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MATCH REPORT | Millwall 0 Walsall 0

On Wednesday evening the Saddlers travelled to The Den and took on Millwall in the latest Sky Bet League One fixture of the season. We were in attendance, and our match report is below.
On Wednesday evening the Saddlers travelled to The Den and took on Millwall in the latest Sky Bet League One fixture of the season. We were in attendance, and our match report is below.

Millwall enjoyed the first chance of the game just two minutes in, when a pinpoint cross from Tony craig picked out Jed Wallace, who headed the ball wide of the post, without troubling Neil Etheridge in the Walsall goal. The hosts kept up the early pressure, winning the first corner of the game just two minutes later, courtesy of some good combination play between Craig, Wallace and Ben Thompson. Shaun Williams corner was headed on by Jake Cooper and Byron Webster before it eventually found Lee Gregory, who fired an effort over from close range.

Following the early corner, there was a brief halt to proceedings whilst Cooper received treatment for an injury. After a brief spell he was able to continue and the match got back underway. The Saddlers created their first chance of the match moments after the restart, but Erhun Oztumer's twenty five yard effort sailed wide of the mark. The visitors continued to press, and called Millwall 'keeper, Jordan Archer, into action in the ninth minute. Florent Cuvelier firing a powerful shot goal-wards from distance, which took a slight deflection, allowing Archer to claim.

Twelve minutes in, a Shane Ferguson cross was deflected behind, gifting the hosts their second corner of the match. Wallace's cross from the set-piece was headed behind by the Saddlers defence, and the hosts tried again, with Craig swinging the ball in. The Walsall defence stood firm and cleared the danger.

The Saddlers enjoyed a decent spell of possession as the game continued, which culminated in a twenty yard volley from Cuvelier being blocked, before the hosts launched a counter attack, with Ferguson taking the ball down the right wing, before turning a cross onto the head of Steve Morison, whose shot was wide of the mark. In the twenty fifth minute, Isaiah Osbourne was awarded the first yellow card of the game for a foul on Shaun Cummings.

The tempo slowed a little as the match continued, with both teams happy to enjoy spells of possession, without really troubling either goalkeeper, but the hosts almost opened the scoring in the thirty seventh minute, when a cross from Wallace from the right, was missed by Etheridge, allowing Morison a free header on goal, but the Millwall forward headed the ball wide. Moments later, at the other end, Walsall saw a decent chance of their own go begging, as an Oztumer cross was picked up by Amadou Bakayoko, who snatched his effort, allowing Archer an easy save.

The final five minutes of the first half were a tame affair, with neither side creating much, and the teams took the tunnel with the score still tied.


Both teams remained unchanged as they got the second half underway. The Saddlers started the half the brighter of the two teams and just a minute in created a decent looking chance, but Cummings read Osbourne's cross well and intercepted, chesting the ball back to Archer, ahead of Cuvelier who was waiting at the back post.

Eight minutes into the half, Celtic loanee Eoghan O'Connell did well to pick out Bakayoko who held the ball up well before laying it off to Joe Edwards who sliced his effort wide of the right-hand post. Some good play on show from the visiting side in the early moments.

The hosts began to see more of the ball as we raced towards the hour mark, creating a couple of decent chances. Some good work from Morison to hold the ball up for Wallace, allowed Gregory to get in position, but the cross in towards him was read well by the Saddlers defence, who put the ball out for a corner, which they then cleared. Moments later, Morison was again involved, picking out Thompson with a lovely pass inside, but Thompson's shot was deflected behind and the hosts set up another corner. Ferguson fired the ball in towards the far post from the set-piece with Craig in wait to head the ball goal-wards, but Etheridge was on hand to claim.

In the sixty sixth minute, Millwall made their first, and second, change of the game, as Shane Ferguson and Jed Wallace made way for Aiden O'Brien and Fred Onyedinma. Three minutes later, the Saddlers made their first change of the evening, as Amadou Bakayoko was replaced by Simeon Jackson.

The match continued with both sides enjoying spells of possession without creating any real chances of note. In the seventy fifth minute, Joe Edwards became the second name in the referee's notebook for a foul on Onyedinma, gifting Millwall a free-kick in a dangerous position, but Williams cross into the box was easily dealt with by Jackson. Two minutes later, the Saddlers finally worked their way into shooting range, with a cross from Oztumer being picked up by Edwards, but his headed effort sailed harmlessly wide of Archer's upright.

The Walsall bench made their second change of the evening moments later, as Kieron Morris was brought on in place of Flo Cuvelier. After a quiet seven or so minutes, they then made their final change of the game as transfer deadline day loan signing, Will Randall made his Saddlers debut, replacing Erhun Oztumer for the final six minutes.

Two minutes from time, some fabulous footwork from Morris saw him work the ball past O'Brien, before the substitute fired an effort over the crossbar from outside the box. Three additional minutes were awarded at the end of the ninety, but they past as much of the game had, without action of any real note and the referee eventually brought an end to a frustrating evening of football, with the sides sharing the spoils.

REFEREE | Darren Deadman (Cambridgeshire)
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