Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text SWINDON NEWS to 80360 or email us
MATCHDAY LIVE: Swindon Town v Walsall
Updated 6:07pm Saturday 9th March 2013 in Sport
This live event has finished
- REPORTING BY SAM MORSHEAD & ANDY WARREN
- Swindon Town 2 (Williams 11, Ferry 79) Walsall 2 (Grigg pen 31, Paterson 90)
- Ferry put Town back in front before Paterson levelled things again
- Striker Williams gave Town an early lead before Grigg equalised from the spot
- Swindon boss MacDonald makes home debut
- Robins could go top of table with a win
- Saddlers have won eight of their last 11 games
That's it from us for today, ladies and gents. A disappointing result for Swindon, especially given the position they found themselves in with five minutes remaining.
However, the Robins have not lost ground on second place and a win at Brentford on Tuesday would be a huge result in their push for automatic promotion.
Join us from Griffin Park for all the best coverage of that game but until then goodnight.
Defender Jay McEveley was cursing his side's luck after today's game when he spoke to the media.
“It’s disappointing because we fought so hard, but apparently the penalty was a dubious one and we found ourselves at 1-1, then we took the lead and got pegged back again, he said.
“We have been waiting for a bit of luck today for a while, and it has come but unfortunately we could hold onto it.
“It was a great ball in for them, and he has powered in the header and to be fair it was a good header.
“We always play the same way and our attitude and desire to win the game is the same home and away, and we have to sit down and discuss why.
“The manager is big on getting us onto the ball and passing then working it up to the strikers and making something happen from there.
“We need to put the ball in the back of the net, and get used to the way he wants us to play, but we are all good players so we should be able to do it.
“An impact sub or someone who can make something happen might be what we need, and we will see if it can happen.”
Midfielder Simon Ferry was not happy with his own personal performance this afternoon, despite scoring Town's second goal.
“When you are 2-1 with five to go you shouldn’t end up drawing and we should have won," he said.
“We can’t be throwing away points like that at home, and all the boys are disappointed.
“It’s hard to put our fingers on it, but we need to pick things up because teams that get promoted win at home.
“There are no easy games in this league, and some teams get themselves behind the ball and then hit us on the counter attack, which seems to work.
“I didn’t play well, but I try and get in the box and I’m delighted to be scoring some goals.
“The manager wants us to try and get in behind them and get on the ball, but I’m not sure I did it well enough.
“He wants me on the ball as much as I can and wander anywhere, I’m tucked in and he doesn’t want me playing wide and wants me to get behind the strikers.”
Youth team players Connor Waldon and Alex Ferguson were in the matchday squad for today's game, and althought they didn't make the bench, Thompson believes the experience will help them.
“It’s fantastic to see, and the young guys came and trained with us twice last week," he said.
“I remember what it was like to be in the first-team squad, and it will do a lot of them.
“Paul Bodin will have prepared them well, and hopefully we will be seeing a lot more of them.”
Defender Nathan Thompson came off this afternoon with a knee injury, which will be assessed tomorrow.
“Not too sure, I jumped for a header and did something to my knee cap, but we will see in the morning," he said.
“It’s disappointing the goal went against us because we deserved a win.
“With our defensive record to concede two is very disappointing, and we have been fantastic all season which is why it hurts so badly.
“We will work hard across the weekend, and Tuesday’s game is a huge one after today’s results because we could have gone second.”
Didnt feel like Town would hold on with ten to go. Clean sheets are a necessity when near the top, look at Sheffield United #stfcadver— @calbrowntown 09 March 2013
Town boss Kevin MacDonald has spoken to the media after today's game, and admitted his team should have won after leading twice.
“In the end it doesn’t matter if we deserved it or not the score was 2-2. We are disappointed, but these things happen," he said.
“We got stretched looking for the third goal and it was a good cross, but I think we deserved all three points.
“I thought the penalty was a bit harsh and I will have to see it again, but when you lead twice you should kick on and win.
“Home form is very important, and most teams have a better home record than they do away, but it’s not for the want of trying.
