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HEAD TO HEAD: Goals galore in Robins v Saddlers
6:00am Friday 8th March 2013 in Sport
IF goals are what you’re after, this fixture more often than not delivers.
In the 45 meetings between Swindon Town and Walsall at the County Ground the two sides have registered exactly 150 times between them, an average of better than three a game.
In the early years of this clash, the Saddlers must have learnt to dread a trip to Wiltshire. They lost on each of their first five visits to SN1, conceding a remarkable total of 20 goals in that period.
Swindon legend Harry Morris was Town’s destroyer-in-chief during that spell. The prolific forward hit hat-tricks in a 5-0 win in October 1927 and a 5-1 victory in September 1928, before scoring again in the 3-1 success of April 5, 1930 and notching a brace in a 4-3 triumph six months later.
Walsall finally got their first win in style in 1939, but it took until the 1950s for the Saddlers to really stamp their superiority over their hosts.
Once they had their upper hand, however, they kept it for the best part of a decade. In the nine matches players between the teams at the County Ground between 1951 and 1959, Swindon only won once and were beaten by Walsall on five occasions.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Swindon re-established control with a run of five straight victories - the last of which, another 5-1 success in April 1976, featured the extraordinary feat of a hat-trick of penalties by Trevor Anderson.
Over the past 10 years the contest has been fairly even, with Swindon winning three, Walsall winning three and there being six draws out of the last 12 matches.
A certain Michael Carrick, now dominating midfields in the Premier League with Manchester United, scored the final goal of his loan spell with Town from West Ham in a 1-1 draw in December 1999.
The past two games between the teams at the County Ground have ended in draws, the last one a goalless draw on March 5, 2011 - coincidentally the first home game for then-new Town boss Paul Hart. Kevin MacDonald makes his home debut as manager tomorrow.