PRE-SEASON | REPORT | Notts County 3 Walsall 2 PRE-SEASON | REPORT | Notts County 3 Walsall 2
Posted by: Bescot Banter

PRE-SEASON | REPORT | Notts County 3 Walsall 2

On Tuesday evening Jon Whitney's Walsall travelled to Meadow Lane and took on Notts County in the latest pre-season clash ahead of the 2016/17 campaign. You can read our match report below.
On Tuesday evening Jon Whitney's Walsall travelled to Meadow Lane and took on Notts County in the latest pre-season clash ahead of the 2016/17 campaign. You can read our match report below.

Walsall's Simeon Jackson got the game underway but hosts soon dispossessed the Saddlers and enjoyed the first chance of the evening, a twenty five yard effort fired in by Jon Stead, which drew a save from Neil Etheridge, who beat the ball away, gifting Notts County a corner. Carl Dickinson took the corner for County, floating a lovely ball towards the box and forcing a headed save from Henry.

Walsall were quick to launch an attack of their own, and almost took the lead as a lovely ball over the top from Franck Moussa played Jackson in. Jackson lifted his effort over Adam Collin in the County goal, but it sailed just over the bar.

The match continued at a lively pace, with the hosts regaining possession and seeking to create another chance of their own. A cross from Jonathon Forte setting up Elliott Hewitt, who headed his shot high over the bar, without troubling Etheridge.

Moments later, County enjoyed another chance; Stanley Aborah sending another shot sailing just over the crossbar, from close range.

Walsall captain Adam Chambers kept the County 'keeper on his toes, firing a shot in from some forty yards out. Not a bad effort, but well held by Collin, and Collin was again called into action moments later as Joe Edwards sent a fierce drive in from thirty five yards, the County 'keeper again able to claim the ball.

With a frenetic ten minutes played, the hosts took the lead. A free-kick, whipped in by Dickinson, which looked to be evading everyone, found Haydn Hollis at the back post and was turned home.

Within a minute, Notts County had doubled their advantage. A defensive slip allowing Forte to break from the half-way line, before calmly slipping the ball past Etheridge. A lovely finish, but a disappointing goal for the Saddlers to concede.

The match continued at the same frenetic pace after the goals, as Walsall sought a route back into the game and the hosts sought to further extend their lead. In the nineteenth minute, Jon Stead almost sent Forte clear on goal, but an alert Neil Etheridge cleared the danger for the visitors.

Moments later, Moussa sent a twenty yard effort in. He dragged his shot slightly and it flew wide of the County goal, without troubling the County 'keeper. Collin's goal-kick picked out Stead, whose flick on almost found Aborah, but Etheridge had it covered, as the end to end action continued.

With twenty remaining of the half, Moussa again found himself in striking distance, after some patient build-up play from the visitors. His twenty five yard effort curled wide of the post.

Moussa was further involved moments later as the Saddlers won a free-kick, which he took. A decent and dangerous effort which Collin could only punch clear.

Collin was again called into action a few moments later, as a defensive error allowed Moussa to set up Jackson, who fired at goal from twenty yards. The County 'keeper able to save comfortably.

With ten minutes of the half remaining, Stead almost created another chance for the hosts, as he danced his way past James O'Connor before firing the ball across the box, where Etheridge spilled it, calling his defence into action to clear the danger.

The hosts continued to pressure the Walsall defensive line, as Matt Tootle cut inside and picked out Stead. Stead's left footed effort from twenty yards trickled wide of the target. Stead was involved again seconds later, as his headed pass found Alex Rodman who fired a shot over the bar.

As we rapidly approached half-time, the Saddlers continued to seek a goal back, as Kouhyar saw his strike blocked, before Moussa sent in another effort wide of the post.

With forty three minutes on the clock, Jackson found himself through on goal as he beat the offside trap. His first touch was good, but Collin was able to palm away his shot to maintain his sides lead as the teams headed in for their half-time refreshments.


Walsall made their first change of the evening at the break, with the heavily involved Moussa making way for Amadou Bakayoko, as the match got back underway.

The Saddlers enjoyed the first chance of the half as Kieron Morris latched on to a loose header and drove the ball forwards, before sending a low strike goal-wards. The County 'keeper able to palm the ball away.

Walsall continued to press and Jackson almost found himself through on goal, Bakayoko's cross just too strong for him.

With fifty nine minutes on the clock the hosts made their first change of the evening as Izale McLeod was introduced in place of Jonathon Forte.

Two minutes after the first, Notts County made their second change, as Elliott Hewitt made way for Jordan Richards.

The match struggled to get going as the pauses in play continued. County introducing their third substitute in the sixty fourth minute; Graham Burke replacing Stanley Aborah.

With sixty seven minutes on the clock, Jon Stead found himself on the end of a lovely pass, to put him through on goal, he dinked the ball over Etheridge and extended his teams lead to three.

That would be the last action for Stead, as he was replaced moments after the goal, by Adam Campbell.

Walsall  took the opportunity to introduce some fresh legs as Jordon Sangha, George Dobson and Isaiah Osbourne came on in place of Adam Chambers, Flo Cuvelier and Simeon Jackson, while the hosts made more changes, bringing on Snijders, Smith, Loach, Atkinson and Sharpe to replace Dickinson, Duffy, Collin, Tootle and Rodman.

Second half substitute, Amadou Bakayoko found a much sought after goal for Walsall in the seventy second minute, as he headed home a lovely George Dobson cross from six yards out.

With just fifteen minutes remaining, Walsall made further changes as Edwards, Kouhyar and O'Connor made way for the fresh legs of Shorrock, Kinsella and Roberts.

Walsall continued to press as we headed towards full-time, and with just five minutes remaining on the clock, they were rewarded with a second goal. Rico Henry putting on a dazzling display as he took the ball past the County defences, before crossing the ball in for the waiting Bakayoko who fired home after it was palmed down by the County 'keeper.

Sadly that would be the last real action of the evening; Notts County winning by three goals to two. Some wonderful attacking play on display from the Saddlers, giving much optimism for the season ahead.

GOALS | Hollis 10', Forte 11', Stead 67' - Bakayoko 72' & 85'
ATTENDANCE | 952 (135 Walsall)
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