“It’s important to get away points too, and we need to get our heads down and keep going to pick up points.
“We are where we are and I don’t know when we can get some in, I have one or two in mind I would like to get in, but we will have to see.
“It was disappointing not to be able to see the whole game through, but we move on.
“You never get too high when you win and two low when you lose, and this is somewhere in between.”
Town stay third after today's results.
LEAGUE ONE FULL-TIMES
Bournemouth 1 Doncaster 2
Carlisle 2 Brentford 0
Colchester 1 Crewe 2
Crawley 0 Notts County 0
Hartlepool 0 Yeovil 0
Portsmouth 2 Bury 0
Preston 2 Stevenage 0
Scunthorpe 1 Coventry 2
Sheff Utd 0 MK Dons 0
Shrewsbury 0 Leyton Orient 2
Swindon 2 Walsall 2
Tranmere 1 Oldham 0
FULL-TIME: Swindon Town 2 (Williams 11, Ferry 79) Walsall 2 (Grigg pen 31, Paterson 90)
Town had started to look a little nervous before the leveller, and had given their visitors a fair amount of space to break.
90 minutes: GOAL 2-2 (Paterson) Ashley Hemmings gets away down the left and sends in a great cross, which Paterson heads home. Flint could do nothing about it and the visitors are level.
ATTENDANCE: 8,407 (481)
86 minutes: Devera deflects a shot very high in the air, and Foderingham gets caught under it and flaps a little and only palms it out to Paterson, who somehow blazes over from six-yards. Lucky escape.
4:43pm Sat 9 Mar 13
red white says
4:41pm Sat 9 Mar 13
SUBSTITUTION: Joe Devera replaces the injured Thompson.
79 minutes: GOAL 2-1 TOWN (Ferry) Town stretch the play wide to Rooney, who cuts back and gets a shot off which McCarey spills, and Ferry is there to slam it home with his left foot. The Scot was only four yards out, but he did really well to work it back onto his left and finish.
SUBSTITUTION: Nicky Featherstone on for Westcarr.
75 minutes: Thompson is off the field injured, and as Walsall take advantage the Saddlers appeal for a penalty for a foul on Grigg. The referee says no, but Flint has to be alert to block a Westcarr shot well.
4:35pm Sat 9 Mar 13
Blazing Riff says
We need a goal but 4 would be better!
This is correct!
SUBSTITUTION: Roberts replaced by Raffa De Vita.
All Town in terms of pressure at the moment, but Walsall looking dangerous on the break.
69 minutes: Butler goes into the book for a nudge on Williams (very harsh), but Roberts’ free-kick is cleared by a McCarey punch.
67 minutes: Grigg gets in behind the Town defence, but instead of pulling the ball back for Brandy he shoots himself and it goes out for a throw.
64 minutes: Ferry’s cross is only headed clear as far as McCormack, and the captain’s dipping volley has McCarey scrambling but just flies over the bar.
SUBSTITUTION: Collins replaced by Adam Rooney (64)
Ferry and Roberts have now swapped flanks.
59 minutes: Ferry chips into the back post, but Collins doesn’t challenge for the header with any authority and it’s cleared.
57 minutes: A quick throw from Thompson allows Williams to break into the area, but when he crosses for Collins it’s cleared for a corner. The first is cleared, but from the second, McCormack shoots over.
53 minutes: Thompson wins a corner, but Flint can only head wide after rising to meet Roberts’ corner. He needs to start hitting the target more
48 minutes: Grigg has the first chance of the second-half, but fires wide from a tight angle.
Second period underway now, and both teams struggling to get the ball under control.
Who have just returned.
Town back with us now for the start of the second period. Waiting for Walsall.
Will the new owners be maintaining the same wage budget as there was under Paolo Di Canio?
SM: “In regard to the wage budget, we are maintaining that. It is a high wage budget, but you have to pay to get a good team. It will stay as it is, but some of the costs that have gone have contributed to the wage budget. That has reduced it significantly.
“The club no longer has any debt, but if it did and was funding it every month that’s a massive amount of money going out every month. We are in a fantastic position because we are a club with no debt. That makes self-sufficiency a lot easier.”
