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Club News

Report: Town 3-3 Walsall

21 April 2015

SWINDON TOWN drew 3-3 against Walsall thanks to two Ben Gladwin penalties and Jordan Turnbull’s first goal for the Robins, writes Adrian Smith.

Gladwin’s two penalties had levelled the scores after defensive errors allowed Walsall to go ahead by two goals to nil and then Jordan Turnbull’s first Town goal equalised after Sawyers had put the Saddlers back in front.

The point consolidates Swindon’s 4th place in League One and they move onto 77 points from 43 matches played. 

Mark Cooper made two changes to his line up with Jordan Turnbull (recalled after suspension) and Yaser Kasim replacing Massimo Luongo and Michael Smith who featured on the substitutes bench.

Swindon kicked off playing towards the Town End but Walsall closed the defence down quickly and charged down Foderingham’s clearance from a Turnbull backpass although thankfully the ball went out for a goalkick.

Nathan Byrne had Town’s first attack which led to two corners in the space of a minute and Jordan Turnbull went close to opening his goalscoring account with a good header but the Saddlers keeper O’Dionnell did well to push the ball away.  The keeper made another fine save in the 6th minute from a close range shot by Gladwin who looked favourite to score but he saw his effort pushed away by the keeper.

Byrne was featuring heavily in Town’s attacking down the right wing and he earned another corner in the 11th minute when a cross was deflected behind but the short corner routine led to nothing.

A patient build up by Town in the 14th minute involving Luongo, Toffolo and Kasim eventually led to a shooting chance for Stephens but the Town centre half’s effort flew well over the Town End.

The Walsall number 12 Michael Cain tried his luck from 12 yards after latching onto a through ball but Foderingham saved easily.  However the Town keeper was at fault shortly afterwards when he allowed Kieron Morris’s effort to squirm over the line to give the Saddlers an 18th minute lead.

The game was being played at a slow pace concentrated mainly in midfield although the visitors looked the most likely to score with Tom Bradshaw testing Foderingham’s reflexes with a stinging shot which the keeper did well to push out for a corner in the 34th minute.

Town had a free kick about 25 yards from goal for a foul in the 41st minute and up stepped Anton Rodgers with a powerful dipping shot which saw the ball fly into the sidenetting with O’Donnell beaten.

Nathan Byrne had one more chance in added time after a loose ball reached him just inside the penalty area but his angled effort flew high and wide and that was the last action of the half.

The visitors started brightly with Sam Mantom going close in the 51st minute with an angled effort which saw the ball go narrowly wide of the far post. Town’s defensive frailty showed within a minute when Jordy Hiwula pressurised Sam Ricketts into conceding the ball 30yards from goal and he charged forward to double Walsall’s lead in the 52nd minute placing a shot past Foderingham.

Will Randall and Jermaine Hylton replaced Rodgers and Toffolo shortly afterwards as Mark Cooper tried to get a foothold back in the match and his prayers were answered when Hylton was fouled by the keeper and a penalty was awarded by the referee Iain Williamson. Up stepped Ben Gladwin with a really confident penalty to blast the ball to the right of the keeper to reduce the arrears in the 59th minute.

Will Randall showed a nice turn of pace in the 63rd minute to sidestep a defender about 20 yards from goal before sending an angled shot which went wide of goal.

Ben Gladwin was given a gilt edged chance to equalise for Town from the spot in the 67th minute after Byrne had been fouled in the penalty area. Gladwin then stepped up with an identical penalty to his earlier effort to fire another confident shot past O’Donnell in the Walsall goal and bring the scores level.

Andy Williams replaced Jon Obika during the break in play and the visitors then replaced Morris and Mantom with Forde and Sawyers just after Michael Cain had fired in a dipping free kick which went just over the crossbar.

Walsall edged back in front when Adam Chambers sent a superb cross to the back post where it was fired home from close range by the substitute Romaine Sawyers in the 74th minute.

Andy Williams tried his luck from the edge of the penalty area in the 76th minute but his weak effort went wide of goal.

Anthony Forde was shown a yellow card for fouling Byrne and after a short free kick routine, the ball was swung over to the far post where it was headed home in the 81st minute by  Jordan Turnbull for his first goal in Town colours and he looked understandably delighted to have scored.

Both sides were going all out for the next goal with some end to end play delighting the crowd of 6305 and the visitors earned a corner in the 87th minute after an attack down the left wing and while the ball was dead, Jordan Cook replaced Hiwula.

Wes Foderingham made a superb save from a goalbound effort by the substitute Cook at the expense of a corner which the defence cleared downfield and the Town keeper also made another fine save from a close range header by Bradshaw deep in added time.

The final whistle was greeted with a  good round of applause after Town had earned a deserved point against Walsall who also played their full part in an entertaining match.

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