REPORT | Walsall 2 Peterborough United 0

Earlier today, Walsall Football Club played host to Peterborough United in the latest Sky Bet League 1 fixture of the season. You can read our match report below.
Earlier today, Walsall Football Club played host to Peterborough United in the latest Sky Bet League 1 fixture of the season. You can read our match report below.

Ahead of the match, Walsall made two changes to their starting line up as Sam Mantom and Jordan Cook replaced Kieron Morris and Anthony Forde. The Saddlers were also boosted by the return of Rico Henry, who was named amongst the substitutes.

The two teams matched up in midfield, and were both keen to commit to an attack as plenty of bodies got into advanced positions when called upon.

James O'Connor was alert to quell the visitors' first attack as Angol was denied a sight on goal following a nice passing move in midfield.

George Evans' first contribution was a cross which the 'keeper easily grasped, a few step-overs from the Manchester City man as he beat his marker to get the ball in.

Walsall won the opening corner of the match as, following a low post-bound drive from Sam Mantom, the hosts scrambled clear. The visitors dealt well with the corner as it come to nothing.

Neil Etheridge got down to save a low bouncing effort from Forrester, as the visitors looked to set up camp just outside the Walsall area.

Walsall were forced into a change after around fifteen minutes of play as Paul Downing left the field, with Matt Preston the man to replace him. Downing looked to be suffering from an illness, breathing possibly the issue.

The Saddlers almost benefited from a loose pass in midfield as Lalkovic pounced on the ball, his shot was blocked as the defence scrambled back.

Walsall went on to regain the ball and increased the pressure on their opponents, seeing a couple of shots blocked. A corner was awarded following a saved Jordan Cook effort. The flag kick was cleared as the visitors remained alert.

Another flowing Saddlers move resulted in a Saddlers corner, this was worked into the final third but eventually cleared. A fine opening quarter as both sides sought to take the lead.

The Saddlers continued to enjoy the lionshare of the ball as Evans, Cook and Sawyers looked to attack the defence. The move ended as the Posh cleared following a blocked Sawyers drive.

Substitute Matt Preston did well to hack clear a Peterborough attack, good defending from the youth product as the low cross came into the box.

Following a fairly lengthy spell of midfield play, where neither side was able to get the ball into the final third, the visitors were awarded a soft free kick following an Evans tackle on Angol.

The free kick was poor but did result in a corner as O'Connor failed to deal with the danger. Peterborough wasted their corner as Walsall were eventually allowed to get the ball away via a free kick of their own.

With just over ten minutes of the half remaining, George Evans continued his shoot-on-sight policy as he broke into space following a good pass from Lalkovic, and sent an effort over the visitors' goal, not too far away.

The visitors were awarded a free kick that they failed to make use of as Etheridge came out to gather the ball that was sent into a large gap between goal and the group of players looking to get into the box.

With thirty-eight minutes gone, Peterborough's Smith did well to break into space but could not get a shot on target as the ball drifted well wide of Etheridge's goal.

Walsall Captain Adam Chambers continued in his anchor role and did his best to disrupt any danger on the edge of the area, the visitors falling foul of his ability on more than one occasion.

Following a Chambers intervention, the Saddlers broke down the field and saw a Mantom effort go wide of goal, a nice passing move between Sam and Cook to create the space.

Neil Etheridge was again called into action as a he saved a Washington header following a Smith cross, nice work from the 'keeper as the visitors almost opened the scoring. The resulting corner was cleared.

The half ended all-square, a good opening forty-five with plenty of good attacking play, and defensive solidity on display.


The visitors had the opening shot of the second half, as a Bostwick effort was palmed away and bounced around in the Saddlers' area, before eventually being cleared off the line.

Peterborough continued their strong start to the match as Etheridge was again called into action, his defence allowing the ball to get into the area.

With five minutes of the half gone, The Posh saw yet another effort on goal as Washington was in acres of space following a deep cross, his effort going just wide of the Walsall goal.

As Walsall continued to allow their opponents the freedom of the borough, Neil Etheridge was alert to save from a Smith shot, Washington with the initial pass.

With a couple of minutes to go before the game reached the hour mark, Walsall's Milan Lalkovic broke into the box and went down under the challenge of Miles Addison, referee Darren England was not convinced of the foul and waived away any chance of a penalty.

The visitors were forced into a change as Michael Bostwick was replaced by Almeida Santos, a spell of treatment was not enough for the defender to continue.

The visitors were awarded a free kick, which they made fairly good use of as Miles Addison, who was said to be on trial with the Saddlers over the summer, headed the ball just over the bar.

With thirty-minutes remaining, Neil Etheridge was called into action as a sloppy pass from Mantom allowed the visitors to break, Maddison forcing the 'keeper to act.

Peterborough went on to have a good spell of attacking play, resulting in a couple of corners, both of which were initially cleared as Walsall's strong defence stood firm. Etheridge grasped the final ball in as he again remained alert.

Following a good move down the wing by Jason Demetriou, the ball was cut back to Lalkovic, who could only see his deflected effort gathered by the goalkeeper.

With twenty-minutes of time remaining, Walsall's Sam Mantom became the latest player to have a shot on goal, his effort floating wide of goal, as the 'keeper watched it pass by.

The Saddlers were again under pressure as they were forced back by the Posh, James O'Connor doing well to block a Beautyman shot as Etheridge claimed an offside. The move ended as Peterborough's Taylor lifted the ball over the bar.

Walsall went on to make another change as Anthony Forde replaced Sam Mantom, a fairly odd change for the home side.

The Saddlers went on to get the ball high up field, but the move failed to create much of an opportunity as the Peterborough defence went untested.

With time ticking away, both sides showed a little fatigue, a few sloppy passes, and the odd poor effort on goal began to creep into the game.

With twelve minutes remaining, Peterborough made their second change of the game as Coulibaly replaced Angol, fresh legs for the Posh.

Walsall opened the scoring with ten minutes remaining, Jason Demetriou sending a deflected effort past the 'keeper, a tremendous move from the Saddlers as many players committed forward.

Following the goal Peterborough made their final change of the game, as Beautyman was replaced by Oztumer, more fresh legs as the opposition looked to get back on level terms.

Conor Washington was the first player to be added to the referee's book as he slid in on Neil Etheridge, the 'keeper looked to be in pain initially but was OK to continue.

Walsall almost doubled their lead as Milan Lalkovic and Anthony Forde were denied by Alnwick before Jordan Cook hooked the ball over the bar. Lalkovic did superbly to dance around his marker to create the opening.

As Walsall looked to kill off the game, the Saddlers made their final change of the match as Jordan Cook was replaced by Kieron Morris.

Walsall doubled their lead with a minute of normal time remaining as George Evans poked the ball home following a fine run from Kieron Morris, the substitute having an immediate impact.

Following a melee which began after a spot of time wasting in the corner, the referee looked to get back in control and booked several players and looked to have put an end to the issues.

Walsall continued to slow the game down, and frustrate their opponents, ultimately securing the win, and ensuring their place at the top of Sky Bet League 1 going into 2016.

GOALS | Demetriou (80'), Evans (89')
ATTENDANCE | 6,142 (1,045 The Posh)
REFEREE | Mr. Darren ENGLAND | South Yorkshire
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