The highlight of the next few seasons was a fifth-place finish in 2003–04, where they .
lost to Brighton & Hove Albion on penalties in the League One Play Offs.
In 2006, Swindon were relegated to League Two meaning they became the first ever
former Premier League team to be relegated to the lowest Football League division.
Paul Sturrock was appointed Manager in November 2006 and guided Swindon to
promotion back to Football League One in his first season with the club,
earning the third automatic promotion place in a 1 – 1 draw with
Walsall in the last game of the 2006–07 season.
In 2008 Paul Sturrock departed for Plymouth Argyle, and Maurice Malpas took over briefly
as manager, before Danny Wilson was appointed in December 2008.
Wilson helped maintain Swindon’s League One status in his first season in charge.
The 2009–10 season would prove a vast improvement, which saw Swindon finish
fifth, entering the play-offs against Charlton Athletic. Swindon won the tie on
penalties and went on to play in the Football League One play-offs final against
Millwall at Wembley Stadium for a place in the Football League Championship.
However, they lost 1–0 in what was their first defeat in four appearances at Wembley.