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Report: Walsall 1-1 Town

28 January 2014

MICHAEL Smith rescued a point for Swindon in a 1-1 draw at Walsall.

The frontman netted in the second half after Town had fallen behind to a first-half, Romaine Sawyers strike. 

After scoring in Saturday’s victory over Shrewsbury, Michael Smith kept his place in the starting line-up while striker Nile Ranger joined him in attack. There were also starts for Louis Thompson and Jamie Reckord replacing the injured Ryan Mason and Jay McEveley respectively.

The early chances fell to the hosts: Febian Brandy miscued a volley from the angle, sending it wide while moments later, Craig Westcarr beat Wes Foderingham to a teasing cross but could only head over the crossbar. 

It was then Town’s turn to probe in search of an opening. Luongo ran at the Saddlers’ backline but lashed over then Michael Smith connected with Alex Pritchard’s deep free-kick but watched as the ball dropped just the wrong side of the post. 

With seven minutes of the first half to play, Walsall took the lead thanks to a well-worked goal. A neat passing move sliced through the Town ranks and was finished by Romaine Sawyers, who slid the ball beyond the advancing Foderingham. 

Before the half was over, Nile Ranger  climbed to meet another Pritchard free-kick but also nodded wide. 

Just short of the hour mark, Foderingham did well to stand up tall and beat away Brandy’s effort after a Saddlers’ passing move had scythed Town open at the back. 

Then, with just over 15 minutes left to play. Michael Smith grabbed the equaliser. A clearance came out to Darren Ward on the left edge of the area. He helped the bouncing ball back into the area for the arriving Smith to nod downwards beyond the grasp of O’Donnell. 

At the death, substitute Ashley Hemmings cracked a shot off the crossbar. 

Swindon Town: Foderingham, Thompson N, Branco, Ward (C), Reckord, Kasim, Luongo, Thompson L, Pritchard, Ranger, Smith

Subs: Belford, Byrne, Harley, Barthram, Barker, Storey, Gladwin

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