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Match Reports

Walsall 1-0 Swindon

17 April 2017

Joe Edwards’ late winner earned the Saddlers a hard-fought victory over struggling Swindon.

Both teams had chances in a keenly-contested affair, with Jason McCarthy having an early effort cleared off the line and Craig MacGillivray making three fine stops to thwart Ben Gladwin. 

 
The decisive moment came five minutes from time as Edwards steered a low drive into the corner after good play from substitute Erhun Oztumer. 
 
The victory – our first in seven – lifts Jon Whitney’s men up to 13th. 
 
The Saddlers made a flying start, very nearly taking the lead inside the first minute. 
 
Kieron Morris’ cut-back ran for Jason McCarthy, arriving late at the far post, but his first-time effort was cleared off the line, with Isaiah Osbourne drilling the follow-up straight at Lawrence Vigouroux. 
 
Amadou Bakayoko then headed over from Joe Edwards’ deep cross as the determined hosts continued to press for an early goal. 
 
Swindon, desperately in need of points to avoid relegation, responded with Ben Gladwin testing Walsall glovesman Craig MacGillivray with a low 20-yard strike. 
 
Fankaty Dabo was next to try his luck, unleashing a fierce right-footed drive from 25 yards which flashed just wide of the near post. 
 
Town were in the ascendancy and almost went ahead on 19 minutes as Gladwin jinked past three players into the box before seeing a low shot kept out one-handed by MacGillivray. 
 
Walsall settled down after that rocky period, with Morris thrice firing straight at Vigouroux from distance. 
 
But the Robins threatened again before half-time, Charlie Colkett curling a left-footed effort inches wide from the edge of the box. 
 
Half-time: Walsall 0-0 Swindon 
 
The Saddlers sprang out of the traps again for the second half, with Morris dragging wide after good wing play from Edwards. 
 
Walsall – winless in the previous six - were looking the more likely to make the breakthrough. 
 
Eoghan O’Connell headed a corner into the arms of Vigouroux, who then held another long-range Morris strike. 
 
Amadou Bakayoko rolled his man before firing over, James O’Connor headed a deep O’Connell cross wide at the back post and Edwards curled off target. 
 
The Wiltshire club began to exert some pressure in the final quarter of an hour, with Rohan Ince thudding wide and Johnny Goddard having a deflected shot held by MacGillivray. 
 
And they almost edged in front with eight minutes remaining, but MacGillivray produced a fine finger-tip stop to turn away Gladwin’s glancing header from Colkett’s dinked cross. 
 
But it was Walsall who went ahead with five to play, Oztumer spreading the ball out wide to Edwards, who advanced into the area before steering a low drive into the far corner. 
 
Oztumer could have wrapped up victory when he ran through on goal but Rohan Ince got back to make a superb recovery tackle. 
 
Full-time: Walsall 1-0 Swindon 
 
Team: MacGillivray, O’Connor, O’Connell, Preston, McCarthy, Chambers, Osbourne (Dobson 75’), Morris, Edwards, Bakayoko, Makris (Oztumer 72’). 
 
Subs not used: Ganley, Laird, Jackson, Hayles-Docherty, Candlin. 
 
Attendance: 5,196 (913 Swindon supporters).

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