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Club News

Report: Town 1-0 Preston

4 November 2014

SWINDON TOWN beat fellow promotion candidates Preston North End by one goal to nil thanks to Andy Williams’s 84th minute headed goal, writes Adrian Smith.

The visitors had arrived in second place in League One but Town put in a good solid performance to move onto 29 points from 15 matches played.    

Mark Cooper made two changes to his starting line up after defeat in the previous match with Nathan Byrne replaced by Harry Toffolo at left back and Ben Gladwin starting in place of Amari’i Bell. Preston kicked off with the new yellow winter ball playing towards the Town End and the visitors made a lively start with Joe Garner heading goalwards from Humphrey’s cross and when Foderingham parried the header, Paul Gallagher’s shot went narrowly over the bar.

The visitors had a corner in the 6th minute when Humphrey’s cross from the right wing was turned behind but Turnbull was able to clear the loose ball when it was crossed.

Jon Obika had Town’s first shot of the night when he fired wide from the angle of the penalty area and Preston responded through John Welsh who fired in a low shot from the left wing which Foderingham did well to push away.

Town enjoyed a lengthy spell of possession after Ben Gladwin had started the move on the right wing and several Robins players knocked the ball around in midfield before it was eventually lost just outside the penalty area.

The Robins continued to keep Preston back in their own half for several minutes without being able to get a shot on goal as the match reached the 20th minute.

Toffolo started another attack for Town on the left wing in the 27th minute when he passed to Louis Thompson on the left wing who turned a defender before advancing into the penalty area and squared the ball which eventually reached Obika but his shot on the turn lacked power and was easily caught by Preston keeper Jamie Jones.

Preston eventually launched an attack in the 30th minute which led to a 25 yard free kick awarded for a foul and that was taken by Buchanan but his effort flew wide of the left hand upright.

Louis Thompson launched an attack for Town in the 33rd minute charging through midfield but his final shot lacked power and was easily saved.

Ben Gladwin earned a corner for Town in the 35th minute when his cross was tipped behind by the keeper but the resulting low cross was easily headed away by the defence.

Harry Toffolo did well to tackle Humphrey who was charging towards goal in the penalty area but the on loan defender timed his tackle perfectly and flicked the ball out for a corner which was cleared by the defence.

Jordan Turnbull did well to cut out a dangerous attack as Garner advanced on goal and the Town defender knocked the ball out for a corner which the Town defence cleared.

Town pressed forward as the match entered the 45th minute and Luongo was denied by some determined defending on the edge of the area with defenders throwing themselves in front of his shot.

There was just time in added time for a Town to gain a corner when a cross was deflected behind but the visiting defence cleared the ball just before the whistle was blown by referee Oliver Langford.

Town’s first attack in 47th minute saw Smith head goalwards but the ball deflected off a defender for a corner but the cross was cleared.

Nathan Thompson was lectured by the referee after fouling Garner about 10 yards outside the penalty area and when the free kick was taken, Foderingham missed his punch but a defender cleared the ball to save the danger.

Michael Smith was denied by a fine save made by Jamie Jones in the 56th minute after Smith had sidestepped a defender and fired goalwards but the keeper pushed the ball out for a corner.

Shortly afterwards Preston’s Garner shot from the edge of the area was headed away by a Town defender with the game having opened up more as Preston pushed forward.

Michael Smith was denied in the 60th minute by Jones’s instinctive save made by his foot after the Town midfielder had fired in a hard low shot from the edge of the area and the ball spilled out for a corner.

Neil Kilkenny was the first player to get cautioned for a dangerous tackle on Toffolo in the 63rd minute and was replaced shortly afterwards by Josh Brownhill. The Preston manager Simon Grayson also replaced Humphrey with Kyel Reid.

Wes Foderingham did well to keep out a powerful header by Garner in the 66th minute before launching an attack downfield and that led to a corner after Michael Smith’s attempted cross was deflected behind.

Yaser Kasim was presented with a shooting opportunity from 25 yards when Town were awarded a freekick for a foul but his effort went high over the bar.

Andy Williams replaced Obika in the 71st minute and left the field to good applause.

Preston threatened shortly afterwards but a lack of control in attack lost the initiative for them

Jack Stephens saw yellow for an off the ball trip on Brownhill although the referee played a good advantage for the visitors allowing their attack to continue and then retrospectively brandished the card when the ball went out of play in the 74th minute.

Preston earned a corner when John Welsh’s shot was deflected behind but Town eventually cleared downfield where the ball was eventually passed to Gladwin on the right wing but his powerful cross evaded the Town forwards.

Town’s pressure paid off when Ben Gladwin’s cross flicked off a defender and sat up nicely for Andy Williams to head home from 8 yards. This was Williams’s 9th goal of the season in the 84th minute to lift the spirits of the Robins faithful in the crowd of 6649.

Seasoned campaigner Kevin Davies replaced Paul Gallagher in the 86th minute as Preston looked to try and retrieve something from the match.

Andy Williams was looking fired up after his goal and he ran 40 yards down the left wing before unleashing a dipping shot which went just wide of the goal as the match entered the 90th minute.

Swindon continued to push forward as the match entered the 4 minutes of added time although Ben Gladwin was shown a yellow card for time wasting at a throw in near the dugouts.

David Buchanan tried his luck for the visitors with a long range shot which flew wide much to the crowd’s amusement just before the final whistle was blown to seal a superb win over Preston who started the match in 2nd place.

The win moves the Robins onto 29 points, just two behind Preston and they now look forward to the FA Cup 1st Round match at Cheltenham Town on Saturday 8th November.

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