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Report: Town 4-1 Villa XI

2 August 2014

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SWINDON rounded off their pre-season programme with an emphatic 4-1 victory over an Aston Villa XI at The County Ground.

A double from Ben Gladwin and a strike from Andy Williams handed Town the win after Louis Thompson had opened the scoring in the first half.

Town made two changes to the starting line-up that had taken to the field against Leeds United. Out went Massimo Luongo and Andy Williams, with the latter dropping to the bench and Luongo not being risked due a slight hamstring strain. Their replacements were Ben Gladwin and George Barker.

Mark Cooper’s men were on the attack early on when Nathan Byrne picked out Michael Smith in the box but the striker could only direct his header straight at Villa goalkeeper, Brad Watkins.

Foderingham had to be alert at the other end to keep out a shot from Michael Drennan before Nathan Thompson worked himself a yard of space on the edge of the box and drilled a shot over the bar.

Town continued to probe at the Villa backline and Gladwin forced a smart save out of Watkins with a thunderous shot from the right-hand angle of the box.

With half time looming, the home side took the lead. Wes Foderingham raced off his line as Villa broke forward to intercept the ball and set Town on the attack again. The loose ball broke to Louis Thompson and the midfielder set off on a driving run at the heart of the visitors’ defence before arrowing a shot into the bottom corner of the net, beyond the grasp of the diving Watkins.

Early in the second half, Yaser Kasim struck a free-kick over the bar while Michael Smith couldn’t quite get on to Louis Thompson’s neat through-ball.

Foderingham was also called into action, keeping out Joe Bennett’s free-kick.

Just after the hour mark, Swindon doubled their advantage. Michael Smith’s shot was parried by Watkins into the path of the onrushing Ben Gladwin and the midfielder rattled in Town’s second of the afternoon.

Minutes later, the visitors were back in it when Bennett, denied earlier by Foderingham, hooked home from a corner.

With just over 15 minutes to play, substitute Andy Williams restored the Town’s two-goal advantage. After being played through on goal, he calmly struck his shot across the goalkeeper and into the far corner of the net.

Gladwin then added a bit of gloss to the scoreline with a well-taken fourth for the Town. Picking up the ball 20 yards out, he drove a left-footed effort into the corner of the net.

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