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Match Reports

Match Report: Walsall 1-2 Swindon Town

4 December 2021

Match Reports

Match Report: Walsall 1-2 Swindon Town

4 December 2021

Walsall’s Emirates FA Cup journey came to an end after a narrow defeat to Swindon Town at the Banks’s Stadium.

Tyreece Simpson opened the scoring after a quarter of an hour before Emmanuel Osadebe equalised nine minutes before half-time. 

A tight affair was decided midway through the second half when Kaine Kesler-Hayden turned the ball home to send the visitors into round three. 

Matt Taylor made five changes to the team that started against Cambridge United on Tuesday night. 

Zak Mills made his first start since early October at left-back. 

Rollin Menayese and Joss Labadie came back into the team after they missed Tuesday’s Papa John’s Trophy defeat through suspension. 

Carl Rushworth and George Miller also returned to the starting XI after starting on the bench in midweek while Shay Willock also kept his place amongst the substitutes. 

There was a moving moment six minutes into the game as both sets of supporters stood for a minute’s applause in memory of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes. 

After a slow start to the game, it was the visitors who opened the scoring when Jack Payne played Tyreece Simpson through and the striker slotted the ball past Rushworth after 15 minutes. 

Walsall responded well to going behind. Kieran Phillips made a good run through the middle before he guided the ball through to Conor Wilkinson who went down under Ellis Iandolo’s challenge but the referee waved appeals for a penalty away. 

Swindon continued to be a threat going forward and had a good opportunity on 24 minutes when Iandolo fired in a powerful shot that Rushworth did well to tip over the bar. 

Wilkinson and Phillips both had decent attempts as the hosts searched for an equaliser. 

The leveller came after 36 minutes when Jack Earing and Labadie exchanged passes before the former sent in a cross that was met by the head of Osadebe who guided it home. 

Walsall had their tales up after the goal but couldn’t find a second before the break and the first half ended all square. 

The first chance of the second half fell to Wilkinson who dragged a shot wide on 52 minutes. 

Swindon grew into the half and started to enjoy more of the ball as the half went on. 

They made that possession count and re-took the lead on 66 minutes when Simpson kept the ball alive from a wayward shot before he sent it back into the area where Kesler-Hayden was placed to apply the finish. 

Moments before the goal, Liam Kinsella replaced Osadebe. Taylor reacted to the second goal with a double change as he introduced Tyrese Shade and Otis Khan in place of Mills and Miller on 72 minutes. 

The Saddlers came close to another equaliser four minutes later when Phillips’ effort was saved by Wollacott and Earing’s shot on the rebound was blocked. 

The Saddlers pushed during six minutes of added time. Manny Monthe nodded the ball down to Labadie who shot on the turn but his shot was saved. 

Walsall couldn’t find a late leveller and bowed out of the FA Cup. 

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