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MATCH REPORT: Walsall 0-0 Swindon Town

Town pick up important away point but are unable to find the breakthrough in West Midlands stalemate…

14 March 2023

Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: Walsall 0-0 Swindon Town

Town pick up important away point but are unable to find the breakthrough in West Midlands stalemate…

14 March 2023

Swindon Town bounced back from defeat at the weekend to pick up a hard-fought point in a goalless draw at out of form Walsall.

With not too many clear-cut chances in a game with two sides frustrating one another, a point for the Robins won’t be seen as the ideal outcome, but adds to the tally to keep their play-off hopes alive.

The Town side was switched up again by First-Team Head Coach Jody Morris as he made four changes from the weekends defeat to Carlisle.

Harrison Minturn, Charlie Austin, Jake Cain and Rushian Hepburn-Murphy made way for Ronan Darcy, Luke Jephcott, Marcel Lavinier and Tyrese Shade, with Jonny Williams handed the captains armband.

Having lost twice to The Saddlers already this season, Town were keen to avenge defeats in the league reverse at the County Ground and Carabao Cup at The Bescot to get their play-off charge back on track.

And the travelling Town fans were in fantastic voice as the game got underway, with a chance apiece for both sides in the opening 10-minutes.

After eight, Liam Kinsella met a Liam Riley corner from the left but sent his header high over the bar, before Marcel Lavinier tried his luck at the other end, cutting in from left just outside the box before unleashing one at goal, but it was easily gathered by Saddlers stopper Owen Evans.

Town enjoyed a solid spell of possession for the next 10-minutes that followed, although Tom Knowles looked to lift the home crowd as he received the ball on the right from Matt Stevens and cut inside on his left, but his low effort was scooped up well by Sol Brynn.

We then saw two Town chances in the space of a minute as we reached the 24th, as first Jonny Williams shot high a wide from a good position on the edge of the Saddlers area, before a probing run from deep by Remeao Hutton saw him outpace his markers to create space for a shot, but his effort was easily held by Evans.

On 35-minutes the hosts had the ball in the back of the net, but fortunately for Town and Sol Brynn, Matt Stevens flick from Donervon Daniels initial header was judged offside, despite the ball squirming through the stoppers legs and over the line.

Three minutes of added time were added, and we saw two more chances before referee Martin Woods called time on the first 45.

Firstly, Jacob Wakeling found himself in space inside the Saddlers box, but was unable to generate any power on his goalward strike, before Jacob Maddox found Monthe in space in the Robins area, but his first-time effort rolled past the right post with Brynn outstretched.

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That was the last action, and the first period ended goalless.

With the tie getting back underway, Morris’ side were caught knapping with just seconds on the clock with Walsall almost capitalising, as Liam Kinsella spread the ball to Stevens on the edge of the box and forced Brynn into a smart save to avert his strike.

Walsall made a double change in the second half on the hour mark as Mike Flynn brought on Liam Gordon and Conor Wilkinson to freshen things up, but it was Tom Brewitt who tried his luck next, connecting with a George McEachran corner on the left, but he was unable to get his header on target.

On 62-minutes, Walsall defender Donervon Daniels looked to open the scoring, as he found himself with the ball at his feet inside the box following a corner on the right, but on the turn, he sent his effort over the bar.

On 73-minutes, Jody Morris brought on some fresh legs with striker Charlie Austin coming on, along with Rushian Hepburn-Murphy and Harrison Minturn, as Town headed into a crucial period of the game with the tie still evenly poised.

As we reached the final 10-minutes, Town looked the better of the two, as Hepburn-Murphy headed wide of the mark on 83 and Ronan Darcy stung the fingertips of Owen Evans moments later with a long range strike, but still they couldn’t find the all-important breakthrough.

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The final chance of the game was to fall to Swindon Town in the final minute of four added, with Jacob Wakeling doing well to drive towards to the left by-line and cut the ball back for Charlie Austin, but despite beating his marker to the ball, he sent his first-time strike agonisingly wide in front of the 883 travelling Town faithful.

It finished goalless with both sides having to settle for a point apiece and neither able to claim that illusive win.

MATCH INFORMATION:

Walsall Line-up: 4-1-2-1-2

  1. Owen Evans (GK) – 7. Joe Riley, 6. Emmanuel Monthe, 24. Josh Low (3. Liam Gordon 57mins), 5. Donervon Daniels ©, 23. Isaac Hutchinson, 14. Brandon Comley, 8. Liam Kinsella, 16. Jacob Maddox (15. Douglas James-Taylor 79mins), 10. Tom Knowles, 20. Matt Stevens (9. Conor Wilkinson 58mins).

Subs not used: 12. Jackson Smith (GK) – 11. Andy Williams, 18. Oisin McEntee, 42. Yann Songo’o.

Scorers: None

Yellow Cards: 16. Hutchinson 53mins, 14. Comley 55mins.

Red Cards: None

Swindon Town Line-up: 4-1-2-3

  1. Sol Brynn (GK) – 22. Marcel Lavinier (31. Harrison Minturn 73mins), 4. Tom Clayton, 12. Tom Brewitt, Remeao Hutton, 5. George McEachran, Jonny Williams © (16. Jake Cain 78mins), 10. Ronan Darcy, 24. Jacob Wakeling, 28. Tyrese Shade (19. Rushian Hepburn-Murphy 73mins), 15. Luke Jephcott (11. Charlie Austin 73mins).

Subs not used: 41. Jack Copland (GK) – 21. Dylan Kadji, 9. Tomi Adeloye.

Scorers: None

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

HT: 0-0

Referee: Martin Woods

Assistant Referees: Michael Webb & Abbas Khan

Fourth Official: Joe Simpson

Attendance: 5,703 (883 Town fans)


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