Following Walsall's draw with promotion chasing Swindon Town Bescot Banter columnist Jack Hansford shares his Match Report.
Following Walsall's draw with promotion chasing Swindon Town Bescot Banter columnist Jack Hansford shares his Match Report;

Walsall descended upon Wiltshire on the back of a flowing derby win against Shrewsbury Town last weekend and in fantastic form, as we looked to continue our hunt for the play-off places.

It was a rather dreary County Ground as the game got underway and with the Saddlers fans in good voice, we sensed a positive result.

In truth, the first half passed with little meaningful incident, apart from the two goals. Both teams were struggling to keep purposeful possession of the ball and it became largely a midfield battle as the half wore on. The Swindon defence continued to look shaky though, when Walsall did manage to break.

The Saddlers opted to find the lone Will Grigg on several occasions, whilst Swindon appeared to be relying on their midfield man Alan McCormack to create opportunities for themselves.

With both teams struggling to test either keeper, it meant it needed an unfortunate deflection to get on the score sheet.

In the 10th minute, Swindon broke quickly down the right hand side and after the Saddlers opted to stand off their men, the ball fell to former Yeovil man Andy Williams. He turned sharply in the box and his shot hit Andy Butler and lofted agonisingly over the stretching Aaron McCarey.

It was a bitter blow for Walsall who maybe had hoped to hold out until at least half time.

Soon after though, a quick flurry of corners mounted a bit of Walsall pressure. On the half hour mark, Jamie Paterson's outswinging corner on the right hand side found its way to the ever lively Febian Brandy. Once he had controlled the ball, he was clearly fouled in the penalty area as has so often been the case this season.

In form frontman Will Grigg stepped up to score his 17th goal of the season, as his spot kick squeezed past Wes Fodringham's right hand.

H/T: Swindon Town 1 Walsall 1
The second half began with Swindon very much the team on top as Walsall continued to be guilty of showing them too much respect.

It became even more of an even battle in the middle of the park as both teams tried to take possession of the ball and carve out any opportunity.

In the 79th minute, Swindon again broke forward on the right hand side. After a low shot from the Swindon forward, Simon Ferry was on hand to tap in the rebound after McCarey could only palm the ball out into his path. It was desperately unlucky for the Saddlers who at least deserved a point for their efforts.

And a point was exactly what we got. Substitute Ashley Hemmings managed to get away from his man down the left. His curling cross met the head of Jamie Paterson who cooly guided the ball into the Swindon net wrong footing 'keeper Fodringham in the process.

It was no doubt what Walsall deserved after their ongoing battling display and the equaliser came from a player who actually had a torrid afternoon.

F/T: Swindon Town 2 (Williams 11' Ferry 79') Walsall 2 (Grigg PEN 32' Paterson 90')

ATT: 8,407
REF: D, Drysdale

The result was certainly very positive for the Saddlers and certainly makes the game on Tuesday against Tranmere very interesting. It was important we didn't lose today and the play off dream is very much still alive.

Lets just hope we don't have that referee in any of our remaining games...

By: Jack Hansford
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