Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

EFL CUP | MATCH REPORT | Walsall 0 Yeovil Town 2 (AET)

On Tuesday evening Walsall played host to Yeovil Town in Round One of this season's EFL Cup competition. You can read our match report below.
On Tuesday evening Walsall played host to Yeovil Town in Round One of this season's EFL Cup competition. You can read our match report below.

The visitors got the game underway, kicking towards the Tile Choice Stand. Both sides enjoyed some good early possession, but it was Yeovil who had the first effort on goal, as Otis Khan fired the ball in from twenty yards; a comfortable save for Neil Etheridge.

Alex Lacey gifted the Saddlers an early corner as he intercepted a Simeon Jackson cross. A lovely floated ball in to the back post, eventually worked it's way out for a goal kick.

Kieron Morris sent Josh Ginnelly away with a sublime long-range pass. Ginnelly did well to get the ball back infield to get a shot in, but Liam Shephard was on hand to avert the danger for the visitors. Some good work on display.

With twelve minutes on the clock, the Glovers won a corner. Matt Dolan played the ball short to Khan, who fired a shot well wide of goal.

The visitors enjoyed a good spell of possession, though were unable to cause the Saddlers defences any real problems. A long-range drive from Alex Lawless had promise, but George Dobson was on hand to block.

With seventeen minutes on the clock, Etheridge was called into action, as Ryan Hedges worked his way past Rico Henry, before sending a shot goal-wards. The Saddlers 'keeper did well to palm the ball away to clear the immediate danger, gifting the visitors a corner. Dolan got his head to the ball from flag-kick, but it was aimed straight at Etheridge, who was untroubled.

Twenty minutes in, a powerful shot from Kevin Dawson sailed just wide of the far post. Some good play on display from the visitors, but little to really test the Walsall 'keeper.

After a brief spell of possession for the Saddlers, the visitors regained the ball and launched a counter-attack, which saw Hedges and Shephard exchange passes, before Hedges fired a side-footed effort over the bar from close range. Walsall lucky not to have conceded.

The Saddlers first real effort on goal came in the twenty fourth minute; a left-footed effort from Erhun Oztumer from twenty five yards, drawing the first real save from Yeovil 'keeper, Arthur Krysiak. The resulting corner was also saved by the Glovers shot-stopper.

A brief moment of concern for the visiting bench, saw Hedges down and in need of treatment. He was fine to continue and play soon resumed.

The pace slowed a little as we reached the half-hour mark. Neither side able to create much, and both seemingly content to play the patient game.

Ten minutes before the break, a corner presented the visitors with a decent chance. Again taken short, Lawless picked out Tom Eaves, who headed over the bar. The flag was up in any event as the Yeovil man was adjudged to be offside.

As we rapidly approached the break, Jackson found himself in space in the box, where Matthew Butcher was on hand to block his shot, before his Yeovil teammates cleared the danger.

With seven minutes of the half remaining, the visitors were awarded a free-kick mid-way inside the Walsall half. The ball was flicked goal-wards by Eaves, but Etheridge was on hand to palm it away.

Yeovil finished the half strongly, but the Saddlers defences stood firm to keep the scores level as we headed in for the break.


The teams remained unchanged as Walsall got the second half underway. The Saddlers started brightly and early crosses from Ginnelly and Henry set up Joe Edwards, who sent the ball well wide of Krysiak's goal from distance.

Five minutes into the half, Walsall won a corner. The ball was played short but Yeovil were quick to curb the danger, and create a break. As they broke, Shephard was fouled and spent some time down, receiving treatment, he was eventually able to return to action, albeit with a bit of a limp.

In the fifty fourth minute, Yeovil made the first change of the evening, as Shaphard appeared unable to continue. Bevis Mugabi took his place.

As we reached the hour mark, Etheridge was called into action, as Otis Khan worked his way past Matt Preston before turning the ball goal-wards. The Walsall 'keeper alert to the danger and able to smother the shot.

Kieron Morris almost opened the scoring in the sixty second minute, as he cut inside before firing a low, left-footed strike goal-wards. The ball sailed agonisingly wide of the far post.

