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PRE-SEASON: AFC Telford United 1 Walsall 0

Earlier today, Walsall Football Club made the trip to the New Bucks Head to take on AFC Telford United in the Saddlers' opening pre-season match of the campaign.
Earlier today, Walsall Football Club made the trip to the New Bucks Head to take on AFC Telford United in the Saddlers' opening pre-season match of the campaign.

It was the hosts that got the game underway, kicking towards the stand which the travelling Saddlers fans were occupying.

Walsall enjoyed the better of the early exchanges with Cook and Forde looking to threaten the defence, a couple of Saddlers corners were also an early test for the hosts.

The Saddlers continued to be the stronger of the two sides, with Jordan Cook sending in a curling effort from distance, his shot is saved by United goalkeeper Montgomery.

With around ten minutes gone, James O'Connor had to be alert at the back as the hosts enjoyed a brief spell of attack.

Later, Andy Taylor dallied on the ball and sent in a poor backpass to goalkeeper Craig MacGillivray, forcing the 'keeper to rush his clearance with the opposition closing in, a needless scare for the Saddlers.

With sixteen minutes gone Liam Kinsella is under pressure and is forced to bring down his man. Gorman took the free kick, but it was easy work for MacGillivray.

With nineteen minutes on the clock it was time for the first spell of applause in memory of one of the three Saddlers fans killed in the Tunisian terror attacks.

As the applause was ringing around the ground Walsall went close through Anthony Forde, his effort forcing corner, which subsequently fell for captain Adam Chambers, who saw his effort saved for another flag kick.

Chambers was caught offside soon after, the middle-man looking to get forward and create openings.

With the clock ticking down Walsall continued to be on top, seeking to create openings in a solid, well-drilled defence.

Good play from Romaine Sawyers as he works well out on the wing to create an open for James Baxendale, sadly Baxo could only scuff his effort into the hands of the 'keeper, poor from the Yorkshire man.

With around eight minutes of the half remaining Telford made a change, with Bailey replacing Harrison, and had a corner cleared as James O'Connor was the lucky recipient of a poor ball, a case of right-place, right-time for the resurgent centre-back.

A few moments later Anthony Forde was again involved in the action as he sent a free kick just wide of goal, the former Woverhampton Wanderers winger very close to opening the scoring.

As the game neared the break, Telford were awarded a penalty, Jason Demetriou charged down a cross and was adjudged to have handled the ball.

Jordan Goddard stepped up and sent MacGillivray the wrong way making it one-nil to the hosts as we reached half-time.

 HT: AFC TELFORD UNITED 1 WALSALL 0

It was all change for the second half, as Walsall manager Dean Smith made six changes with Rico Henry, Milan Lalkovic, Tom Bradshaw, Sam Mantom, Kieron Morris and Amadou Bakayoko all taking to the field.

Two of the subs were immediately involved, as Tom Bradshaw and Milan Lalkovic combined for Milan to send an effort in on goal, 'keeper Montgomery was alert and saved well.

With just under five minutes of the half remaining it was time for the second round of applause, this was in memory of Adrian Evans, who along with Joel Richards and his father Patrick Evans was a victim of the Tunisian terror attacks.

Later, Rico Henry bust down the wing, evading his marker, and sent an inviting ball across the Bucks' box, sadly there was no-one in a Saddlers shirt to take advantage as the hosts gathered to clear.

Substitute Milan Lalkovic was again involved soon after, as he sent a free kick just over the bar, the Saddlers unlucky not to be on the scoresheet so far.

Adam Chambers brought down his man in the middle of the park, the resulting free kick came to nothing as time ticked by.

Hibbert did well for the hosts as another free kick was awarded, Gorman took the effort but it once again came to nothing, another good chance for the home side.

Adam Chambers was replaced by Reece Flanagan, who was immediately involved, the flame-haired midfielder sending the ball just over the bar following a good pass from Lalkovic.

Second-half substitute Sam Mantom saw an effort saved, his tame shot lacking the power needed to beat Telford United's Montgomery.

As we continued towards the full time whistle, Telford won a free kick on the edge of the Walsall area but were once again wasteful as the Saddlers broke clear.

James O'Connor dragged a shot wide following good play from Tom Bradshaw, the versatile striker doing well to keep a deep cross in the game, creating the chance.

With just under twenty minutes to go, Amadou Bakayoko, who had come on at the break, was replaced by Jordan Murphy.

This change was swiftly followed by several others as Levi Rowley, Kyle Rowley, and Matt Preston replaced James O'Connor, Paul Downing and Jason Demetriou, with Smith looking to shuffle the pack.

Soon after, the third spell of applause was underway, Patrick, Joel and Adrian will be forever in our hearts.

Telford were then awarded another free kick, Lilly was bought down in the centre of the park, Reid, who started the game, stepped up and forced a good save from MacGillivray, the ex-Harrogate Town 'keeper flying away to his left-hand side.

At the other end Montgomery was again involved, as he gathered the ball at the second time of asking, a solid performance from the stopper.

Lalkovic continued to be involved as he broke clear and found recent substitute Jordan Murphy in space, his effort was saved well, earning another corner, which was subsequently cleared, for the Saddlers.

The game came to an end with the Saddlers unlucky not to have notched at least one goal.

FT: AFC TELFORD UNITED 1 WALSALL 0
GOAL: Goddard PEN 43'
ATT: 895 (302 Walsall) REF: Miss Lisa Rashid (West Midlands)

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