Match Report

 

Fri 24 Jun 16

Walsall: Neil Etheridge, Joe Edwards, Scott Laird, James O'Connor, Jason McCarthy, Adam Chambers (c), Erhun Oztumer (Josh Ginnelly 76), Kieron Morris, Amadou Bakayoko, Kevin Toner, Franck Moussa


Subs: Craig MacGillivray, George Dobson, Isiah Osbourne, Liam Kinsella, Matt Preston, Andreas Makris


Town: Jayson Leutwiler, Joe Riley, Ryan McGivern, Ian Black, Abu Ogogo, Junior Brown, Jack Grimmer, Antoni Sarcevic, Andy Mangan, (Jim O'Brien 71), Adam El-Abd (c) (Olly Lancashire 25), George Waring (Sylvan Ebanks-Blake 84)


Subs: Mark Halstead, Matthew Sadler, Gary Deegan, AJ Leitch-Smith


Ref: Nicholas Kinseley

Assistants: David Benton and Simon Knapp

Fourth Official: Simon Barrow


Attendance: 4759 (with 572 from Town)


Temporary manager Danny Coyne is forced into changes with Ivan Toney suspended after picking up his fifth yellow card at Bradford City. In come Antoni Sarcevic for Jim O'Brien and Ryan McGivern returns from international duty which means Olly Lancashire returns to the bench,


Early on McGivern got across and cleared the ball long to find the head of Waring, he flicked it on and it dropped in the in the box but Edwards managed to get their first before Warning could pounce.


Town were using the height of Waring well early on with balls into the big centre forward causing problems for the Walsall defence. Riley put a good ball into the Walsall box to find Waring and he got his head to it to knock it down to put Mangan in on goal, but the officials saw a foul and the whistle was blown to deny Mangan.


Walsall's best chance of the early openings came after a neat break down the right that saw Brown turned, the ball was delivered into the back post but Leutwiler managed to get a hand to it and then Grimmer was there to clear up before Walsall could pounce.


It was Walsall who took the lead on 21 minutes after Oztumer found space in the middle of the park after Grimmer had come inside, the ball was put out to Bakayoko who was in space on the left, he ran in on goal and calmly stroked the ball past Leutwiler to make it 1-0 to the home side.


Town were forced into a change on 25 minutes after El-Abd has stayed down after a Walsall attack, Olly Lancashire was stripped and ready to come on and the change was made early before the Walsall corner came in.


Town were on level terms just before the half hour mark and it came after Town were awarded a free-kick 30 yards from goal, it was Black who delivered the ball into the box and there was Olly Lancashire to loop a header over Etheridge to make it 1-1.


Walsall got his noses back in front on 40 minutes and it was a scrappy goal by Town's standard, the home side found the space to get in and and Edwards got the shot but Leutwiler was there to save but couldn't hold onto it and Morris was there to bundled the ball home for 2-1.


Town were nearly back on level terms moments after the restart, the ball found Waring in the Walsall box and his cheeky back heal nearly caught Etheridge off guard but the Walsall keeper was in the right place to preserve Walsall's lead.


Half-time: 2-1


Town had a great chance to level the score with just 2 minutes of the second half gone following a foul on Waring. Black was over the ball and delivered a good ball into the box to find Mangan and Lancashire in behind the Walsall defence, it was Lancashire who got his head to it but his header was just wide of the target.


Leutwiler played the ball out to Lancashire who took a touch and then cleared long towards Waring, he got up well to flick the ball into the run of Riley who then drilled a shot across the goal but it flew wide of the top corner.


Walsall broke down the Town right and came infield, Ogogo looked to be fouled but ref waved play on and Oztumer was in on goal, he only had Leutwiler to beat but pulled it wide, Grimmer and then Ogogo complained to the ref and were both booked.


Town were level on the hour mark after the ball was delivered into the Walsall box from Riley, Etheridge came for it but under pressure from Waring he couldn't connect and the ball dropped to Junior Brown who turned the ball home from close range for 2-2.


Town continued to attack and when the ball was put into the Walsall box Waring was in on goal, he looked to be pulled back and the ref was pointing to the penalty spot but he then appeared to change his mind and it was a free-kick to Walsall.


Town were down to 10 men 25 minutes of the half remaining, McGivern and Bakayoko challenged for the ball and McGivern wasn't happy with the challenge, he then got involved with the Walsall striker and it was a second yellow card for the Town defender.


With just over 20 minutes of the game remaining Danny Coyne made his first tactical change with Jim O'Brien coming on to replace Andy Mangan as 10 men Town looked to take something from the game.


10 men Town were still pushing and attacking and looking to win the game and when the ball was sent into Waring he chested it down to Sarcevic, he took a touch and was in on goal but a Walsall body flung itself in for an important last minute block to deny Town.


At the other end Town were defending well and there was some heroic defending and a couple of important saves to keep the score at 2-2.


George Waring has been causing problems all game and with minutes of the game went down with cramp, he stayed down and after treatment he wasn't able to carry on and it was Sylvan Ebanks-Blake who came on to replace to a chorus of boos from the Walsall fans.


Town were dealt a knock-out blow with minutes of the game remaining after Walsall won a corner. It was delivered into the near post and beat Leutwiler with Oztumer being credited with the goal.


In the celebrations youngster Bakayoko did something that ref Kinseley saw enough to hand the Walsall youngster a second yellow card to see him leave play.


Town were continuing to push and probe and look for the equaliser that they deserved, balls dropped around the Walsall box and there were chances with O'Brien and Black firing just over the bar but it was Walsall who went on to take the 3 points.


Full-time: 3-2

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