Match Report: Swindon Town 1 Walsall 2 Match Report: Swindon Town 1 Walsall 2
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Match Report: Swindon Town 1 Walsall 2

Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' League Two clash with Swindon Town.
Michael Flynn and the Saddlers made the trip to the County Ground on Boxing Day as they looked to continue their recent spell of form, which has seen them close the gap on the Play-Off places, by defeating opponents Swindon Town.

Swindon started the game brightly, winning the first corner of the contest just two minutes in, but Walsall shot-stopper, Owen Evans was able to gather Marcel Lavinier's headed effort.

A foul from Donervon Daniels in the third minute then gifted the home side a free kick in a dangerous spot, but Frazer Blake-Tracy was unable to find the target with his goal-ward header.

The game settled as it continued, with both sides enjoying spells on the ball without creating anything to trouble their opposition defences.

Sixteen minutes into the contest, Walsall won their first corner of the game, as Angus MacDonald turned the ball out of play, but nothing would come of the opportunity as Isaac Hutchinson played the ball short, with the Swindon defences able to intercept.

The visiting side continued to enjoy a brighter spell, winning a free kick in the eighteenth minute as Lavinier fouled Danny Johnson. Tom Knowles played the ball in from the set-piece, with the ball falling into the path of Johnson, who took aim but fired over the crossbar.

The game settled into something of a midfield battle as it continued, with both sides enjoying time on the ball, without creating anything of note, however, twenty-six minutes in, a headed pass from Knowles to Hutchinson did see the latter get a shot away from distance, but the effort was blocked.

With thirty-three minutes on the clock, Swindon found the breakthrough, as Ellis Iandolo got on the end of a Ronan Darcy cross and fired an effort goal-wards, forcing a save from Evans, before turning the rebound home from close range.

There was a brief halt to proceedings in the thirty-sixth minute, allowing Jonny Williams to receive treatment, but he was soon back on his feet and able to continue.

Walsall looked to level the scores in the forty-fourth, but Liam Bennett's shot from outside the box was blocked.

Three additional minutes were added to end the first-half and in the first of them, Walsall had more luck in front of goal, as a ball into the box from Knowles was deflected onto Romeao Hutton and into the net to restore parity.

Danny Johnson became the first player to see yellow in the aftermath, as he was cautioned for excessive celebration of the goal.

Swindon went on to win two corners, both of which came to nothing, before the referee brought a close to the first-half, with the sides heading off to enjoy their half-time refreshments with the scores level at one-goal-apiece.

HALF-TIME SCORE
SWINDON TOWN 1-1 WALSALL

The teams returned unchanged after the break, and the match got back underway. Both sides enjoyed spells on the ball early in the second-half, but neither were able to trouble their opposition defences.

With fifty-one minutes on the clock, Angus MacDonald became the second player to see yellow, as he was cautioned following a foul on Knowles.

Walsall won a corner in the fifty-third minute, as Jack Earing and Johnson combined to create a chance on goal, with Blake-Tracy blocking the effort behind for a flag-kick. The ball was played in for Earing, but his effort from outside the area sailed high over the crossbar.

There was a brief halt to proceedings in the fifty-fifth minute, whilst Ellis Iandolo received treatment for an injury, but it was soon decided that he would play no further part, with Ben Gladwin taking his place, and Swindon also took the opportunity to replace Jacob Wakeling with Rushian Hepburn-Murphy.

Hepburn-Murphy was quick to get involved in the action, seeing an effort blocked just two minutes after his introduction into the game, as he got on the end of a Darcy cross.

With seventy-one minutes on the clock, Walsall opted to make their first changes of the afternoon, with Liam Gordon and Isaac Hutchinson making way for Conor Wilkinson and Jacob Maddox.

Walsall almost took the lead in the seventy-sixth minute, as Hayden White combined with Maddox to work the ball to Johnson, but some superb goalkeeping from Swindon shot-stopper, Solomon Brynn ensured the sides would remain level.

Seventy-eight minutes into the contest, Swindon opted to make their third change of the afternoon, with former Saddler, Tyrese Shade making way for Morgan Roberts.

The Saddlers continued to look the brighter of the two sides into the final ten minutes, with Maddox seeing an effort from outside the area sail high and wide of the target in the eighty-second minute, as he connected with an Earing cross.

Five minutes from time, the Saddlers opted to make a third change to their line-up, with Danny Johnson departing in favour of Douglas James-Taylor.

James-Taylor was quick to get involved in the action, as he looked to assist Wilkinson mere seconds after his introduction into the game, but Conor's effort from the left side of the box sailed wide of the far post.

Walsall continued to press, winning a corner in the eighty-ninth minute, as Louis Reed turned the ball out of play. Knowles swung the ball into the area, but Daniels was unable to keep his headed effort on target, sending the ball narrowly wide of the upright.

Six additional minutes were added to end the match, though an injury to Blake-Tracy delayed them, though he was eventually able to rejoin the action.

With ninety-four minutes on the clock, Manny Monthe put Walsall ahead for the first time in the contest, as he picked up the ball close to goal and prodded it past Brynn.

There was little further action of note, and the referee brought an end to the contest with Walsall winning by two-goals-to-one. A superb display from the Saddlers, who got off to a bit of a slow start but never let their heads drop.

FULL-TIME SCORE
SWINDON TOWN 1-2 WALSALL
IANDOLO (33')

HUTTON [OG] (45+1')
MONTHÉ (90+1')
AT THE COUNTY GROUND
ATTENDANCE 10,240 (465 WALSALL)
REFEREE JAMES OLDHAM
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