Posted by: Bescot Banter


Earlier today Walsall made the trip North to take on Sheffield United in the latest Sky Bet League 1 fixture. Below is our brief match report.
Earlier today Walsall made the trip North to take on Sheffield United in the latest Sky Bet League 1 fixture. Below is our brief match report.

The match began at a fairly slow pace, both sides looking to establish their passing games early on.

Although it was United that had the better of the play, the home side putting in a couple of dangerous crosses which were dealt with by the Walsall defence, Jose Baxter also went close with a header.

Soon after, young defender Rico Henry was easily beaten by his man,the first-year pro's blushes saved by James Chambers who cleared the threat.

Half-way through the first half Walsall were awarded a free kick on the edge of the Blades' area, Jordan Cook was unable to beat the wall as his kick was blocked by a jumping defender. The resulting corner was also easily grasped as the Saddlers failed to make the most of their opportunity.

Walsall's Adam Chambers picked up a booking for a foul on Flynn, the resulting free kick was headed over the bar.

With the first half nearing its completion referee Graham Horwood was replaced by Ricky Wootton, the Fourth Official taking charge after a hamstring injury for Horwood.

Late on Jose Baxter sent in a dipping shot, his effort deflecting off a defender's boot and rattling the crossbar, the corner was subsequently cleared by a well drilled Saddlers defence.


As the second half got underway Blades boss Nigel Clough made a change, Harrison McGahey replacing Ryan Flynn.

United started the half well, winning an early corner, this was cleared by Walsall but was a good sign of intent from the home side.

Chris Basham attempted to put the ball back in but was thwarted as Walsall went on the counter, Tom Bradshaw was ruled to be offside as the Saddlers looked to put themselves in the lead.

Walsall gave away another corner, which was ultimately cleared, the confident Blades continuing to pile on the pressure.


Chris O'Grady opened the scoring, a great pass by Jose Baxter picks out the striker as he slots home past Richard O'Donnell at the near post, the 'keeper far from happy with his defenders.

Anthony Forde replaced James Baxendale, Bax looking a little slow to react to an increasingly high-pressure attack.


Walsall got themselves back on level terms with their first attempt of the half, Jordan Cook crossing to Tom Bradshaw, who rose above his marker to head home.

Jose Baxter tried his luck from distance, again this came to nothing. Walsall went down the other end and went extremely close to taking the lead as Harris sliced his clearance inches wide of the post.

Harris and Baxendale (again) went wide from distance, the Blades frontline looking to surprise O'Donnell.

Walsall went wide on the counter, Tom Bradshaw, who looked to be offside during the build up, failing to set himself before attempting a shot.

Baxter was replaced by McNulty, and Cook was replaced by Benning as both managers looked for new attacking options.

Both sides won corners, which were both wasted, neither side taking advantage of the chance to put themselves in the lead.

The Blades appealed for a corner as Murphy and Henry collided, substitute referee Wootton was not interested.

Former Walsall loanee Flo Cuvelier replaced Adams, Flo continuing his return from a major knee injury which has seen him miss many months of action.

A below-par Romaine Sawyers was also replaced, Ashley Grimes bought on as Dean Smith rolled the dice.

Both sides continued to push forward and waste possession, as the clock ticked towards full time.

As we entered added on time, the Blades won another corner, this was cleared by Ben Purkiss, Flo Cuvelier sent the ball back in across the box as no-one gambled on the ball.

  RESULT    SHEFFIELD UNITED     1      WALSALL     1   
  GOALSCORERS    O'Grady 56' -- Bradshaw 59'  

 SHEFFIELD UNITED  Howard, Harris, Basham, Flynn (McGahey 45'), Doyle, Murphy, Scougall, Baxter (McNulty 75'), McEveley, Adams (Cuvelier 84'), O'Grady

 SUBS NOT USED  Higdon, Turner, McCarthy, Wallace

 WALSALL  O'Donnell; Purkiss, J.Chambers, Downing, Henry; A.Chambers    , Cain; Cook (Benning 76'), Sawyers (Grimes 85'), Baxendale (Forde 57'); Bradshaw

 SUBS NOT USED  MacGillivray; O'Connor; Flanagan; Manset
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