Earlier this afternoon, Walsall played host to Barnsley in the latest Sky Bet League 1 fixture of the season. Below is our full match report.
Earlier this afternoon, Walsall played host to Barnsley in the latest Sky Bet League 1 fixture of the season. Below is our full match report.

As the game got underway it was the visitors who had the first sight of goal, former Cambridge United midfielder Luke Berry sending an ambitious shot over the bar.

Referee Trevor Kettle then gave a foul against Walsall's Tom Bradshaw for a very soft foul on his marker, thankfully nothing came of this, as Walsall were awarded a free kick off their own as James Baxendale was brought down just moments later.

The resulting free kick was deflected for a corner, which was easily cleared as Walsall looked to gain some control.

Former Newcastle United and Manchester United striker Andy Cole's son Devante started for the Tykes, and was caught offside following the Saddlers' cleared corner.

Soon after, Romaine Sawyers sent in an inviting cross, only for 'keeper Ross Turnbull to nip in ahead of Tom Bradshaw, the striker a little slow to react as defender Lewin Nyatanga left the ball for his colleague.

Jordan Cook then sent a chipped shot just over the bar from around 30 yards, the summer signing spotting Turnbull off his line.

Walsall's Tom Bradshaw then picked up a booking for obstruction, the striker charging down the away sides 'keeper. Referee Trevor Kettle taking a dim view.

Later, Berry broke through the Saddlers midfield and fed Hourihane, who sent his shot wide for the visitors, as they looked to get back into the game, Richard O'Donnell's goal was never in danger.

As we crossed the half-way point in the half, the game was fairly even, Walsall failing to make use of their earlier spells of dominance.

Just before the thirty-minute mark Barnsley were awarded a corner, following some poor Saddlers defending.


The visitors took the lead, as Conor Hourihane sent an out-swinging ball into the box, which was met by Lewin Nyatanga, the defender rising highest to power a header past Richard O'Donnell.


The Saddlers came up with an immediate response. Soon after the kick off the home side won a corner of their own, loaned-in midfielder Michael Cain sending the ball to Jordan Cook, who was on the edge of the area, the winger then unleashed an unstoppable strike past a helpless 'keeper.

Soon after Tom Bradshaw made a good attacking move only to be stopped by some good defending, the striker keen to add to his tally of goals.


Saddlers top scorer Tom Bradshaw then put his side into the lead. The former Shrewsbury Town striker dancing past a couple of defenders before slotting home, Jordan Cook was also heavily involved, having found Bradshaw with a great pass.

Later, Barnsley's loaned in striker Marcello Trotta tried his luck from close range, this was thwarted by a good save from Richard O'Donnell, the 'keeper using his legs to stop the shot.

Ben Purkiss then sent a shot over the bar following an adventurous run down the wing.

The Tykes also had a shot over the bar, Devante Cole failing to test the 'keeper.

The game began to open up as Jordan Cook lashed a shot over the bar, both sides guilty of wasting the ball in the final third.

As Dale Jennings had a shot deflected into the hands of Richard O'Donnell the game reached the half-way point.


As Walsall got the second half underway, Rico Henry ran down the opposition's wing and found Jordan Cook with a great pass. Cook was brought down by a struggling marker, and the Saddlers were awarded an early free kick.

Cook got back to his feet to take the kick, and grazed the crossbar with his effort, away 'keeper Ross Turnbull was glued to the spot.

Referee Trevor Kettle then got involved, a Barnsley pass deflected off his legs into the path of James Baxendale, the midfielder's shot palmed away by Turnbull.

Walsall had a penalty shout turned away as Bradshaw was felled by his marker, Kettle not keen to give the Saddlers a spot-kick.

Both Walsall and Barnsley went close, through Cook and Hourihane respectively, both sides unlucky not to add to their tally for the day.

After fifty-six minutes Brad Abbott sent a shot over the bar for Barnsley, the midfielder wasting a chance in front of goal.

Hourihane drilled a shot straight at O'Donnell as Lita replaced Trotta, the manager looking to offer more pace up front.

A Jennings shot was also saved, the Tykes enjoying a spell of dominance away from home.

Walsall had a chance of their own, Romaine Sawyers crossing from the wing, Ross Turnbull nipping in ahead of Tom Bradshaw, the striker just inches away from connecting with the pass.

Devant Cole was caught offside as Anthony Forde replaced James Baxendale, a change that is repeated fairly frequently by Dean Smith.

Walsall were awarded a free kick which substitute Forde took, his effort not troubling Turnbull.

The Saddlers were awarded another free kick soon after, Rico Henry had made a brilliant run down the wing, and was hauled down by Martin Cranie, the defender picking up a booking for an obvious foul. Sadly the free kick was poor, and posed no threat to a solid Tykes defence.

Kane Hemmings replaced Abbott as Danny Wilson rolled the dice.

Following an unsuccessful corner Lewin Nyatanga was replaced by Jack Cowgill, Nyatanga seemingly picking up a hip injury during the game.

Both sides continued to create chances and push high up the field, creating many chances on the break.

Mathieu Manset replaced Tom Bradshaw, with Dean Smith looking for more strength up front as the Saddlers looked to secure the three points.

With a minute of normal time remaining Barnsley were awarded a dangerous free kick, Hourihane too it and sent it well over the bar, the bench not looking too pleased as a major chance goes begging.


Late on into five minutes of stoppage time Walsall won a corner through Anthony Forde. The ball was fed to Manset, who in-turn found Jordan Cook, the striker easily finishing past a helpless Turnbull.

 RESULT    WALSALL     3     BARNSLEY     1   
  GOALS    Cook 31' & 90+4', Bradshaw 34' -- Nyatanga 29'  
VENUE: Banks's Stadium, Walsall.
ATTENDANCE: 4,433 (503 Barnsley).
REFEREE: Mr. Trevor Kettle, Rutland.

 WALSALL  O'Donnell; Purkiss, J.Chambers, Downing, Henry; A.Chambers, Cain; Cook, Sawyers, Baxendale (Forde 68'); Bradshaw     (Manset 87')

 SUBS NOT USED  MacGillivray; O'Connor, Benning; Flanagan, Grimes

 BARNSLEY  Turnbull; Holgate, Nyatanga (Cowgill 79'), Cranie    Brown, Jennings, Berry    , Hourihane, Abbott     (Hemmings 77'), Cole, Trotta (Lita 62')

 SUBS NOT USED  Digby, Boakye-Yiadom, Davies, Treacy
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