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MATCH REPORT | Walsall 1 Wigan Athletic 2
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MATCH REPORT | Walsall 1 Wigan Athletic 2
MATCH REPORT | Walsall 1 Wigan Athletic 2
MATCH REPORT | Walsall 1 Wigan Athletic 2

MATCH REPORT | Walsall 1 Wigan Athletic 2

5:46 pm Saturday, 20 February 2016  
On Saturday afternoon, Walsall played host to fellow promotion chasers Wigan Athletic in the latest Sky Bet League 1 fixture of the season. You can read our match report below.
On Saturday afternoon, Walsall played host to fellow promotion chasers Wigan Athletic in the latest Sky Bet League 1 fixture of the season. You can read our match report below.

The Saddlers kicked the match off, but it was the Latics who had the opening shot of the game as Everton's Conor McAleny dragged a shot wide of goal from the edge of the area, with just two minutes on the clock.

With five minutes on the clock Walsall saw the opening booking of the game as Sam Mantom and Jason Demetriou both committed heavy tackles on Power and Perkins, referee Iain Williamson deciding to caution Mantom as Demetriou was spoken to. The resulting free kick eventually came to nothing following a poor touch by Colclough.

The Saddlers soon saw their second booking of the match as winger Milan Lalkovic was deemed to have dived after slipping past Wigan's Daniels.

Neither 'keeper was tested during the opening ten-to-fifteen-minutes as both sides battled in midfield, some nice passing play, but both defences were well drilled and alert to danger.

Wigan's David Perkins was added to the referee's caution count as he pulled back Walsall's Sam Mantom. The free kick eventually saw the Saddlers win a corner, which was taken short but ended without a goal as Bradshaw looked to be felled inside the area, the referee gave nothing but did have a chat to several Wigan players including the already booked Perkins, as he looked to assert his authority.

Wigan's Colclough saw an effort go over the bar as he found a bit of space following some nice passing play, no danger for Neil Etheridge as his sheet remained clean.

With just over twenty-minutes of the half gone Latics defender Craig Morgan was the next to attempt a shot on goal as he broke from the back and sent an effort wide of the post.

Wigan had another effort on goal as Matt Preston rushed a pass and fed former Tranmere Rovers midfielder Max Power, who could only fire wide of goal.

The Saddlers saw an attack of their own break down as Anthony Forde broke down the wing but saw his cross cleared by Daniels. Wigan looked to break but were eventually dispossessed as the Saddlers countered, and were also dispossessed.

Matt Preston drew the biggest cheer of the half as he entered a robust but fair challenge on former Saddlers striker Will Grigg.

Walsall were awarded a goal kick following a dangerous Perkins cross which an unmarked Will Grigg couldn't quite connect with, close for the Latics.

The Latics enjoyed a good spell of pressure, but couldn't create too much in front of goal as Adam Chambers, who was making his 500th career appearance, deflected a McAleny cross into the path of Neil Etheridge.

Walsall continued on the back foot as Paul Downing cleared from a Grigg header following a Max Power cross, some solid defensive play from the men in red.

Former Crewe forward Ryan Colclough went on a mazy run but could only fire into the side netting, a pass would've been the better option as he teammates broke into the box.

Wigan took the lead after almost forty-minutes of play as McAleny struck from distance, a bit of sloppy defending from Matt Preston as he was caught in possession when looking to advance up the pitch, a dipping effort from the Premier League loanee.

The Latics went close again soon after as a Daniels cross was just ahead of both Grigg and McCann, the visitors went on to win a corner as they regained the ball and looked to push high up the pitch.

The initial flag kick came to nothing, but Wigan did earn a free kick as Chambers felled Colclough, and was booked in the process. McAleny's free kick was a good effort but went just over the corner of Etheridge's goal.

The referee issued three minutes of added on time but there were no further chances as the Latics led at the break.


Wigan kicked off the second forty-five minutes, and looked to move the ball around in the opening stages, but it was the Saddlers that had the opening attack as Jason Demetriou saw an effort blocked by Morsy.

Walsall continued to enjoy a good opening spell, and were awarded a free kick, the ball was played in and cleared by Morgan,the defender was also alert to the second ball and cleared once again.

Milan Lakovic flashed an effort wide of goal as Walsall did well to break up an attack and advance up the pitch, a much better showing from the Saddlers.

Will Grigg soon had another effort on goal as he headed wide at the near post from a Colclough cross, the Latics remaining a major threat.

Neil Etheridge had to be alert as Paul Downing headed the ball powerfully in his direction as Will Grigg looked to put the pressure on. The Walsall 'keeper cleared the danger.

The Latics recovered well and ended a Saddlers attack to launch a counter, the move ending as McAleny fired over from a Grigg cross, nice play from the former Saddler to hold up the ball.

Grigg was involved again soon after as he sent an effort into the side netting following a Daniels pass, the Birmingham-born striker finding more space as the Saddlers chased an equaliser.

Walsall's Matt Preston was the fourth Saddler to be added to the referee's list of bookings as he felled Colclough. The resulting free kick was poor and ended as McAleny fired wide of goal.

The Saddlers levelled the scores with twenty-two minutes remaining as birthday boy Sam Mantom slammed the ball home as a Demetriou free kick rebounded off the wall and into his path, a superb finish from the midfielder.

Walsall began to push higher up the pitch and saw two Lalkovic shots saved, a couple of corners were also dealt with well as the Latics were forced to pack their area and defend. Tom Bradshaw was also felled inside the area during the melee, but the referee waived the protests away, and the match continued.

Wigan made the opening substitution of the match as Colclough was replaced by Wildschut, fresh legs for the Latics.

Anthony Forde saw an effort go wide of goal as he cut inside and found space. Wigan also saw an effort go wide of goal as Will Grigg again found space, should've scored.

Walsall earned a corner with just over ten minutes of play as Demetriou and Forde combined. The Latics cleared the initial ball, and also sent he return ball out for a Sadders throw.

The men in red went on to win another corner from the throw, but the Latics eventually got the ball away following a Lalkovic cross.

Lalkovic was again involved soon after as he sent an effort into the hands of Jaaskelainen, some good pressure from Walsall.

The Saddlers looked to grab their second goal as Jaaskelainen was again called into action, he did well to tip an Anthony Forde effort over the bar.

Walsall saw another couple of corners, which were split by a Latics sub as former Saddler Reece Wabara replaced Donervon Daniels.

The Saddlers also had a free kick awarded out wide, the ball was played in by Anthony Forde but was not converted as the Latics cleared.

Wigan went on to make their third and final change of the match as goalscorer McAleny was replaced by Craig Davies, an attacking change by the visitors.

Following a blocked Will Grigg shot, the Latics would take the lead just a minute or so later as substitute Wildschut fired home after a twisting run.

Following the goal,and as the referee issued five minutes of added on time, Matt Preston was replaced by Jordan Cook as the Saddlers looked to grab a late equaliser.

Wigan then did well to control the ball, and find the corners whenever they could. But Walsall did win a corner late on, this was taken short and worked into the area, but the Latics continued to defend well and forced the ball away.

GOALS | Mantom (68') - McAleny (39'), Wildschut (90')
ATTENDANCE | 6,740 (1,799 Wigan Athletic)
REFEREE | Mr. Iain Williamson | Berkshire

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