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MATCH REPORT | Bury 2 Walsall 3
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MATCH REPORT | Bury 2 Walsall 3
MATCH REPORT | Bury 2 Walsall 3
MATCH REPORT | Bury 2 Walsall 3

MATCH REPORT | Bury 2 Walsall 3

5:36 pm Saturday, 16 January 2016  
Earlier today, Walsall travelled to Gigg Lane as they faced Bury in the latest Sky Bet League 1 fixture of the season. You can read our match report below.
Earlier today, Walsall travelled to Gigg Lane as they faced Bury in the latest Sky Bet League 1 fixture of the season. You can read our match report below.

Just as they arrived in the North West, Walsall were dealt a major blow as Manchester City recalled George Evans as the midfielder appeared to be close to a transfer to Dean Smith's Brentford.

As a result of the recall Walsall reverted back to a familiar formation with Andy Taylor joining the defensive line, as Jason Demetriou also returned to the starting line-up. Anthony Forde was also added to the starting XI as Milan Lalkovic dropped to the bench.

Referee Mark Haywood had inspected the pitch a couple of times ahead of kick off and, after the Bury ground staff had applied plenty of hot water to the pitch, gave the go ahead for the game to be played.

As the match got underway a few minutes late, Walsall were keen to attack early on, with O'Driscoll's men claiming the opening corner of the match. James O'Connor had a shot on goal from the flag kick, but it came to nothing as Bury cleared.

Anthony Forde also had an early shot as the two sides looked to settle, the ball sailed wide of goal, no danger for the 'keeper.

The hosts also broke into the final third on a couple of occasions, the latter saw a Riley cross cleared by Rico Henry.

Later, the hosts again looked to break through the Saddlers' defence but couldn't take advantage of space as Leon Clarke was caught offside, a good pass from Soares to create the chance.

Walsall opened the scoring after sixteen minutes of play as an Andy Taylor cross was dispatched by Bury's Chris Hussey, the defender slipping the ball past his own 'keeper to gift the visitors the lead.

Bury looked to get back on level terms and saw a tame Brown effort gathered by Neil Etheridge, not much behind the shot.

A few minutes later the hosts again had a shot on goal, with Tutte shooting from a tight angle, Etheridge managed to gather the ball at the second attempt.

The Saddlers continued to play the better football, and looked to pass the ball around, they soon had another shot on goal as Romaine Sawyers fired over from the edge of the area.

With around twenty-five minutes on the clock the hosts again created space in the final third as Mayor was allowed to cut inside, thankfully he could only fire wide of the post.

The Saddlers won another corner following a great display of attacking football, Demetriou breaking up the hosts attack and taking the ball forward, Sawyers, Bradshaw and Henry were all involved as Rico saw an effort blocked for a corner. The flag kick resulted in another, but that came to nothing as Bury cleared.

Bury went on to win a corner of their own as Riley beat Taylor but saw his cross cleared. The corner was cleared for another as the Saddlers' defence remained strong.

Walsall would go on to double their lead with another display of counter attacking football, as the visitors cleared a corner and moved up the field, Anthony Forde finding Tom Bradshaw, who switched the ball to his right foot and slotted past the goalkeeper.

The referee awarded Bury a very soft free kick near the Saddlers' area, and they made good use of it as Etheridge elected to punch the ball out, Etuhu firing over the bar with the regained ball.

Bury made the opening change of the match with over ten minutes of the half remaining as Riley was replaced by O'Sullivan, the home side looking for some defensive stability as Walsall continued in the lead.

As the game reached the forty-minute mark Neil Etheridge was again called into action as Tutte struck from distance, an easy save for the man in green.

Walsall further extended their lead with three minutes of the half remaining as Anthony Forde took the ball on the right wing, beat his marker and slammed the ball home with his left foot, a deserved goal for the better side.

The home side had a couple of corners, and also saw a Mellis shot saved as they went in to the break three goals down.


Ahead of the second half, Bury made another change as Jacob Mellis was replaced by Danny Rose, the Shakers keen to stop the rot.

The opening few minutes of the second half were largely uneventful as much of the play was in midfield, both sides seeking to once again establish their passing game.

Walsall were happy to keep the ball and build from the back, with the hosts the side that had to do the work.

Bury were issued with the opening caution of the match as second half sub Danny Rose poorly challenged Adam Chambers, the free kick came to nothing as Bury scrambled the ball clear.

The game continued at a very slow pace, Bury unable to break the Saddlers down as O'Driscoll's men were happy to move the ball around the pitch.

A few minutes past the hour mark Anthony Forde sent a right-footed  effort wide of goal following some fine play from Romaine Sawyers, the attacker nutmegging Etuhu before finding his teammate.

Bury got a goal back after sixty-five minutes of play as Leon Clarke slotted home from an O'Sullivan cross, terrible defending from the Saddlers, gifting Bury the ball.

Following Bury's opening goal, Walsall made their first change of the game with Kieron Morris replacing Rico Henry.

Leon Clarke was on hand just a minute later to get his side closer to level terms as Walsall again gifted the ball to the hosts, two goals in two minutes for the Shakers.

In the minutes after their swift double, the home side became much the better side, winning more of the ball and forcing the Saddlers back.

Walsall did see a Bradshaw effort blocked following a good run from Forde, the Saddlers remaining a threat as Bury sent plenty of bodies forward. Soares the man to block the ball.

Bury continued to put pressure on the Walsall defence, and went on to win a corner with seventy-five minutes on the clock, an O'Sullivan cross blocked. The ball was cleared from the corner, but not before a bit of a goalmouth scramble.

Walsall did mount an attack of their own, but made little use of it as a corner was cleared, and saw Bury go up field and win a couple of flag kicks of their own. Walsall did remain strong at the back and forced the ball away.

Tutte saw an effort blocked by the Saddlers defence, a good ball from O'Sullivan to find his man in the box, but equally good defending to get the ball away.

Bury went agonisingly close to levelling the scores with less than ten minutes remaining as Leon Clarke hit the post following a pass from Rose, Mayor sending the rebound over the bar as Walsall scrambled to get behind the ball.

Bury made their third and final change of the game a few minutes before full time as Tom Pope came on for Tutte. The hosts had won a corner before making the change, but the flag kick came to nothing as Walsall were awarded a goal kick.

The Saddlers went on to make a change with Matt Preston replacing Tom Bradshaw, Head Coach Sean O'Driscoll looking to strengthen his defence with just minutes remaining.

As the game went into injury time the visitors looked to pile on the pressure, winning a corner which the 'keeper went up for, this game to nothing as the ball was sent wide of goal by Etuhu.

Walsall also saw an effort go wide of goal, with Kieron Morris trying his luck from distance.

The game ultimately ended 3-2 to the Saddlers, a very strange second half from O'Driscoll's men who invited the hosts on and suffered the consequences.

GOAL | L.Clarke (65', 66') - Hussey OG (16'), Bradshaw (30'), Forde (42')
ATTENDANCE | 3,532 (547 Walsall)
REFEREE | Mr. Mark Haywood | West Yorkshire

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