A couple more nuggets from this morning's Fans Forum with Steve Murrall and Gary Hooper, where it was asked whether Town would be able to sustain Championship football IF they can get up this season.
SM: “We have two budgets at the moment, one for the Championship and one for League One.
“We do have a budget in plan to sustain us in the Championship."
GH: “There is a significant uplift in what we would receive from the Football League and the Premier League in terms of TV and other rights, so one way or the other we could use that uplift to fund other salaries for next year.”
LEAGUE ONE HALF-TIMES
Bournemouth 0 Doncaster 0
Carlisle 1 Brentford 0
Colchester 1 Crewe 1
Crawley 0 Notts County 0
Hartlepool 0 Yeovil 0
Portsmouth 0 Bury 0
Preston 2 Stevenage 0
Scunthorpe 1 Coventry 1
Sheff Utd 0 MK Dons 0
Shrewsbury 0 Leyton Orient 1
Swindon 1 - 1 Walsall 1
Tranmere 0 Oldham 0
HALF -TIME: Swindon Town 1 (Williams 11) Walsall 1 (Grigg pen 31)
45+1 minutes: Andy Taylor is booked for checking McCormack, but the following free-kick is cleared. Roberts goes down in search of a penalty, but nothing doing.
45 minutes: Walsall break and find Westcarr wide on the right, but he shoots wide.
43 minutes: Roberts booked for a challenge on Mantom, obviously he wasn’t booked earlier then! Three minutes added.
41 minutes: Gary Roberts puts the ball in the net but Collins had already been given offside.
38 minutes: Westcarr gets the ball into the six-yard box, but McEveley does well to clear with Brandy lurking.
Referee Darren Drysdale is not having a great day so far,with a number of odd decisions, but did get the penalty decision right.
3:28pm Sat 9 Mar 13
Brentford losing 1-0 at Carlisle - hope they have a REALLY long, miserable and horrible return journey!!...tire them out for Tuesday's match
33 minutes: Town break at pace, and after Williams crosses deep into the box Roberts can only angle it over the bar.
31 minutes: GOAL 1-1 (Grigg) Will Grigg steps up to take it, and despite going the right way Foderingham can only push it into the side netting. The striker celebrates in front of the Town End, which does not go down well.
29 minutes: Penalty to Walsall after Brandy is brought down from behind by Miller clear pen.
Looks like both Ferry and Roberts booked for dissent.
25 minutes: After good work from Miller, Roberts and McEveley, McCormack takes aim and gets a left-footed shot off which McCarey gathers at the second attempt.
22 minutes: Walsall win a corner after the ball bounces back off the corner flag and hits Flint, but when the ball is delivered Butler can only head up in the air and onto the roof of the net.
20 minutes: Nathan Thompson goes into the book for a late tackle.
16 minutes: Roberts cleverly cuts inside and releases Miller with ease, and the midfielder gets shot off from 20 yards which forces McCarey to palm away to his right. Collins goes for the follow-up, but is offside.
3:14pm Sat 9 Mar 13
COME ON!!!! WILLIAMS!!!!
Still got a hope at 70/1 - only 9 more goals to make up on the league leading scorer!! :-)
Our boss has a similar bet, but for James Collins to finish as the League's top scorer.
11 minutes: GOAL 1-0 TOWN (Williams) The striker cuts inside and gets a shot off which is blocked by captain Andy Butler, but the ball only thunders into the ground and loops over the top of keeper McCarey. Possibly an own goal, but who cares.
Eight minutes: Jamie Paterson gets the ball into the box for the visitors, but Febian Brandy can only head wide.
Seven minutes: Gary Roberts lobs a ball through to set Collins in the clear, but the assistant flags him (wrongly) offside.
Four minutes: A lovely plassing move involving nearly every Town player wins a corner, but James Chambers heads clear. Thompson works the ball back into the box, but Collins can only flick a header into the arms of McCarey.
All the early attacking is from Town, but no chances yet.
And we're off as Walsall get us underway
Town will kick towards the Stratton Bank in the first half.
