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nPower League Two
HALF TIME: Swindon Town 0 Crystal Palace 1
SWINDON Town trail Crystal Palace 1-0 at half-time in the two sides’ pre-season friendly at the County Ground this evening.
Jermaine Easter’s penalty 10 minutes into the match, after Wes Foderingham had felled Glen Murray in the Town box, is all that separates the teams after 45 minutes of entertaining and frantic football.
Andy Williams struck the woodwork twice in the opening 12 minutes while Foderingham did well to deny Easter a second late in the first half.
Here are the key moments from today’s first half:
Two mins: Matt Ritchie has the game’s first shot at goal, but his effort from 20 yards is more likely to endanger those having a kickabout on the County Ground extension than Palace’s goal
Three mins: Andy Williams comes oh so close to putting the home side ahead. He prods Gary Roberts’ superb low cross goalwards but Palace keeper Julian Speroni produces a fine reaction save to paw the ball onto a post.
Four mins: Jermaine Easter pulls the trigger from 25 yards out but his low effort is easily saved by the diving Wes Foderingham.
Seven mins: A quick counter attack by Swindon ends with Roberts turning Joel Ward inside out on the left. His low cross is cleared and, when the ball is returned into the area, Ritchie’s shot is well blocked by Dean Moxey.
10 mins: GOAL 0-1 (Easter, pen) Despite Town’s early dominance, the Robins find themselves behind when an inch-perfect pass from Wilfred Zaha slices the hosts’ defence in two and sends Glen Murray galloping through on goal.
The striker rounds Foderingham and goes to ground and, though the Swindon stopper appeared to get some of the ball, referee Simon Hooper points to the spot.
Easter makes no mistake from 12 yards, thrashing the ball beyond Foderingham to give Palace the lead.
12 mins: Williams hits the post for the second time in the space of 10 minutes. The former Yeovil man is played through and controls his shot from a bouncing ball well but, despite seeing his strike beat Speroni, he can only watch on in agony as it bounces off the inside of the keeper’s left-hand post and away to safety.
14 mins: Swindon respond well to falling behind and Miller tries his luck from distance. Unfortunately for the midfielder, he sees Speroni smother the ball en route to goal.
29 mins: After a bit of a phoney war in midfield for 15 minutes, with both sides threatening without really creating a significant chance, Williams has another sight of goal.
Navarro and Caddis combine neatly on the right and, after the latter’s cross is chested into Williams’ path by Ritchie, the former Yeovil man cannot direct his half-volley on target.
37 mins: The first real defensive hesitation from Swindon allows Zaha to pick out Easter and only the legs of Foderingham prevent the Palace striker from doubling his own, and his team’s tally for the evening.
44 mins: Ritchie’s free-kick from 22 yards flies into the Stratton Bank. That was a good position and a bit of a waste from the Swindon winger.
SWINDON TOWN: Wes Foderingham; Paul Caddis, Troy Archibald-Henville, Alan McCormack, Jay McEveley; Matt Ritchie, Tommy Miller, Alan Navarro, Gary Roberts; Paul Benson, Andy Williams
Subs: Leigh Bedwell, Chris Smith, Nathan Thompson , Joe Devera, Aden Flint, Alessandro Cibocchi, Luke Rooney, Raffa De Vita, Oliver Risser, Louis Thompson, Simon Ferry, Miles Storey, James Collins
CRYSTAL PALACE: Julian Speroni, Joel Ward, Aaron Martin, Paddy McCarthy, Dean Moxey; Mile Jedinak, Kagisho Dikgachoi, Jonny Williams, Wilf Zaha; Glen Murray, Jermaine Easter
Subs: Lewis Price, David Wright, Jonathon Parr, Omar Kossoko, Jose Baxter, Alex Marrow, Ugo Ukay, Peter Rammage, Kwesi Appiah, Stewart O’Keefe, Thiago Rosa