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MATCH REPORT: Salford City 1-2 Swindon Town

Wakeling wonder-goal sees Town battle hard to come from behind and beat Salford…

18 February 2023

Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: Salford City 1-2 Swindon Town

Wakeling wonder-goal sees Town battle hard to come from behind and beat Salford…

18 February 2023

Swindon Town recovered from conceding an early Salford goal to bounce back and claim and much-needed 2-1 victory over The Ammies, with striker Jacob Wakeling ending his goal drought with an astonishing close range finish.

Town fell behind after just four minutes as Ryan Watson converted with a neat finish after a clever City move, but Wakeling’s super strike and an Elliot Watt own goal in the second half proved enough to see Town prevail and end a run of three straight league defeats.

Jody Morris made just two changes to his starting line-up from the midweek loss to Sutton United, with Dylan Kadji missing out through illness and Luke Jephcott moving to the bench, which paved the way for Jake Cain and Wakeling to replace them.

Just four minutes had passed when the home crowd were treated to a goal, as a clever pass inside the Town area from Ethan Galbraith was dummied by a team mate before Ryan Watson stole in to stroke the ball low past Sol Brynn and into the bottom right hand corner, and Swindon had an early mountain to climb.

Not to be deterred by the early blow, Swindon played some neat football, but almost found themselves town down on 11-minutes, as the hosts cleared their lines from a George McEachran corner and broke at pace, but Ibou Touray, sent clear by Conor McAleny, would only see his attempted low cross in the area blocked well by Ciaran Brennan.

Morris’ side were seeing their fair share of the ball as the following 10-minutes ensued, but were still unable to create any clear-cut chances on the Salford goal.

With Town continuing to work the ball into pockets to create space and take the patient approach, they were finally rewarded on 26-minutes with a moment of brilliance from Jacob Wakeling.

A cross into the Salford box from the right by Remeao Hutton was acrobatically flicked into the bottom left hand corner of the net by the forward with his back to goal, and Town were level with their first opportunity on target.

Four minutes later however, City could have been level, as a dangerous whipped free-kick from the right into the Swindon box found Matt Smith, who clattered the left post with his header, but fortunately, it was neither on target or onside, and the score remained one-all.

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But the Town equaliser seemed to spark Salford into life, and they created thee chances in quick succession.

On 29-minutes, a whipped free-kick from the right into the Robins penalty area found the head of Matt Smith, but the six-foot six-inch striker saw his effort bounce off the left hand post and out to safety, although it wouldn’t have counted with the linesman’s flag raised for offside.

However, this should have been a warning for Town, as the forward would come close on a further two occasions shortly after.

On 34-minutes, a dangerous short corner was whipped to the back post at pace, only for Smith to direct his header wide of the mark under pressure from Frazer Blake-Tracy.

Then, a minute later, the former Millwall and QPR man struck the underside of the crossbar after holding off his marker and striking one off-balance from close range, but Town, short of luck of late, were certainly grateful of City’s misfortune.

That proved the last chance of a hectic first period, with Wakeling’s moment of class getting Town back on level terms after the early setback.

Salford made a change at the break as Conor McAleny was replaced by Callum Hendry, and just four minutes into the second period, Town were dealt a huge blow as Frazer Blake-Tracy was forced off with an injury he’d picked up in the first half, with Ronan Darcy coming on in his place.

Salford threatened first after the restart, as a quick break from Neil Wood’s side saw Manchester United loanee Ethan Galbraith break free in the box, only for his low left-footed shot to be easily saved by Brynn, with the effort lacking power.

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And moments after that, Swindon took the lead, as substitute Ronan Darcy was sent clear down the right flank, and with the ground in front of him opening up, his low shot on goal was deflected past his own keeper by Elliot Watt, and Town were 2-1 up.

The game began to open up somewhat after this, with the following 10-minutes a mix of loose touches and misplaced passes, but Salford were growing back into the game slightly, something Town were keen to avoid given the way their last two games have gone.

On 74-minutes, an in swinging corner from the right was met well by Theo Vassell, but the defender could only nod the ball past the left post.

Three minutes later, Matt Smith had another good opportunity to open his account for the afternoon, latching on to a low cross from the right by Luke Bolton, but from close range, he sent his effort high over the bar.

With the clock ticking, Morris made another change, as Tyrese Shade, returning from injury, replaced the energetic George McEachran, who’d put in another solid Robins’ shift.

Five minutes of normal time remained when Town finally managed to create another chance of their own, with great work from Jacob Wakeling on the left side seeing him turn and tee up Charlie Austin on the edge of the box, but the forward could only fire over from just outside the box.

Charlie Austin and Jacob Wakeling made way as reached the ninety, with Luke Jepchott and Tomi Adeloye coming on in their place, before seven minutes of added time were confirmed, making for a nervy end to the clash.

But Swindon held firm to see the game out, and claim a huge victory that ends a run of three straight league defeats, and marks Jody Morris’ first win as Town Head Coach.

MATCH INFORMATION:

Salford City Line-up: 4-2-3-1

12. Alex Cairns (GK) – 4. Jason Lowe, 16. Ethan Galbraith (27. Callum Morton 68mins), 42. Theo Vassell, 3. Ibou Touray ©, 7. Ryan Watson (14. Stephen Mallan 78mins), 6. Elliot Watt, 18. Conor McAleny (9. Callum Hendry 45mins), 24. Luke Bolton, 38. Shane McLoughlin (20. Louie Barry 68mins), 17. Matt Smith (8. Matthew Lund 78mins).

Subs not used: 13. Giosue Bellagambi (GK) – 26. Ryan Leak.

Scorers: Watson 4

Yellow Cards: 6. Watt 48mins, 7. Watson 59mins

Red Cards: None 

Swindon Town Line-up: 5-3-2

1. Sol Brynn (GK) – 20. Frazer Blake-Tracy (10. Ronan Darcy 45mins), 4. Tom Clayton, 34. Ciaran Brennan, 3. Ellis Iandolo, 2. Remeao Hutton, 16. Jake Cain, 23. Saidou Khan, 5. George McEachran (28. Tyrese Shade 80mins), 24. Jacob Wakeling (9. Tomi Adeloye 90mins), 11. Charlie Austin © (15. Luke Jephcott 89mins).

Subs not used: 41. Jack Copland (GK) – 31. Harrison Minturn, 17. Ricky Aguiar.

Scorers: Wakeling 26, Watt og 55

Yellow Cards: 24. Wakeling 70mins, 2. Hutton 88mins

Red Cards: None

HT: 1-1

Referee: Will Finnie

Assistant Referees: Gareth Viccars & Bradley Hall

Fourth Official: Conor Brown

Attendance: 3,008 (715 away fans)


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