Kevin MacDonald makes his first entrance onto the County Ground pitch, and gets a good reception.
Kevin MacDonald makes his first entrance onto the County Ground pitch, and gets a good reception.
Here come the teams!
So, with five minutes to go until kick-off, here's a reminder of how we can cover Town games on the Advertiser website.
Restrictions placed on journalists by Dataco mean we cannot give up-to-the-second text commentary on events at the County Ground.
For real-time updates, log onto Twitter and follow chief sports writer Sam Morshead (SamMorshead_SA).
Updates will appear on the Adver website, but are subject to a three-minute delay.
Excalibur Communications have launched an initiative to fill the Excalibur Stand (Stratton Bank) for the visit of Oldham on March 29.
Tickets will be free for local youth players aged 15 and under and prices will be reduced for adults in the uncovered end.
Both Steve and Gary are keen to hear your views on off the pitch issues at Town, so get in touch with them using the email addresses below.
Steve Murrall (General Manager) email@example.com
Gary Hooper (Commercial Director) firstname.lastname@example.org
2:49pm Sat 9 Mar 13
super red says
Enjoyed reading steve murralls response in why our former back room staff haven't been paid. Crystal clear really, not 100 percent sure what they would sue us over but good too see we're not taking any cr@p
2:44pm Sat 9 Mar 13
super red says
Looking at a fair bit of strength in depth on the bench. No surprise KMac isnt rushing out for panic signings.
That strength has been there all along, injuries have now subsided so it shows.
A subject very close to all of our hearts, food, was also discussed.
SM: “We are looking at everything, and I have already had Jed moaning at me about the quality of the chips. I have to be honest, in the first week and a half that has not been my top priority. We will be looking at it, and we might need a bit of time to sort it out.
GH: “If anyone does have any issues, please put it in an email to us, because if it is in black and white we will look at it.”
@SamMorshead_SA Eric Sabin nets a last minute try in a 20-16 win for the town. Att: 351 #stfcadver— @deanolamps81 09 March 2013
2:36pm Sat 9 Mar 13
I'm loving these straight forward answers on the Q and A forum.
Both of them spoke very well this morning.
Steve Murrall and Gary Hooper were quizzed this morning on their long-term plan for Swindon Town, but the pair insisted they will not be drawing up any formal plan until the end of the season.
SM: “The first thing we wanted to do was to stabilise the club, because you were literally minutes away from administration. There is a lot to look at, and we need to understand what we need to do. We have objectives like getting the side into the Championship this season, and then look towards the redevelopment.
“Have we got a five or three year plan documented? No, not at the moment. That is something we will develop between now and next season. “
Still just the £53 in the charity pot so far, so hopefully we can add something today.
SAM: Swindon Town 3 Walsall 1, Will Grigg first scorer - 120/1
ANDY: Swindon Town 2 Walsall 1, Simon Ferry first scorer - 55/1
The pair were asked about potential development of the County Ground, and whether or not conerts will be held at the Town's home.
GH: “The new development is something we are looking at and has been well documented, and the chairman is looking at it. If there is an opportunity to develop we will look to do see.
“We will look at as many different ways of bringing in revenue as we can, and one of those is concerts. We have been approached by an entertainment company which wants to run six or eight concerts in this area a year. Some of the big names will be coming.
“The County Ground is a fantastic venue and we don’t use it enough, and we have been looking at utilising the Legends Lounge once or twice a month for smaller concerts or even a comedy night or something.”
Hooper also revealed the Town Ladies side will play on the County Ground pitch on April 7, while more effort will be made to engage younger fans and those living outside the town.
Walsal striker Will Grigg has been in sensational form of late. His five goals in the last two games have made him THE in-form strike in the division.
Town's central defensive pairing of Darren Ward and Aden Flint will have to make sure he doesn't find space in the penalty box, else he might do this...
Both teams are out to do their respective warm-ups. Walsall are wearing yellow. Not a clever idea in Swindon.
Paolo Di Canio's former number two Fabrizio Piccareta revealed earlier this week he and the rest of his staff had not received their final payment after leaving the club. Steve Murrall revealed the reasons why.
