REPORT | Scunthorpe United 0 Walsall 1 REPORT | Scunthorpe United 0 Walsall 1
Posted by: Bescot Banter

REPORT | Scunthorpe United 0 Walsall 1

Earlier today, Dean Smith took charge of his 250th Walsall game as his side travelled to Glanford Park to take on Scunthorpe United in the latest Sky Bet League 1 fixture of the season. You can read our match report below.
Earlier today, Dean Smith took charge of his 250th Walsall game as his side travelled to Glanford Park to take on Scunthorpe United in the latest Sky Bet League 1 fixture of the season. You can read our in-depth match report below.

It was the home side that got the game underway, and after a brief spell of play in midfield, they had the first shots on goal, as van Veen fired over from the edge of the area, and McSheffrey produced a curling effort that also went wide of goal. Plenty of space for the hosts as Neil Etheridge had a few short words with his backline.

Walsall also had an early sight on goal, as midfielder Sam Mantom sent a dipping free-kick over the bar from around twenty-five yards, the Iron 'keeper looked confident that he'd judged the angles well, and he was correct.

Following a Walsall attack which saw Demetriou breaking down the wing, the hosts countered and registered the game's first shot on target, as Laird forced a save from Etheridge, nice play from van Veen and Madden to create space for the experienced left-back.

As the hosts began to find room, Joe Lolley was the next to test the 'keeper, as he drove past Andy Taylor, cut inside and forced a save low to the ground. Good work from Etheridge, but once again the Saddlers allow attackers too much time on the ball in dangerous places.

Walsall were soon back on the defensive, as Lolley drove at the defence and sent a cross towards Madden, Saddlers vice Captain Paul Downing doing well to cut out the ball and clear.

After twenty minutes of play, Walsall's Sam Mantom forced a fine save out of the opposition 'keeper, as his half-volley from distance bought the best out of the stopper following fine play from Andy Taylor and Rico Henry down the wing.

The Saddlers had another attempt on goal as Rico Henry's cross was met by Jordan Cook, who forced the 'keeper into a one-handed save, giving Walsall a corner kick. The flag-kick was headed just wide of goal by Tom Bradshaw as the Saddlers looked to take control of the tie.

Walsall opened the scoring after twenty-seven minutes, some fine play in midfield as the ball was sent over to Jordan Cook, who found Rico Henry in space, the young defender slipping the ball over a helpless onrushing Luke Daniels in the home goal, a great team effort by the Saddlers.

The hosts, looking to get back on level terms, saw a McSheffrey cross cut out by James O'Connor, as Paddy Madden fought to get ahead of his marker.

At the other end, Walsall's Jordan Cook sent a shot into the side netting from the left side of the area, the game really beginning to open up.

Scunthorpe's van Veen was once again involved in the attack as he forced a one-handed save out of Etheridge, with a curling left-footed effort, fine play all round.

With around five minutes of the half remaining, the hosts were awarded a freekick on the edge of the area, a poor tackle on Laird giving them a chance to level the scores, however the free kick came to nothing and the Saddlers remained in the lead as we reached the break.


Ahead of kick off for the second half, the hosts made a change in midfield, with Jamie Ness being replaced by Sean McAllister.

Walsall got the second half underway, but it was the hosts that had the first real opportunity, as a McSheffrey cross was cleared for a corner. The resulting flag kick was eventually cleared for another as Neal Bishop did well to increase the pressure.

The second corner fell to Bishop, but he could only lash the ball over the bar, giving the Saddlers the goal kick.

The hosts continued their strong start to the half, as a low McSheffrey cross was eventually cleared, and Madden later fired wide following an O'Connor slip, the striker not expecting the ball to land at his feet.

With around ten minutes of the half gone, Joe Lolley was felled and awarded a free kick, but the effort would come to nothing as Romaine Sawyers cleared the danger.

Soon after, Walsall's Jordan Cook had an effort on goal saved, the 'keeper not really troubled as the ball took a deflection, but a nice burst of pace from the frontman, who continues to work hard for the cause.

With just under twenty minutes of the half gone, Jason Demetriou sent in a whipped cross towards an advancing Tom Bradshaw, but the former Shrew couldn't quite make it as the ball was a little too swift.

Walsall were awarded a free kick when on the counter as Scott Laird felled his man when realising he wasn't going to be able to stop him. The resulting free kick came to nothing as Laird cleared with a diving header.

After around seventy minutes of play, the hosts made their second change of the game, with Kevin van Veen being replaced by Kyle Wootton, more fresh legs for the hosts.

Soon after, Walsall's Neil Etheridge was added to the referee's book as he was deemed to have dived following a challenge by Bishop, referee Tierney considering it to be time wasting.

Neil Etheridge was again involved in the action as he pushed a dangerous cross out of his area. The hosts beginning to gain confidence in midfield, something Dean Smith acknowledged as Reece Flanagan replaced Jordan Cook.

The hosts soon made their final change as Lolley was replaced by Adelakun, a good night's work from Lolley, who looked to have taken a slight knock.

Walsall were under increased pressure during the second half, but continued to work hard as the clock ticked down.

The hosts forced a save out of Neil Etheridge as Paddy Madden brushed off challenges from Andy Taylor and Paul Downing to send the ball into the area, well held.

With five-or-so minutes remaining, Walsall seemed to have weathered the storm a little, as they began to enjoy spells of possession, the hosts still posing a threat, but the Saddlers able to move the ball around.

With little over a minute remaining, Walsall were awarded a free kick in a dangerous position following a McAllister foul. Andy Taylor was the man to take the effort, but sent it around the wall and over the bar.

As three minutes of added time were awarded, the hosts saw a Laird header grasped by Etheridge, and the Saddlers had a Bradshaw chance go over the bar as the game ended one-nil to the Saddlers, Dean Smith enjoying a hard-fought victory on his 250th game in charge.

GOAL Henry (27')
ATTENDANCE | 2,596 (188 Walsall)
REFEREE | Mr. Paul TIERNEY (Lancashire)
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