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MATCH REPORT: Swindon Town 1-2 Salford City

Tough afternoon for the Reds

26 February 2022

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Swindon Town suffered a tough 2-1 loss to Salford City in the EFL Sky Bet League Two at The County Ground this afternoon.

There were not too many golden opportunities in a scoreless first-half, but Harry McKirdy's header gave the hosts the lead with 10 minutes gone after the break.

However, Liam Shephard and Ryan Watson both found the back of the net in the second-half to give Salford the win and all three points.

For the third straight game Head Coach Ben Garner named an unchanged Starting XI, refusing to tinker with a team that had scored 11 goals and kept three straight clean sheets.

It was a tightly-contested start to the game with both teams battling for the ball in the middle of the pitch, with neither side giving an inch.

Clear-cut chances were few and far between with Matt Smith flicking a tame header at Jojo Wollacott, while Josh Davison did brilliantly to keep the ball from going out of play at the other end under pressure, but his eventual shot was blocked and deflected into the arms of Tom King.

Ricky Aguiar drove forward into space and opted to pull the trigger, but his shot lacked power and it was an easy enough save for King.

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Salford nearly and should have took the lead with half-an-hour played as Matt Smith sent a header against the bar from Ash Hunter's cross, and Wollacott did superbly to get across to claw away Liam Shephard's rebound attempt on the line.

Town responded as Louie Barry's through ball found Harry McKirdy who had space to get a shot away, but the forward's effort was blocked by the legs of King.

Salford arguably had the better of the chances in the first-half and they came closest before the break, with Ryan Watson running onto a loose ball before smashing a strike towards goal, which clipped off the post and went out of play, signalling the end of the first-half. 

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HALF-TIME: SWINDON TOWN 0-0 SALFORD CITY

Town came out swinging in the second-half and they came close to taking the lead with Aguiar letting rip from 30-yards out, forcing King into a fine save.

Ellis Iandolo then saw his deflected shot tipped around the post by King, with the resulting corner leading to the first goal of the game as McKirdy was able to head home at the back post from a Joe Tomlinson delivery.

Town nearly doubled their lead moments later as a low cross found Barry at the back post, but he was met by the onrushing King who was able to get to the ball first and clear the danger.

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However, it was the visitors who scored next with Liam Shephard smashing home from close-range from Ash Hunter's pinpoint cross.

Town then made a change as Harry McKirdy made way for Jonny Williams, before Aguiar dragged a shot wide after being teed up by Iandolo.

Another change swiftly followed with Jayden Mitchell-Lawson replacing Louie Barry, but it didn't have the desired effect with Watson flicking home from a corner to give the visitors a late lead.

Town made one final change with Harry Parsons replacing Rob Hunt, but it proved too little too late with Salford holding on to return home with all three points.

FULL-TIME: SWINDON TOWN 1-2 SALFORD CITY

TEAMS AND STATS

SWINDON TOWN STARTING XI - Wollacott; Iandolo, Davison, McKirdy (Jonny Williams 66), Cooper, O'Brien, Barry (Jayden Mitchell-Lawson 77), Tomlinson, Hunt (C) (Harry Parsons 89), Reed, Aguiar.

SUBS NOT USED - Ward, Odimayo, Baudry, East.

SCORERS - Harry McKirdy (55).

SALFORD CITY STARTING XI - King; Lowe (C), Ndaba, Watson, Hunter (Conor McAleny 78), Turnbull, Kelly, Smith (Luke Bolton 70), Shephard (Matty Lund 70), Thomas-Asante, Vassell.

SUBS NOT USED - Torrance, Love, Touray, Loughlan.

SCORERS - Liam Shephard (66), Ryan Watson (85).

BOOKED - Stephen Kelly.

REFEREE - John Busby. 

Attendance - 10,153 (94 Away Fans). 


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