Match Report: Walsall 2 Swindon Town 1 Match Report: Walsall 2 Swindon Town 1
Posted by: Bescot Banter

Match Report: Walsall 2 Swindon Town 1

Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' League Two meeting with Swindon Town.
Walsall were back in League Two action on Tuesday evening as they welcomed Swindon Town to the Poundland Bescot Stadium where the Saddlers were searching for three much-needed points.

Walsall began the game brightly, creating their first half chance just three minutes in, as Taylor Allen played a lovely long ball forward for Josh Gordon, who controlled well and flicked on for Mo Faal, but the strikers effort on goal lacked power, allowing Swindon shot-stopper, Jack Bycroft to make the save.

The hosts continued to see plenty of the ball as the match continued, and almost found an early breakthrough in the seventh minute, as Ryan Stirk picked out an unmarked Faal, inside the area, but the striker was unable to get the control on the ball he wanted and the chance went begging.

Unperturbed, the Saddlers continued to press, determined not to repeat the weekends display, going close again in the ninth minute, as Faal played in Josh Gordon, whose low strike from the edge of the area had the Town 'keeper beat, but clipped the post.

Josh Gordon was presented with another chance to open the scoring moments later, as a Ross Tieney cross found him, but his headed effort was turned behind by Tom Brewitt. The resulting corner was swung in towards the far post by Isaac Hutchinson, with Faal getting a head to it to turn it over the line to open the scoring.

Swindon looked to respond quickly to the goal, with Jake Cain finding Paul Glatzel with a cross into the area in the thirteenth minute. Walsall shot-stopper, Owen Evans was alert to the danger and made the save, though any goal would not have stood anyway as the striker was adjudged to have been offside.

The visiting side continued to enjoy a brighter spell as the game continued, with Aaron Drinan firing an effort in from range in the eighteenth minute, but his shot failed to test Evans, sailing over the crossbar.

Walsall were awarded a free-kick in a promising position in the twentieth minute, which Huchinson crossed in for Tierney, who raced into the area before firing goal-wards, but his strike had too much height on it and sailed out of play.

The hosts went on to win a corner two minutes later, which eventually fell to Stirk, who crossed the ball towards the back post for Faal, who rose highest to head goal-wards, but narrowly missed the target.

At the other end, the visiting side called Evans into action again, in the twenty-sixth minute, as Williams Kokolo fired a low strike in, but the shot-stopper was alert to the danger and made the save.

Town felt a little aggrieved not to have been awarded a penalty, twenty-seven minutes into the contest, as Cain played the ball in for Dawson Devoy, who raced forwards before going down inside the area, but the officials were unmoved by their appeals and play continued.

Swindon continued to see plenty of the ball as the match continued, though the Walsall defences contained much of the play to the midfield area, preventing further shots on goal.

Ten minutes before the break, Walsall found themselves with an opportunity to double their advantage, as the ball fell kindly for Josh Gordon, but the striker was unable to beat Bycroft, who did well to get to the ball and make the save.

The visiting side won a corner in the thirty-eighth minute, as Tierney turned the ball out of play. The ball in from the flag-kick was good, finding Frazer-Tracy, who headed back across goal for Glatzel but Evans got enough of a touch to prevent the striker from finding the target.

The Robins continued to seek to restore parity, with Devoy firing a shot in on goal five minutes before the break, but Walsall captain, Donervon Daniels was well positioned to block the powerful strike.

Walsall broke quickly from the resulting corner, as Faal cleared the initial danger before Josh Gordon launched a run upfield which culminated in the striker crossing the ball to Hutchinson who fired inches over the crossbar.

Two additional minutes were added to end the first-half, but there was little further action of note, and the sides headed off to enjoy their half-time refreshments with Walsall leading by one-goal-to-nil.


The teams returned unchanged following the break, and the action got back underway. Just one minute after the restart, play was paused allowing Tom Brewitt to receive treatment for a knock, but it was soon determined that he would be unable to continue, and Harley Hunt was brought on in his place.

Both sides took a little time to settle back into the game, but seven minutes after the break, Walsall were presented with a chance to double their advantage as Joe Foulkes played in Josh Gordon, whose effort on goal was blocked. The hosts continued to press, with Tierney crossing to Liam Gordon moments later, but he was unable to find the target with a strike that sailed wide.

Swindon chose to make a triple change as we reached the hour mark, with Aaron Drinan, Jake Cain and Nnamdi Ofoborh making way for Charlie Austin, Rushian Hepburn-Murphy and George McEachran.

With sixty-eight minutes on the clock, Swindon equalised, as Kokolo crossed the ball to Glatzel, who fired an effort into the top corner from the edge of the area.

Walsall opted to make their first change of the evening seconds after the goal, with Josh Gordon making way for Douglas James-Taylor.

The visiting side continued to enjoy a bright spell, and almost took the lead in the seventy-first minute, as Kokolo fired goal-wards from inside the area, but Foulkes was well positioned to block the strike and keep the scores level.

Town chose to make their final change of the evening in the seventy-fourth minute, with Joel McGregor seeing his place taken by Zachary Elbouzedi.

Walsall made a triple change just three minutes later, with Ross Tierney, Joe Foulkes and Mo Faal making way for Danny Johnson, Tom Knowles and Jamille Matt, as the hosts looked to freshen up their attack.

The substitutes looked to make an immediate impact, with a pass from Matt finding Johnson, who broke into the box and went to ground, but the referee waved play on.

The Saddlers continued to press, going close moments later, as Hutchinson worked himself into space, before shooting from twenty yards out, but Bycroft was on hand to make the save.

At the other end, Kokolo picked out Glatzel with a cross into the box but the strikers effort on goal was blocked by Daniels, with the resulting corner coming to nothing.

The hosts won a corner back at the other end in the eighty-fourth minute, but the Town defences stood firm and cleared the danger, allowing a swift break; a move which culminated in Austin playing in Elbouzedi, who fired over.

Swindon continued to test the Walsall defences as the game continued, and almost secured a second goal as Kokolo played in Hepburn-Murphy, whose strike only narrowly missed the target from a tight angle.

Ryan Stirk became the first player to be shown the yellow card, as he was cautioned following a foul on Hepburn-Murphy, in the eighty-seventh minute.

Town went on to win a corner in the eighty-eighth minute, as Allen turned the ball out of play, but nothing would come of the flag-kick, as Devoy's cross-in was turned over the crossbar by McCarthy.

In the eighty-ninth minute, the Saddlers had more luck in front of goal, restoring their earlier lead as Allen crossed the ball in for Matt, who knocked it on for Johnson who picked out the far corner with a fabulous strike.

Six additional minutes were added to end the match. Five minutes into those, Swindon looked almost certain to level the scores again, as Glatzel powered his way into the area, but Evans got a leg in the way to deny him, keeping the Saddlers lead intact.

That would be the final action of note, and the game was brought to it's conclusion with Walsall winning by two-goals-to-one. A fantastic result for the Saddlers as they continue to hunt a place in the Play-Off's, though they made hard work of it.

FAAL (11')

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