PRE-SEASON | REPORT | Luton Town 0 Walsall 1

On Saturday afternoon Jon Whitney's Walsall travelled to Kenilworth Road and took on Luton Town in the final pre-season clash ahead of the 2016/17 campaign. You can read our match report below.
On Saturday afternoon Jon Whitney's Walsall travelled to Kenilworth Road and took on Luton Town in the final pre-season clash ahead of the 2016/17 campaign. You can read our match report below.

The match got off to a slow start as both teams contented themselves building attacks from deep, though an early offside decision did prevent a chance for Danny Hylton two minutes in.

With nine minutes on the clock, some excellent work from Hylton set up former Saddler, Jordan Cook, who sent a curling effort goal-wards, where it was blocked by the Walsall defences.

Erhun Oztumer created the first decent chance for the Saddlers, when twelve minutes in, he got clear of his marker, creating enough space to send a powerful shot goal-wards. Alan Sheehan was on hand for Luton and blocked well.

After a very slow start, the match did begin to open up a little. Shortly after Oztumer's effort, the heavily involved Hylton fired a shot towards Neil Etheridge's goal, which flew well over the bar without troubling the Saddler's shot-stopper.

Sixteen minutes in, Etheridge was called into action as the hosts enjoyed their first real shot on goal. Jack Marriott sending a low, twenty yard effort in, which the Walsall 'keeper palmed away.

Chances were few and far between and it was a full ten minutes before we saw any further real attacking play. The Saddlers afforded Town plenty of time on the ball, but limited their attacking potential, keeping much of the action contained in midfield.

With twenty six minutes played, some lovely build up play from Sheehan and Stephen O'Donnell set Cook up. The ex-Saddler wasted his chance, sending a side-footed effort blazing over the bar from close range.

With just five minutes of the half remaining, the action finally seemed to heat up a little, as some good play from Marriott set Cameron McGeehan away down the left, where he sent a high shot in. Nothing to test Etheridge, but some brighter play.

Moments later, the Saddlers launched an attack of their own, as Rico Henry drove the ball down the left, before neatly picking out Florent Cuvelier with a pass inside. Cuvelier's shot was blocked in the box, but a decent spell from the visitors.

As the break loomed, the hosts sent another shot goal-wards, following the award of a free-kick. Sheehan whipped the ball in from the right, but played it close to Etheridge, who had no trouble catching in.

Walsall enjoyed a good spell of possession as we headed towards half-time, and after some good build-up play from captain Adam Chambers and Cuvelier, Kieron Morris fired a shot just wide from twenty yards.


The second half got underway in rather different fashion to the first, and within twenty-or-so seconds the Saddlers had the ball in the back of the net. Simeon Jackson scoring his first goal for his new team, as he took advantage of a loose ball to slide a shot past Town goalkeeper Christian Walton.

The hosts sought a quick reply to the Walsall goal, with some good build-up work from Walton and O'Donnell setting Marriott through into the Walsall box, where the striker sent a shot wide.

A much higher intensity game in the second half, with much more attacking threat on display from both teams. Some lovely passing play present from the Saddlers, as they sought to extend their lead.

As we approached the hour mark, Hylton created space and sent a shot in, which deflected off the heels of Jason McCarthy, falling kindly for Etheridge who grabbed the ball to relieve the pressure.

Moments later, rounding Etheridge, Hylton found himself through on goal, and rolled the ball into the empty net presented to him. Luckily for the Saddlers, the linesman's flag was raised and the goal was disallowed for offside.

With sixty two minutes on the clock, Luton opted to make their first change of the day, as Marriott, who appeared to have been nursing an injury, made way for Jonathon Smith.

Five minutes after the first change, Town made their second change as Olly Lee was replaced in midfield by Glen Rea. Walsall also took the opportunity to make a change, as Cuvelier made way for Isaiah Osbourne.

After a quiet ten minute spell, further changes were made to the Town line-up, as Johnny Mullins and Danny Hylton were replaced by Scott Cuthbert and Josh McQuoid.

After the raft of changes, Luton enjoyed a decent spell of possession as the fresh legs settled in. With ten minutes remaining, some good work from substitute McQuoid set up O'Donnell, who sent an inviting cross in to McGeehan. O'Connor, at full stretch, cleared the danger for his Saddlers side.

Sheehan picked out Cuthbert, eight yards out, from the resulting corner. The defender unable to direct his effort goal-wards.

Walsall made their final changes of the afternoon in the eighty third minute, as Franck Moussa and Amadou Bakayoko were introduced in place of Jackson and Ginnelly. Luton also made further changes, bringing on Zane Banton and Isaac Vassell in place of McGeehan and Cook.

With three minutes remaining, Oztumer had a decent chance of extending the Saddlers lead, with a shot from twenty five yards. An awkward ball for the Town 'keeper who gathered at the second time of asking.

Luton enjoyed the best of the late action, as two minutes from time, O'Donnell crossed the ball in from a corner, finding Rea, whose headed effort was comfortably saved by Etheridge.

As we headed into added time, Town won another corner. A cross from Sheehan found Cuthbert who headed the ball across goal. Etheridge gathered the ball after it was nodded goal-wards by McQuiod, keeping his sides lead in tact. The Saddlers early second-half goal, enough to secure victory.

GOAL | Jackson 46'
ATTENDANCE | 1,651 (87 Walsall)

Don't forget you can join us across social media, we're @BescotBanter on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You can also find the very latest Saddlers news and updates on Google News.

We've launched a brand new newsletter. To secure yours, visit newsletter.bescotbanter.net and subscribe to our regular updates.

Bescot Banter logo Fantasy Premier League is back!
CLICK HERE to add your team to the BBEFL!
 Twitter     Facebook     Instagram     Google News