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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: SHREWSBURY TOWN 3-3 SWINDON TOWN

14 November 2020

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Matt Smith struck late in added time, as Swindon recovered from a two-goal deficit twice to earn their first away point of the season.

It looked to be another miserable day on the road for the Reds, after Aaron Pierre and Matt Millar both scored within the first 16 minutes of the first-half, as well as Dave Edwards restoring the two-goal deficit in the early stages of the second half. 

But Town grew into the game and wonderful efforts from Joel Grant, Hallam Hope and a last-minute deflected strike from Smith, gave the Reds a very well deserved first away point of the season.

First-half:

Hallam Hope held the ball up excellently, before cutting back to Jonny Smith, whose bending effort sailed just over the bar in what was the first real chance of the match.

However, Shrewsbury regrouped after the near miss and opened the scoring in the eleventh minute. 

Charlie Daniels’ in-swinging corner found Aaron Pierre at the back post, and the Shrews right-back bundled the ball in from close range to give the home side the lead.

Shrews did not hold back, and it did not take long for Sam Ricketts’ side to double their advantage.

Unsurprisingly it was another Daniels corner which caused problems in the Swindon defence. The move ended with his former Bournemouth teammate Marc Pugh bending in an inviting cross for Matt Millar to head home.

Town withstood a lot of Shrews pressure but grew into the game as the first-half went on.

Hope and Jonny Smith combined well with Hope holding the ball up and laying back to Smith, who steadied himself and only just fired over the crossbar.

Town kept on pushing and halved the deficit in the closing stages of the first half.

Joel Grant controlled a lofted pass beautifully and got in behind the defence; and showed great composure to take it past two defenders and fire past Harry Burgoyne in the Shrews goal.

It was a strong end for what was a very challenging start to the contest, and the Reds went into the break chasing only one goal.

Second-half:

The opening ten minutes of the second-half was very cagey with both teams struggling against the horrendous Shrewsbury weather.

But, just like the first-half, Shrewsbury scored within the opening ten minutes to reinstate their two-goal cushion.

Midfielder Dave Edwards timed his run onto the edge of the Reds’ penalty area perfectly and bent the ball into the top left-hand corner.

But there was more excitement with the Reds responding to the goal brilliantly and bringing the deficit back to one goal.

Hope received the ball twenty-five yards out on the left-hand side of the penalty area, moved the ball out of his feet and smashed a bending effort past the flying Burgoyne into the far corner of the goal.

Town looked the stronger of the two sides in the last 15 minutes of the match and came agonisingly close to finding the equaliser.

Joel Grant, who terrorised the Shrewsbury defence all game, bamboozled three defenders and found the lurking Matt Smith on the edge of the penalty area, and the midfielder’s crisp low drive only just went past the near post.

The Reds were getting closer and closer and Pitman was only a matter of inches away from bringing Swindon level.

Rob Hunt found the Town number eight as he held off the defender and with his back to goal, and hooked a first-time volley which only just flew wide of the far post.

A matter of seconds later, time appeared to stand still as Matt Smith’s shot from the edge of the area deflected of two Shrewsbury defenders and crawled towards a wrong-footed Burgoyne, however, the goalkeeper just about recovered to gather the ball to safety.

One minute later time seemed to stand still as Rob Hunt’s cross fell kindly to Jonny Smith five yards out, who was miraculously foiled by Burgoyne who somehow kept his side in front.

The fourth official signalled four added minutes to play, and then the goal came.

Matt Smith, who had so many shots blocked by the determined Shrews defence, was found on the edge of the box by Hope, and the Arsenal loanee’s right footed strike deflected of a defender and looped over Burgoyne.

Town recovered from the poor start to the match and earned their first away point in League One.


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