|view Heaton's match-by-match record
Goalkeeper Heaton was signed on loan from Manchester United in August 2005, in a double deal that also brought Colin Heath to the County Ground, originally as cover for usual number one Rhys Evans. When Evans finally succumbed to a long-standing knee complaint, Heaton was drafted into the first team, and made an impressive debut, despite conceding three goals in a home defeat at the hands of Wycombe in the Carling Cup.
With Evans opting for surgery on his injured knee, Heaton made the goalkeeper's position his own - saving a penalty on his league debut the following Saturday in a 4-2 win over Yeovil, and generally getting lots of practice as the Town slumped to the bottom of the table throughout September. Over this period, Swindon recorded a record number of defeats, though Heaton was hardly to blame, making numerous saves - except for the final game of the run, a 2-1 home defeat against Port Vale, when a horrendous misjudgement twenty yards from goal left a Vale player clean through to tap home the winner. Heaton made amends the following week, making a number of vital stops in a respectable 0-0 draw at high-flying Brentford.
The FA Cup wasn't a cup of cheer for Heaton though - having been unlucky to redirect an effort that had rebounded off the post into his own net in the home game with Boston, worse followed in the replay, when he was dismissed for a professional foul early on in a game that the Town went on to lose 4-1. The sending-off was the beginning of the end for Heaton's time at the County Ground - Evans was rushed back to take his place whilst suspended, and though Evans was rested for the following two games, by the time December came, he was back. Though Heaton made the bench for a few games in December, he didn't play again - returning to Old Trafford when his loan spell expired in January.
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