SM: “On February 26 Fabrizio and three others came to my office and said, these three didn’t want to resign it was only me.
“They didn’t turn up for work for the previous week, now I don’t know what jobs all the fans do, but if you went on the radio and said you were leaving and then didn’t turn up for work for the next week it would be taken as you had left.
“So, on February 26 I said you will all be paid as long as you sign these documents to say you will not be suing the club, and also that you return all the equipment you have.
“Nobody signed the documentation and the only one who took it away with them was Fabrizio, so he wasn’t going to get paid until he sends it back. As soon as it comes back he will be paid, simple as that.
“None of the others returned any of their equipment before March 1, so how they expected to get paid at the end of February I have no idea. They still haven’t signed to say they are not going to sue the club, and until they do I will not be paying wages out.
“They dropped us in it, let’s be honest, as they walked out on that Tuesday. It’s not very good behaviour.
“There is no conspiracy, nothing underhand, and the money is a pittance in terms of the budget of the club. We will pay them, but not until we get the documentation allowing us to.”
2:18pm Sat 9 Mar 13
No surprise KMc is sticking with a winning team and with Joe and Luke returning, it is looking like a very strong bench.
Very hard to drop any of the players after the performance they put in at Coventry.
BREAKING TEAM NEWS
WALSALL v Swindon Town: McCarey; Chambers J, Butler, Downing, Taylor: Paterson, Mantom, A Chambers, Brandy; Westcarr; Grigg
Substitutes: Roberts, Holden, Featherstone, Hemmings, Purkiss, Bowerman, Baxendale
Was MacDonald right to keep the same side following last weekend's win at Coventry? Does look Rooney deserve a start? What do you think of Simon Ferry playing in a tucked in role on the right of midfield?
Get in touch using #stfcadver on twitter, or by commenting in the box below.
BREAKING TEAM NEWS
New boss Kevin MacDonald has named an unchanged side for his first game at the County Ground this afternoon.
Simon Ferry continues on the right of the midfield, with Alan McCormack once again back in his more familiar central role.
SWINDON TOWN v Walsall: Foderingham; Thompson N, Flint, Ward, McEveley; Ferry, McCormack (c), Miller, Roberts; Collins Williams.
Subs: Bedwell, Devera, Navarro, Rooney L, Thompson L, De Vita, Rooney A.
MONEY OWED ON TRANSFERS AND STAFF
Steve Murrall and Gary Hooper were of course asked about the transfer embargo currently on the club, the reasons for it, and when it will be lifted.
SM: “We don’t owe Shrewsbury anything as we paid them this week, and we have some others that need to be paid and we are in the process of doing that.
"That will lift the embargo, but when we took over, outside of our initial investment the Football League demanded £1.2million was put in an account to be ring-fenced in relation to the embargo.
"We didn’t have that in loose change, so we had to arrange that which should be done in the next few days. Hopefully by Monday, or 24 hours later to give me a break, I am confident we will be out of embargo. Paying football clubs is all taken care of and all fine.
GH: “Once it has all been sorted the new manager will be able to bring in new players if he wants to, but he has made it quite clear he is happy with the group of players he has at the moment.
"He has been out watching games, and it is very much his decision whether or not he brings in new players."
Why did you choose to get involved in the clun when you have no connection to Swindon Town?
GH: “Jed is a lifelong football supporter and when he looked at the situation here and Swindon he said he didn’t want a club to go the same way as Luton did, his club. He stepped in to make sure an old club remains within the Football League. The club here was in dire straights and that was the reason for stepping in. He’s a football supporter and he wanted to put something back in.”
SM: “I was approached by Jed who needed someone to bring an operational approach to running a business. We have worked together in the past and been successful. I had given up work to a degree and was comfortably enjoying myself, but I am a football fan even if I do support Birmingham. I was asked to bring those skills and that is what I came in for. We are not here to take massive wages or to take anything out of the club, all we want to do is bring this club back to a sustainable position. We won’t be throwing £10million into it but we will make sure what is here is maintained for us to be successful. I am so enjoying it you will not believe it. I was in the away end at Coventry, and it was amazing.”