In the sixty third minute, Walsall made their first change of the evening, introducing Andreas Makris in place of Ginnelly.

The Saddlers club record signing almost made an immediate impact as he drove at goal within a minute of his introduction into the game, forcing a wonderful save from Krysiak, who blocked the ball with his legs.

The visitors saw a strike cleared off the line in the sixty fifth minute, as Matt Preston got back to block the shot from Dolan. Etheridge unable to hold the ball from a corner prior to Dolan's shot, but his defence bailing him out.

With twenty minutes of the half still to play, the Saddlers made their final changes, as Liam Kinsella and Amadou Bakayoko took to the field in place of Dobson and Oztumer.

With fifteen minutes of the ninety remaining, Walsall almost created an opener. Bakayoko whipping a wonderful cross in, which was met by the head of Jackson, who couldn't quite get his shot on target, sending the ball just wide.

Yeovil forced a number of corners as we neared full-time, but the Walsall defences stood firm and coolly soaked up the pressure to deny the visitors.

With just four minutes remaining, Bakayoko and Jackson combined well again. Yeovil defending well to block another headed effort.

The visitors did well to keep the scores level, as the Saddlers enjoyed a dominant spell of possession. The Glovers eventually able to win the ball and launch a counter-attack, just two minutes from time. Preston unable to cut out a Yeovil cross, as Eaves got on the end of it. He sent the ball wide of the target, a big let off for the Saddlers defender.

We began five minutes of added time, with Walsall down to ten men, as captain Adam Chambers picked up an injury. The home team seeing out the half a man down, as they had already used all of their substitutions.

There was a break in proceedings as Dawson received treatment, following a foul, which won a free-kick for his side, twenty five yards from goal. Dolan took the kick, and saw his effort tipped round the post by Etheridge, who had done enough to send the game into extra-time.


The visitors got extra-time underway, with all twenty two men able to resume. It was all Yeovil in the early moments. Four minutes in, Hedges found his way through the Walsall defensive line and set Khan away on goal. Khan's shot was blocked inside the area, as the home side stood firm.

Moments later, a cross from Mugabi, almost put Eaves in at the front post. Preston timing a challenge perfectly to prevent Eaves getting to the ball.

The hosts had their first real effort of extra-time, eight minutes in, as Kinsella set up Henry on the edge of the box. Rico sending a powerful shot in, which sailed just over the bar.

As we neared the hundred minute mark, a superb piece of skill set Bakayoko away from Dickson, allowing him to get a shot in, which was blocked.

With one hundered and one minutes on the clock, former Walsall trialist, Tahvon Campbell was introduced, as a tired Otis Khan made way.

A minute after the change, Campbell won a free-kick for his team, as he was fouled by Preston on the edge of the box. Hedges floated the free-kick in towards the back post, where it was headed back across the box by Dawson and deflected and into the net via the head of Amadou Bakayoko. An opening goal with just seventeen minutes of extra-time remaining.

Walsall sought an immediate equaliser, with Bakayoko racing into the box before cannoning a shot against the top of the bar. Unlucky not to get his team back on level terms.

We reached half-time with just the one goal on the score-sheet. Just fifteen minutes for the Saddlers to get back into the game.


Walsall got the second half underway and there was plenty of evidence of tired limbs on display as the pace slowed and little attacking threat was seen from either team.

Eight minutes from time, Yeovil put the game to bed, as Dolan, ten yards inside his own half, spotted Etheridge off his line following a free-kick, and floated a sublime shot into the empty net. A goal which guaranteed his team a place in the next round.

The visitors made their final change of the evening with four minutes remaining. The busy Eaves making way for Omar Sowunmi as their side ran down the clock.

Very little real action during the final period of the game, as the Saddlers preserved energy, conscious perhaps of their Sky Bet League One encounter with Oldham Athletic, just four days away.

Disappointment for the Saddlers, who were knocked out of the EFL Cup in the first round, by two extra-time goals, but on balance, probably a fair result and one less distraction from the important matter of the League One campaign.

GOALS | Bakayoko OG (103'), Dolan (111')
ATTENDANCE | 2,699 (166 Yeovil Town)
REFEREE | Robert Jones (Merseyside)

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