Walsall Organized & Clinical in Defeat of Bristol Rovers×
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Walsall Organized & Clinical in Defeat of Bristol Rovers
 
Walsall Organized & Clinical in Defeat of Bristol Rovers
Walsall Organized & Clinical in Defeat of Bristol Rovers
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Walsall Organized & Clinical in Defeat of Bristol Rovers

10:30 am Sunday, 22 January 2017
Following Saturday afternoon's Sky Bet League One clash between Walsall and Bristol Rovers, which saw the Saddlers run out winners by three-goals-to-one, Gabriel Sutton of 'The Football Lab' joins us to take a look back at the match.
Following Saturday afternoon's Sky Bet League One clash between Walsall and Bristol Rovers, which saw the Saddlers run out winners by three-goals-to-one, Gabriel Sutton of 'The Football Lab' joins us to take a look back at the match.

The first half was a tight contest. The Saddlers looked strong defensively and restricted Bristol Rovers to efforts outside the box, the best of which Neil Etheridge saved well. In attack it did not click with Amadou Bakayoko drifting into wide areas and Erhun Oztumer dropping deep to collect the ball, which suggested a lack of confidence in the creativity of their midfield teammates.

The centre-backs for both teams dominated and Eoghan O’Connell, on loan from Celtic, allied impressive defensive interventions with composure on the ball. His fine volley just before half-time changed the game and set up a second half in which almost everything went Walsall’s way.

It was palpable that Jon Whitney had told wing-backs Jason McCarthy and Joe Edwards to be more adventurous after the interval. McCarthy was a key feature in Walsall’s breakaways down the right while Edwards made some clever runs to the back-post, grabbing the third goal after stealing the ball in midfield. Six minutes beforehand, substitute Simeon Jackson lobbed the goalkeeper well to score the second and deserved his goal. He worked hard and perhaps got more change out of the opposing centre-backs than Bakayoko.

Despite conceding to Matt Taylor late on, Walsall’s defence looked comfortable and the likes of James O’Connor dealt superbly with the away side’s crosses from the right. It was a deserved victory due to the strong second half performance and good organization throughout.

Visit theFootbalLab.co.uk where Gabriel Sutton provides regular insight, opinion and in-depth analysis on every club in the top four leagues of English football.


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