The first question at this morning's Q&A related to any plans to show Town' away matches live in the Legends Lounge between now and the end of the season.
GH: "Any game that is currently going tobe shown live on Sky or the BBC or ITV, we will open the Legends Lounge, simple as that. Putting on beam backs cost a lot of money and are not feasible at the moment.”
Today will be the first home game former Swindon Town chief executive Nick Watkins will have missed in more than five years since joining the club under the Andrew Fitton regime.
In an extensive interview with the Advertiser this morning, Watkins delves into the details of his time at the County Ground and gives a fantastic insight into life as a major player at one of the busiest clubs in the country over the past half-a-decade.
1:40pm Sat 9 Mar 13
Youngsters starting to burst through.....
This is going to be an amazing start to an amazing future......
Go Swindon, Go Swindon !!
1:37pm Sat 9 Mar 13
London Red says
Any news from the Q&A?
Answers to the questions asked at this afternoon's Q&A session with Steve Murrall and Gary Hooper will be posted regularly throughout our build-up on Matchday Live.
The County Ground pitch looks in good condition once again this afternoon, and it's quite right that head groundsman Marcus Cassidy this week was given the news that his playing surface has been nominated for the "Pitch of the Year" award.
Cassidy said: "“It’s sort of like winning the FA Cup from a groundsman’s point of view so it’s really good professionally and personally."
A Question and Answer session was held in the Legends Lounge this morning with new board members Steve Murrall and Gary Hooper, with topics ranging from concerts at the County Ground to the future of the club coming under discussion.
Between now and kick-off we will bring you all the answers from the event, but the two started by introducing themselves.
STEVE MURRALL AND GARY HOOPER
Gary Hooper: “My role is to bring my experience from the last 20 years to the club, and to bring new revenue streams that have not been touched before. We want to utilise the ground outside of football. Clubs don’t make a lot of money as we know, because they don’t use the club and the ground. We will be looking to get the place open more than twice a week, because that can help the club go forward.”
Steve Murrall: “I will ensure that from a financial perspective we become a business that can support a good level of football but also bring in community based initiatives that will allow us to be part of the community more than we have been. “
Nothing official until around 2pm, but here's what we know so far.
Troy Archibald-Henville and Miles Storey remain sidelined, Aaron Oakley misses out for Town having fractured his foot in midweek but otherwise Kevin MacDonald has a full squad at his disposal.
BROKEN FOOT: AARON OAKLEY
An unchanged line-up is expected, but Luke Rooney could force a first start since September on the right of midfield.
Youngsters Alex Ferguson and Connor Waldon will be included in the matchday squad, the club has confirmed.
Remember ‘Matchday Live’ is not just about us spouting nonsense for five hours at a time. It’s a forum for Swindon Town fans’ views on everything going on at SN1 at present.
Whether it’s new manager Kevin MacDonald's first team selection or lukewarm coffee in the Don Rogers, we want to hear from you.
And there are plenty of ways to get involved over the course of the evening – all of which are conveniently listed below.
l Twitter – if you’re Tweet-friendly then use the hashtag #stfcadver to have your say, and follow chief sports writer Sam Morshead (@SamMorshead_SA) throughout the game for up-to-the-second commentary.
l Comment – the box below is ready for use. If the comments are sensible and clean then they may well find themselves inserted into the live blog later in the evening.
l Email – you can always pop us an email, just send your ramblings across to email@example.com
Good afternoon ladies and gents and welcome to the County Ground, where Swindon Town are preparing to take on Walsall in League One.
New Town boss Kevin MacDonald makes his home debut in charge of the Robins, with a crowd of around 9,000 expected in SN1.
Walsall will be no pushover, despite being incredibly poor when Town won 2-0 at the Banks’s Stadium earlier in the season.
Dean Smith’s men have won eight of their last 11 games and are the in-form team in the division at present. Swindon could go top with a victory of their own. It’s set up to be a cracker.
Stick with us for all the build-up, followed by match updates and reaction.