Express & Star

Swindon 2 Walsall 0 - Report

Walsall's four-match unbeaten in the league run came to an end, as they fell to a 2-0 defeat against Swindon Town at the County Ground.


Charlie Austin opened the scoring with a free header into the top corner after only two minutes.

Mat Sadler's men were reduced to 10-men when Tom Knowles was shown two yellow cards in the space of four minutes.

Rushian Hepburn-Murphy sealed the deal for the Robins, after capitalising on an undercooked back pass from Liam Gordon to extend Swindon's unbeaten start to the campaign.

The Saddlers made the worst possible start when Austin was left unmarked to open the scoring with a free header.

Swindon v Walsall (Owen Russell)

Swindon applied intense pressure from the outset, which resulted in Hutton delivering a pinpoint cross for Austin to guide his header into the far corner.

Dan Kemp found the net after 21 minutes with a neat finish into the bottom corner, but just mistimed his run after latching onto Jake Young's pass.

Swindon v Walsall (Owen Russell)

The hosts continued to look dangerous with Austin flashing a delivery across the face of goal, although Young was unable to connect with his header.

Walsall grew into the game after absorbing pressure for the first 30 minutes. Oisin McEntee was denied by the Mahoney's fingertips and Gordon blazed over from distance after a driving run.

Freddie Draper came closest for Walsall just before the break. Gordon broke inside from the left and Draper nudged his cross towards goal at the near post, but Mahoney stooped low to produce an impressive stop.

The Saddles failed to come out with the same intensity as they did in the second half against Salford last week, and their afternoon was made harder when Knowles was dismissed.

Knowles was booked for a challenge from behind on George McEachran just after the hour mark, and was shown a second yellow four minutes later after appearing to catch Frazer Blake-Tracy.

Swindon v Walsall (Owen Russell)

Swindon stepped it up a gear towards the end of the second half, and had two chances to extend their lead in quick succession.

McEachran stung the palms of Evans from distance, before Shade cut inside and sent a powerful low shot wide of the near post.

Swindon v Walsall (Owen Russell)

And the visitors added the final nail in the coffin when Hepburn-Murphy doubled Swindon's advantage.

Gordon under hit his back pass to Evans, who did his best to intercept, but Hepburn-Murphy pounced on the loose ball to fire into the net.

Swindon Starting XI (3-4-1-2): M Mahoney; U Godwin-Malife, T Brewitt, F Blake-Tracy; R Hutton, S Khan, G McEachran, T Uwakwe (T Shade 81); D Kemp; C Austin (R Hepburn-Murphy 67), J Young.

Subs: L Ward, B Ward, B Genesini, J Cain, H Minturn.

Walsall Starting XI (3-5-1-1): O Evans; P Farquharson, D Daniels, T Allen; T Knowles, I Hutchinson, O McEntee (J Riley 80), R Stirk (D Johnson 61), L Gordon; R Tierney (A Oteh 80); F Draper (D James-Taylor 70).

Subs: J Smith, D Okagbue, J Matt.

Referee: Matt Corlett

Attendance: 9,131 (641)