MATCH REPORT | Walsall 1 Swindon Town 0×
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MATCH REPORT | Walsall 1 Swindon Town 0

5:15 pm Monday, 17 April 2017
Walsall were back in action on Monday afternoon as they played host to Swindon Town Town in the latest League One fixture of the season. We were in attendance, and our match report is below.
Walsall were back in action on Monday afternoon as they played host to Swindon Town Town in the latest League One fixture of the season. We were in attendance, and our match report is below.

Swindon got the match underway, but it was the Saddlers who started brightest, creating a suburb opportunity to open the scoring just one minute in when a cut-back from Kieron Morris found Jason McCarthy, whose effort was cleared off the line, before Isaiah Osbourne fired a follow-up shot straight at Lawrence Vigouroux in the Swindon goal. Followed moments later by a headed effort from Amadou Bakayoko which sailed over the bar. A great start from the home team, as they sought to find an early advantage.

The visitors soon had the ball up at the other end, creating their first chance of the match five minutes in, when Ben Gladwin worked his way into space before firing an effort in on goal from twenty yards out, but Walsall 'keeper, Craig MacGillivray was on hand to save. Moments later, Swindon won the first corner of the game, but the Walsall defence was able to clear the danger. Town then won a second corner, when some poor control from Matt Preston almost saw Nicky Ajose through on goal, but the defender did well to get back and put the ball out of play. The Walsall defences were again able to clear the danger from the corner kick.

The tempo slowed a little after the frenetic start, with both sides enjoying good spells of possession in midfield without creating much, until the eighteenth minute, when Fankaty Dabo picked up the ball twenty five yards out and fired a thunderous effort goal-wards, flashing his shot fractionally wide of the upright. Encouraged, the visitors pressed again, with Gladwin dancing his way through the Saddlers defences before unleashing an effort on goal, but MacGillivray got down well to pull off a superb, one-handed save to keep the sides level.

The Saddlers won a free-kick, twenty two minutes in, when Andreas Makris was fouled by Rohan Ince, which McCarthy played to Morris who found space to get a shot away, but the effort made for an easy save for Vigouroux. After another spell of midfield action, Gladwin played a lovely ball in to Jon Obika after finding a way past Walsall captain, Adam Chambers, but James O'Connor threw his body in to block the strikers effort. Superb defending on display.

As we reached the half hour mark, the hosts were awarded another free-kick twenty five yards from goal, when Makris was fouled by Charlie Colkett. Morris took the set-piece, curling a lovely effort in on goal, but it was aimed straight at the Swindon 'keeper, who gathered with ease.

The game quietened after an often frantic opening thirty minutes, with the final third of the first half focused for the most part in the midfield area, where neither side were able to eke out an advantage, and despite numerous early chances for both sides, the referee brought a halt to the match after one additional minute was played, with the scoreboard unchanged.

SKYBET LEAGUE ONE | HT
WALSALL 0 SWINDON TOWN 0

The Saddlers got the second half underway, with both sides returning to the field unchanged after the break. The home side started the half brightly, with an effort on goal coming just fifteen seconds in, with Morris dragging a left-footed a shot inches wide, from inside the box. The tempo slowed as the teams looked to settle back into the game, and five minutes in, the visitors won a free-kick out on the left wing, for a foul by Bakayoko on Obika, which eventually led to them winning a corner, when a Bradley Barry effort was turned behind, but the hosts did well to cut out the danger. The visitors won another corner in the fifty third minute when a cross from Barry took a deflection. Obika rose well to get his head to the ball, and should have opened the scoring, but he was unable to control his effort.

In the fifty sixth minute, James O'Connor received a caution for a foul, but The Saddlers won the ball back quickly and won a corner, which was easily claimed by Vigouroux. Moments later, the hosts won a second corner, which Morris swung in to O'Connor, who headed the ball towards goal, but Vigouroux was well placed to claim. Morris created a chance of his own as twe reached the hour mark, driving infield before firing a right-footed shot in from distance, but the effort sailed straight into the waiting arms of Vigouroux.

The Saddlers enjoyed more of the ball as we headed into the final half hour, and could have scored in the sixty first minute when Bakayoko broke free of his marker, but his effort cleared the bar. The hosts continued to press, and were rewarded with a free-kick in a dangerous position on the right, sixty three minutes in. Eoghan O'Connell's deep cross connected with the head of O'Connor at the far post, but the defenders glancing header sailed wide of the post.

With sixty six minutes on the clock, the Swindon bench opted to make their first change of the afternoon, with Conor Thomas making way for John Goddard. Six minutes later, the Walsall bench made their first change, introducing Erhun Oztumer in place of Andreas Makris.

The match continued as something of a midfield battle, with the sides cancelling each other out well, but in the seventy third minute, the visitors managed to get the ball forward and win themselves a corner, which the Walsall defences were able to deal with with relative ease.

With fifteen minutes still to play, the Saddlers made their second substitution of the day, as George Dobson took the place of Isaiah Osbourne. Two minutes later, the visitors made their second change, James Brophy taking the place of Fankaty Dabo.

With little under ten minutes of the game remaining, MacGillivray was called into action, pulling off a superb finger-tip save to keep out a Gladwin headed effort, from a lovely cross into the box from Colkett. The Saddlers shot-stopper doing well to keep the game tied.

Three minutes later, in the eighty fifth minute, the Saddler's took advantage, and finally found a breakthrough; A lovely cross from Oztumer picking out Joe Edwards, who turned a low, left-footed shot across Vigouroux and into the bottom right corner of the Swindon net.

Buoyed by the late goal, the Saddlers continued to press as we headed into three additional minutes. In the ninety second minute, Bakayoko put Oztumer through on goal, but Rohan Ince got back well to put him under pressure, alleviating the danger, but it was too little, too late for Town, with time running out before they could create any further chances; Edwards late goal enough to see Walsall take all three points.

SKY BET LEAGUE ONE | FT
WALSALL 1 SWINDON TOWN 0
HT | 0-0
GOAL | Edwards (85')
ATTENDANCE | 5,196 (913 Swindon)
REFEREE | Ross Joyce (Cleveland)


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