PRE-SEASON | REPORT | Walsall 1 Birmingham City 1×
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PRE-SEASON | REPORT | Walsall 1 Birmingham City 1
 
PRE-SEASON | REPORT | Walsall 1 Birmingham City 1
PRE-SEASON | REPORT | Walsall 1 Birmingham City 1
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PRE-SEASON | REPORT | Walsall 1 Birmingham City 1

9:45 pm Tuesday, 19 July 2016
On Tuesday evening, Jon Whitney's Walsall played host to Birmingham City, in the latest pre-season clash ahead of the 2016/17 campaign. You can read our brief match report below.
On Tuesday evening, Jon Whitney's Walsall played host to Birmingham City, in the latest pre-season clash ahead of the 2016/17 campaign. You can read our brief match report below.

The visitors kicked us off but it was the Saddlers who enjoyed the early possession, passing the ball around on the recently re-seeded Banks's Stadium pitch.

After around seven minutes of play, City broke into the Saddlers' final third but could only earn a corner, which was subsequently cleared by Florent Cuvelier as Gleeson failed to get the ball under control.

Later, Walsall's Kieron Morris and Flo Cuvelier linked up to send a ball into the area, but a City defender was alert to clear ahead of Amadou Bakayoko, who was looking to add to the brace of penalties he scored versus Solihull Moors.

Walsall continued to match their Championship opponents and again sought to find Bakayoko, this time Oztumer's through ball was too firm as City regained possession.

City's Reece Brown had the first real attempt on goal mid-way through the first-half as he found space outside the area and sent a right-footed effort over Craig MacGillivray's bar.

Following Brown's long-distance effort his colleague Koby Arthur also had an off-target attempt, as City sought to open the scoring.

The Blues were awarded a free kick with twenty-five minutes of the first-half gone, but failed to make much use of it as MacGillivray was equal to Viv Soloman-Otabor's effort. Following the free kick the referee briefly stopped play for a a short drinks break.

City had another couple of chances as, MacGillivray was quick to get off his line and smother the ball at the feet of Shinnie, then Soloman-Otabor, who was played in by Brown, saw a cross intercepted by on-loan Southampton defender Jason McCarthy.

Walsall's Kieron Morris was the next to shoot at goal as he and Bakayoko combined well to create space, but his effort wasn't enough to trouble Kuszczak, who gathered comfortably.

Both sides continued to enjoy good spells of possession heading towards the break, with both 'keepers forced into action - For City, Soloman-Otabor had an effort deflected, and Donaldson couldn't make the most of Gleesons cross, while Edwards, Morris and Bakayoko combined well but couldn't find the target.

PRE-SEASON FRIENDLY | HALF-TIME SCORE
WALSALL 0 BIRMINGHAM CITY 0

Walsall made a change ahead of kick off for the second half as Maziar Kouhyar replaced Flo Cuvelier in midfield, a pre-planned swap as the Saddlers' coaching staff take a look at their options.

It was the visitors who had the first effort of the half as Clayton Donaldson found space and sent a volley over the bar, early danger for the Saddlers.

Walsall opened the scoring with fifty-four minutes on the clock as Oztumer was felled by Caddis inside the City area, the defender allowing Oztumer to steal the ball before hauling him to the ground, giving referee Steve Martin little choice but to award a penalty. Amadou Bakayoko stepped up and bagged his third spot kick in two appearances.

Later in the half, Walsall would go on to make five substitutions as Osbourne, Edwards, McCarthy, Oztumer and Chambers were replaced by Dobson, Shorrock, Kinsella, Tonks and Sangha, plenty of fresh legs as the sweltering heat showed no sign of letting up.

Birmingham continued to press the Saddlers in search of an equaliser, and went close through Shinnie as his edge-of-the-box effort was deflected just wide of goal.

With around fifteen minutes of the half remaining, Walsall made four more changes as Bakayoko, Henry, Morris and O'Connor were replaced by Cockerill-Mollett, Roberts, Tonks and Peters.

A minute-or-so after Stephen Gleeson headed a Charlie Cooper cross well wide of goal, Birmingham levelled the scores as Paul Caddis sent a curling free kick into the bottom corner of MacGillivray's goal, disappointing for the Saddlers stopper who was heading for a clean sheet.

City pushed for another a few minutes later as Arthur's corner is met by Michael Morrison, but his effort came to nothing as the Great Wall of Preston was alert to block.

A good display from the Saddlers and plenty of fitness gained as they move on to prepare for Saturday afternoon's meeting with Derby County.

PRE-SEASON FRIENDLY | FULL-TIME RESULT
WALSALL 1 BIRMINGHAM CITY 1
GOALS | Bakayoko PEN 54' - Caddis 80'
ATTENDANCE | 3,301 (1,549 Birmingham City)
REFEREE | Mr. Steve Martin


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