MATCH REPORT | Chesterfield 2 Walsall 0 MATCH REPORT | Chesterfield 2 Walsall 0

MATCH REPORT | Chesterfield 2 Walsall 0

On Tuesday evening Jon Whitney's Saddlers travelled the Proact Stadium and took on Chesterfield in the latest fixture of the 2016/17 League One campaign. Our match report is below.
On Tuesday evening Jon Whitney's Saddlers travelled the Proact Stadium and took on Chesterfield in the latest fixture of the 2016/17 League One campaign. Our match report is below.

Walsall got us underway and wasted little time launching an attack. Andreas Makris let fly from distance within the opening minute, the ball sailing well wide, but good to see some early attacking intent on display.

The first real action for the hosts came by way of a corner, won five minutes in, which Jon Nolan opted to take short. The ball didn't make it into the box and the Saddlers defences cleared.

The hosts began to find their way into the game, after a quiet start, as Paul McGinn played a lovely ball in to Gboly Ariyibi, who breezed past Joe Edwards on the byline before blasting towards the near post. Walsall captain, James O'Connor was alert and cleared the ball out for a corner, which was headed wide by Ian Evatt.

Eleven minutes in, Walsall almost opened the scoring with a wonderful break by Makris, who found his way past Evatt and sent a lovely shot in from twenty yards, finding the crossbar. A wonderful effort from the club record signing and a big let off for the hosts.

Neil Etheridge was called into action fifteen minutes in, as Ched Evans played in Ariyibi, who turned a low, weak shot goal-wards. An easy save for the Walsall 'keeper.

Walsall broke well following the goal-kick. Jason McCarthy seeing a lovely cross from the right cleared. The ball fell kindly to Franck Moussa on the edge of the box, where he controlled well before sending in a powerful effort, which sailed just over the bar.

Etheridge was again called into action in the nineteenth minute, when Mat Preston was out-muscled by Evans in the box. Evans played in Jay O'Shea, who picked up the ball close to the penalty spot, and turned a side-footed effort goal-wards. The Saddlers shot-stopper was alert to and able to clear the danger.

The Saddlers were a real danger from the counter and twenty two minutes in, Makris was presented with another shooting opportunity following some good play from Edwards. Makris' shot deflected into the arms of the well-placed Ryan Fulton.

As we reached the half hour mark, Walsall again looked a danger as they broke with the ball. Edwards playing a lovely long ball in to McCarthy, who cut inside before firing a low, left-footed effort in. Fulton was caught off-guard, but the shot trickled harmlessly wide of his goal.

With ten minutes of the half remaining, Ariyibi was gifted with a shooting opportunity, after forcing his way past Edwards. A decent effort from a tight angle, but only able to find the side netting.

With thirty seven minutes on the clock, Nolan found his name being added to the referee's notebook as he was cautioned for diving in the box.

Moments later, and back at the other end, some lovely play from George Dobson sent Kieron Morris through on goal. Morris firing his powerful effort high and wide from twenty yards out.

The tempo slowed as we headed towards the break, both teams having had a very busy first forty minutes. Two minutes were added, but neither team were able to make much use of them, and they headed for the tunnel and their half-time refreshments with the match still tied.


Chesterfield got the second-half underway with Walsall attacking towards the travelling supporters.

The hosts began the half brightly, winning a corner within a minute of the re-start. Evatt got up well and challenged Etheridge, who managed to get a fist to the ball to clear the danger.

The Spireites won a second corner soon after the first, which Dan Gardner played in towards the back post. Evatt won the header, but turned the ball just wide of the post.

A wonderful sliding tackle from Edwards, in the fifty third minute, was enough to deny Evans a shot on goal from inside the area and Edwards was again involved moments later, beating Ariyibi to a header from an O'Shea cross. Excellent defensive work. The Saddlers defences working hard to keep the scores level.

As we neared the hour mark, the home crowd felt their team should have been awarded a penalty as Sam Hird went down in the box as he attempted to control a cross in from another Spireites corner. Nothing given by the referee.

Walsall launched a counter attack as we reached the hour mark, their first real attack of the half. Morris found himself in space, and sent a low drive in, straight at Fulton in the Chesterfield goal. An easy save for the Spireites 'keeper.

Moments later, Etheridge was called into action, at the other end. He saved a low effort from Gardner, but spilled the ball with Ariyibi ready close by and ready to pounce. Luckily for the Walsall 'keeper, Ariyibi was unable to turn the rebound home.

The Saddlers broke, and Morris again found himself in shooting range. He sent another low effort in, which again was straight at Fulton. Moussa was lurking and ready to turn a rebound home, but the Spireites 'keeper was able to hold.

Back at the other end, a dangerous looking Evans found himself in space and sent a powerful shot goal-wards. Etheridge was alert and got enough on the ball at full stretch to turn it wide of the post.

With sixty nine minutes on the clock, Walsall made their first change of the evening, as Moussa made way for Florent Cuverlier.

There was a break in play, as the change was made, allowing Dion Donohue and McGinn to receive treatment. McGinn was soon up and able to continue, but Donohue took to the side-lines to continue treatment as the game got back underway. Two minutes after leaving the field, Donohue was able to return.

With just fifteen minutes of the match remaining, Chesterfield opened the scoring. Evans blasting a powerful right-footed strike past Etheridge from outside twenty yards out.

The Saddlers responded to the goal, making their second change of the evening. Amadou Bakayoko coming on in place of Dobson to strengthen the Walsall attack.

Just four minutes after the opening goal, Chesterfield extended their lead, as Evans lined up another shot from outside the box. It took a huge deflection, leaving Etheridge powerless to prevent it finding the back of the net.

With five minutes to play, Walsall introduced their third and final change of the evening, bringing on Maz Kouhyar in place of Morris, but there was little they could do with the home team content to see out the remainder of the game keeping possession in and around the midfield area.

Three minutes were added at the end of the ninety, but aside from a Chesterfield substitution, as Evans made way for Rai Simons, there was little further action and the final whistle came with Chesterfield still leading by two-goals-to-nil and taking all three points. A disappointing evening for the Saddlers.

GOALS | Evans (75' & 79')
ATTENDANCE | 5,406 (478 Walsall)
REFEREE | Graham Salisbury | (Lancashire)
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