MATCH REPORT | Swindon Town 0 Walsall 2 MATCH REPORT | Swindon Town 0 Walsall 2

MATCH REPORT | Swindon Town 0 Walsall 2

On Saturday afternoon, Jon Whitney's in-form Saddlers travelled to the County Ground where they took on Swindon Town in the latest Sky Bet League 1 clash of the season. We were in attendance, and our match report is below.
On Saturday afternoon, Jon Whitney's in-form Saddlers travelled to the County Ground where they took on Swindon Town in the latest Sky Bet League 1 clash of the season. We were in attendance, and our match report is below.

Our hosts got us underway as the sun came out, kicking towards the Town End. It took a while for the teams to get warmed up, with both sides content to keep possession around midfield. The first action of note came in the thirteenth minute when Ellis Iandolo set up Sean Murray on the edge of the box. Murray scuffed his shot allowing Neil Etheridge to gather with ease.

Sixteen minutes in, a misplaced pass from Darnell Furlong gifted possession to Erhun Oztumer. Spotting Lawrence Vigouroux off his line, Oztumer sent an audacious shot in from some forty yards out, which sailed over the Swindon 'keeper's head, giving the Saddlers an early lead.

Eight minutes after taking the lead, the Saddlers felt they should have had a chance to double their advantage as Andreas Makris was brought down by Conor Thomas, but the referee waved away appeals for a penalty. The hosts regained possession and sent a long ball up-field, finding Nathan Delfouneso in shooting range. The Town striker controlled well before sending a shot in, which cleared the crossbar without troubling the Walsall 'keeper.

Back at the other end Oztumer turned provider, turning a lovely cross into the path of Makris, but the strikers effort lacked power and made for an easy save for the Swindon 'keeper. Moments later, the Saddlers defences had a job to do, as the hosts worked the ball to Delfouneso in the box. Scott Laird was alert and put in an excellent challenge to dispossess the Swindon man just before he was able to get a shot away.

Town continued to press, with Delfouneso drawing a rushed clearance from Etheridge, which allowed Iandolo a chance from twenty yards out. Fortunately for the Saddlers, the curling shot sailed wide.  Five minutes later, the Walsall 'keeper was again called into action as a driven effort from Anton Rodgers took a deflection, allowing Etheridge to make an easy save.

Five minutes before the break there was a brief stoppage in play as Swindon captain, Nathan Thompson, went down. After a brief spell of treatment he was able to continue. There was no further action of note, and after two minutes of additional time were played, the teams returned to their respective dressing rooms with the visitors a goal to the good.


Walsall got the match back underway, with a change to the Swindon line-up, as Brad Barry took to the field in place of James Brophy. Moments after the restart, the visitors created an opening with Vigouroux left stranded as Franck Moussa crossed the ball in to Makris, who rattled the bar with his effort. A huge let off for Town.

Five minutes after his arrival into the game, Brad Barry picked up the first yellow card of the afternoon. Moments later, the Saddlers doubled their lead as a long ball forward from Kevin Toner fell to Oztumer who volleyed the ball calmly past the Swindon 'keeper. The match quietened following the goal, with both teams taking time to settle following the re-start.

Shortly after the hour mark, the Walsall bench opted to make their first substitution of the game, replacing Makris with Amadou Bakayoko. Moments after the change, the Saddlers saw a wonderful chance to further extend their lead go begging, as Oztumer worked the ball into the box before laying the ball off for Kieron Morris who should have converted, but ballooned his effort over the bar.

With sixty four minutes on the clock, Town made their second change of the afternoon, bringing on Luke Norris in place of the busy Ellis Iandolo. The hosts enjoyed a good spell of possession following the change and could have scored in the sixty ninth minute as the ball came to Delfouneso inside the box from Furlong out on the right-wing. The Saddlers defence piled on the pressure and the Swindon man skied his effort.

The hosts continued to press and seventy two minutes in, Etheridge was called into action to deal with a twenty five yard effort from Rodgers. The Walsall 'keeper spilled the ball, but gathered at the second time of asking. Moments later, and with the hosts continuing to pressure the Saddlers goal, Yaser Kasim set up Johnny Goddard. With Walsall defender Joe Edwards piling on the pressure, Goddard fired a shot high over the bar.

Ten minutes from time, the visitors should have put the game to bed, as substitute Bakayoko had the ball in the net, but the linesman's flag was raised for an offside infringement and the goal was disallowed. Two minutes later, Bakayoko was again involved, as he combined well with Morris to create another chance for the Saddlers, but Morris' twenty yard effort sailed narrowly wide of goal.

Five minutes from time, the Saddlers made their second change of the game, replacing Kieron Morris with Josh Ginnelly.

With two minutes of the ninety remaining, the Saddlers had another chance to extend their lead, as Laird broke down the left and crossed the ball in to Oztumer who was denied a hat-trick by 'keeper Vigouroux who did well to push the the ball wide.

Three minutes were added, but there was little further action as the Saddlers were content to sit back with their two goal cushion. The referee called time on the match with that lead still intact and Walsall took all three points back to the Banks's on an afternoon when they could have put five or six past their opponents.

GOALS | Oztumer (17'& 51')
REFEREE | Mr. Darren England
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