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Walsall 0 Swindon 0 - Report

Walsall's lack of finishing power and decisiveness in front of goal meant they once again disappointed in front of the home fans against play off chasing Swindon.

Brandon Comley
Brandon Comley

The stalemate, for the second home game running and the fourth time in a row they haven't scored, did little to warm the Bescot faithful, or put in mind the thought of buying a season ticket for the next campaign.

Although Walsall were the equal of Swindon, who were poor for a side looking to move up, they didn't really look like scoring other than when Matty Stevens had a one-on-one chance to beat the goalkeeper just after the break.

Walsall boss Michael Flynn dropped Liam Gordon, Douglas James Taylor,, Andy Williams and Hayden White after a lack-lustre performance at Stevenage.

And it was a return to the Bescot for Tyrese Shade who spent the 2021-22 season on loan from Leicester but joined Swindon in the summer.

The facts were stark, with Walsall on a run of 11 league games without a win since beating Mansfield 2-1 at home on New Year's Day, though eight of those were drawn.

Since Danny Johnson was recalled by Mansfield from his loan, Walsall had played nine games and scored five goals, failing to score in six of the games.

Isaac Hutchinson

Swindon were chasing what seemed possible to Walsall a few weeks ago – a play off place but had a lot to do, starting the game in eleventh place, six points off Salford City in seventh. Their hopes had been dented with a 2-1 home defeat against Grimsby on Saturday.

If Walsall started badly on Saturday when they were two down in 20 minutes, it looked a lot better against Swindon, with the Saddlers new line up doing their best to create chances in the opening period of the game, forcing a couple of corners which came to nothing.

Swindon were restricted to breakaways early on with Marcel Lavinier getting the first shot of the game in, though it was easily saved low by Owen Evans.

Tom Knowles and Liam Kinsella were looking creative for Walsall and it was Knowles who got Walsall's first shot in on goal on 21 minutes when he cut inside but again it didn't really trouble Sol Brynn.

Walsall almost had the ball in the net on 34 minutes when Isaac Hutchinson put a corner in which Matty Stevens headed towards goal, the ball going under the legs of Brynn who just about grabbed it at the second attempt although the flag was up.

In first half injury time both Jake Wakeling for Swindon and Manny Monthe for Walsall putting shots just wide but the first half justifiably ended even.

Just after the break Walsall probably should have been a goal up when Tom Knowles stole possession right from the kick off and put Stevens away who bore down on goal – he forced Brynn into a decent save but the fact it didn't go in said a lot about why Walsall are where they are.

Isaac Hutchinson

The second half quickly settled in to the same pattern as the second, both teams frantically attacking but with very little good deliveries to the forwards or poise in the box.

Walsall made a double substitution on 56 minutes, Gordon and Conor Wilkinson coming on, with the former immediately slotting into the wing back role but the game not really threatening to explode into life.

Similar to the Bradford game last Tuesday, this was a better performance from Walsall than the preceding one but although some of the build up play was good but there was little to suggest they could finish a chance off should it come.

Swindon pressed into the last ten minutes and Evans was needed to be on his guard to save a snap shot from one of the visiting substitutes, Rushian Hepburn-Murphy on 82 minutes.

Just two minutes later, Ronan Darcy was given time and space to advance to the outside of the box and produce a shot which Evans did really well to parry away as Swindon sensed they might be able to sneak a goal they barely deserved.

Right on the final whistle deep into injury time they had a shout for a penalty when Joe Riley controlled the ball in the box, and then Charlie Austin flashed a shot just wide of the near post with the last kick of the game.

It would have been harsh on Walsall but unsurprising the way their luck has been going lately, though some of that has been of their own making by not being able to put teams away and that seems set to continue, with the visit of Gillingham a not very attractive prospect on Saturday.


Walsall (4-3-3) Evans, Daniels, Monthe, Riley, Kinsella, Knowles, Comley, Maddox (James-Taylor 79), Stevens (Wilkinson 56), Hutchinson, Low (Gordon 56)

Subs not used: Smith (GK), Williams, Songo'o

Swindon Town (4-3-3): Brynn, Hutton, Clayton, McEachran, Williams (Cain 77), Darcy, Brewitt, Jephcott (Austin 72), Lavinier (Minturn 72), Wakeling, Shade (Hepburn-Murphy 72)

Subs not used: Copland (GK), Adeeloye, Austin, Cain, Kadji,

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