MATCH REPORT: WALSALL 0 COLCHESTER UNITED 0 MATCH REPORT: WALSALL 0 COLCHESTER UNITED 0
Posted by: Bescot Banter

MATCH REPORT: WALSALL 0 COLCHESTER UNITED 0

Following Saturday afternoon's somewhat stale Sky Bet League One draw between Walsall and fellow early strugglers Colchester United, Bescot Banter columnist Scott Brotherton shares with us, his Match Report.
Following Saturday afternoon's somewhat stale Sky Bet League One draw between Walsall and fellow early strugglers Colchester United, Bescot Banter columnist Scott Brotherton shares with us, his Match Report.

There was a cagey start to the game with some wayward passing showing why both teams are in relegation zone.

It took until the 12th minute for the first chance but it was a big one for Colchester.

Freddie Sears' snapshot from outside box caught Richard O'Donnell out as it curled into base of far post, then bouncing along the goal line before spinning out of play on the other side of the net.

Everyone breathed a huge sigh of relief, however the Saddlers replied minutes later by hitting the woodwork themselves.

Billy Clifford's floated free kick was nodded on by Tom Bradshaw and his looping header nearly beat United's Sam Walker, clipping the top of the bar on its way over.

Despite this the U's looked on top and Sean Colhessy's clever touch brought the ball inside before he prodded his volley well over.

Up the other end Mathieu Manset beat the offside trap to put in a low cross for Adam Chambers, but the Frenchman's ball was hammered across at such pace that the captain couldn't react in time to steer his shot on target.

Both sides looked quite poor, however Colchester were certainly having the better of the first half.

A ball was pulled back to Sears, who was in a great position just inside area, but Paul Downing flew out to make a brave block.

Talented on-loan West Ham man George Moncur curled one just over the angle while James O'Connor had to charge down another shot, this time from Sammie Szmodics.

Tony Humes' men were by far the most threatening after half an hour but O'Donnell was still yet to be tested.

As bad as the Saddlers had been, they still had opportunities. A Bradshaw effort was charged down and Clifford followed it up by slicing a speculative shot wide.

Manset then stole the ball on halfway and pushed forward, firimg well wide after a few nifty stepovers.

Andy Taylor drove a 20 yard free kick over the middle of the goal just before break, and half-time was met by murmurs of disapproval from most people at the Banks's.

H/T: Walsall 0 Colchester United 0

The second period started more positively for Walsall, albeit with little goalmouth action. Dean Smith made a double change before the hour, bringing James Baxendale and Anthony Forde into the fray.

Manset teed up sub Baxendale on the half volley but he connected too sweetly as it cleared the goal.

Reece Flanagan, an unexpected starter who showed good ability from kick-off, then brilliantly beat three Colchester players before ending his mazy run by poking the ball agonisingly wide. It was the youngster's last contribution before being replaced by Mal Benning.

A couple of injury stoppages for the U's then aggravated the home fans somewhat. The breaks were stifling the Saddlers' momentum which was gradually starting to build as the game neared its climax.

And Dean Smith's side had two great chances to grab the three points at the death.

Forde's well taken free kick was weighted beautifully for the bottom left corner but Walker got down well with a strong hand to tip it wide.

Then in the 92nd minute Bradshaw broke free of the visiting defence and got forced out wide in the area. The chance looked like it had gone, however Bradshaw managed to angle a shot towards goal.

The attempt looked weak but it rolled just past the far upright, and was greeted by groans around the ground as Walsall drew yet another blank.

By: Scott Brotherton.
F/T: Walsall 0 Colchester United 0
AT: Banks's Stadium, Walsall.
ATTENDANCE: 4009 (147 Colchester).
REFEREE: Mr. Patrick Miller, Bedfordsire.

Walsall XI: O'Donnell; Taylor, O'Connor, Downing, Kinsella; A.Chambers (C), Clifford (Baxendale 57'); Flanagan (Benning 76'), Morris (Forde 57'); Bradshaw, Manset

Subs not used: MacGillivray; Holden, Henry; Bakayoko

Colchester United XI: Walker; Clohessy, Eastman, Okuonghae (C), Gordon (Wright 81'), Gilbey, Moncur, Szmodics, Massey (Smith 77'), Sears, Watt

Subs not used: Eastmond, Lawrence, Vose, Kent, Lewington
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