owls, who had a pretty good case for an early penalty turned down, a 'goal' disallowed, a lenient booking for their opponents' goalkeeper instead of a red card, a thunderous shot which rebounded off the bar late in the second half and an injury to Lewis Buxton.
Nevertheless, manager Alan Irvine was pleased with the performance if not the result and with the financial worries behind them the Owls can surely be right in the race for the top places in May.
As it was, Charlie Austin's goal for the home side was brilliantly set up by former Owl John-Paul McGovern and equally clinically finished by the Swindon striker on 24 minutes.
Wednesday might well have had a penalty and seen Swindon goalkeeper Phil Smith sent off six minutes later when Buxton was bought down by the No 1 but as the ball ran loose, Clinton Morrison slotted home.
Smith hurt his arm in the incident and was substituted by former Wednesday goalkeeper David Lucas.
Another controversial decision by linesman Russell saw Mark Beevers's effort hit through a crowd of players disallowed for offside apparently because Morrison was deemed to be active.
Owls chief Irvine said: "I didn't even look at the linesman. I was celebrating. I didn't have the view the linesman had so it's difficult to comment any further on that but we have seen some high-profile goals given in more extreme circumstances than that and that's disappointing. As a manager, you just want to know what the rules are."
Buxton had to be substituted early in the second half after a knock but Wednesday still looked good enough to take a point, although former Owls chief Danny Wilson's Swindon side had upped their game. In fact, either side might have gone ahead but it was McGovern who flicked the ball through a crowd of players past a possibly unsighted Nicky Weaver to put Swindon ahead.
Tommy Spurr then saw his terrific 25-yard strike rebound from the crossbar with Lucas well beaten but for Wednesday there was no rub of the green in front of almost 1,500 Owls fans as they missed the chance to move into second place.
Swindon Town: Smith (Lucas 38); Caddis, S Morrison, Cuthbert, Rose; McGovern, Douglas, Prutton, Ritchie; Austin, Pericard (Dossevi 81). Unused substitutes: Frampton, Timlin, Sheehan, Ferry.
Sheffield Wednesday: Weaver; Spurr, Purse, Beevers, Buxton (Jones 47); Teale, Potter, Miller, Sedgwick (Coke 76), C Morrison, Johnson (Heffernan 76). Unused substitutes: Jameson, Hinds, O'Connor, Palmer.
Referee: G Hegley (Herts).
Man of the match: Tommy Miller.