MATCH REPORT | Scunthorpe United 0 Walsall 0

On Tuesday evening the Saddlers travelled to Glanford Park and took on Scunthorpe United in the latest Sky Bet League One fixture of the season. We were in attendance, and our match report is below.
On Tuesday evening the Saddlers travelled to Glanford Park and took on Scunthorpe United in the latest Sky Bet League One fixture of the season. We were in attendance, and our match report is below.

Walsall got the match underway, and four minutes in, created the first chance of the game as Jason McCarthy drove forwards before unleashing an effort from twenty five yards out, which cleared the crossbar without troubling Luke Daniels in the Scunthorpe United goal. It wasn't long before the Saddlers did test the opposition 'keeper, as, seven minutes in, Isaiah Osboune and McCarthy combined to play in Joe Edwards who crossed the ball in to Simeon Jackson, whose glancing header was kept out by Daniels with a one-handed save. An excellent start to the game for the travelling side as they looked to make amends for the weekend's defeat.

Fourteen minutes, the hosts finally found some time on the ball and created a chance of their own, with Duane Holmes and Paddy Madden played a neat one-two before laying the ball off to Ivan Toney who looked certain to open the scoring with a six yard tap in, but the Scunthorpe forward almost missed the ball entirely, allowing the Saddlers defences to clear the danger.

In the seventeenth minute, Jamie Ness won the dubious honour of becoming the first player cautioned as he poorly timed a sliding tackle on Florent Cuvelier. The match continued with both sides playing patient football as they looked for an opening, and nine minutes after the first yellow card of the game, a second was awarded as Walsall captain, Adam Chambers brought down his Scunthorpe counterpart, Stephen Dawson.

The game continued at a fairly slow tempo as both sides sought to create, whilst restricting their opposition. Half an hour in, some in the Scunthorpe ranks felt they should have been awarded a penalty as Toney went down in the area, but referee, Graham Salisbury waved play on.

Cuvelier was brought down in the thirty third minute as Levi Sutton won the ball from him, and once it became apparent that he required medical attention, the game was halted. Cuvelier was unable to continue, and left the field heading straight down the tunnel, causing concern amongst the Saddlers in attendance. After a few moments playing with ten men, the Walsall bench made the necessary change, bringing on Kieron Morris.

Etheridge, who had enjoyed a fairly quiet evening thus far, was called into action in the thirty ninth minute as Harry Toffolo worked his way past the Saddlers defences to play himself into space on the edge of the box, before firing a twenty yard effort straight into the Walsall 'keepers midriff, making for an easy save. The visitors broke quickly, with Morris getting forward to receive a cross from Edwards, but the Walsall substitute's tame header trickled wide of the Irons upright.

The Saddlers continued to press as we headed towards the break, with Erhun Oztumer firing wildly over from distance in the forty third minute, before McCarthy saw a powerful drive blocked, three minutes into injury time, before time was called on the first-half with neither side able to find the breakthrough.


The second half got off to a slow start, but six minutes in, Walsall created a chance as an Edwards cross picked out Jackson who drew a save from the Scunthorpe goalkeeper who did well to get down to his right to prevent the goal. Moments later, Morris picked up the ball on the edge of the area and controlled well before sending a left-footed volley wide. A good start to the half from the Saddlers.

Ten minutes into the second half, with the visitors still enjoying the better of the possession, the ball came to Oztumer just outside the box. The Walsall midfielder's right-footed shot was deflected by Toffolo, sending it through for Daniels to gather. The match continued with the visitors continuing to enjoy good spells of possession, without creating much, until, in the sixty third minute, Edwards fired a twenty yard effort towards the top corner, drawing a fabulous save from Daniels who tipped the ball onto the crossbar and out for a corner, which came to nothing.

In the sixty fourth minute, Jason McCarthy picked up his fourth booking of the season, as he brought down Holmes out on the left wing. The resulting free-kick was swung into the box by Josh Morris, but the Walsall defences stood firm to clear the danger. Three minutes after McCarthy's name was added to the referee's notebook, Joe Edwards joined him in there, as he brought Sutton crashing to the ground.

In the seventieth minute, the Scunthorpe bench opted to make a double change, bringing on Craig Davies and Kevin Van Veen for the final twenty minutes, in place of Ivan Toney and Duane Holmes.

Fifteen minutes from time, a lovely move from McCarthy and Jackson set up Oztumer, but David Mirfin was alert for the hosts, tracking his run to block the shot and turn the ball away from goal. Excellent defending, but unlucky for the Saddlers who displayed some lovely teamwork and individual skill in the build-up.

In the seventy sixth minute, the Walsall bench opted to make their second change of the evening, as Simeon Jackson made way for Amadou Bakayoko. The hosts also took advantage of the pause in proceedings, to make their third and final change of the game, with Neal Bishop coming on in place of Jamie Ness. Moments after the restart, the hosts got the ball into the Walsall area, where Madden tried his luck from twenty five yards, but Etheridge was alert and gathered with ease.

The hosts enjoyed a brighter spell as the match continued, having been by far the quieter team during the second half, and eight minutes from time Etheridge was caught off guard as a Madden effort on goal took a massive deflection, fortunately turning the ball wide, letting the Walsall 'keeper off-the-hook. The resulting corner was flicked on by Davies, but ultimately came to nothing. The hosts continued to press, winning the ball back following the goal-kick, and Etheridge was called into action again moments later, as a twenty five yard effort from Josh Morris came his way. The Walsall shot-stopper equal to it and able to gather the ball.

The visitors rode the hosts dominant spell and in the eighty sixth minute, regained possession and almost found the opening goal of the game, as Oztumer looked to emulate his Saturday afternoon goal. A powerful, thirty yard shot aimed at the top corner, which Daniels did well to tip wide of the post with a diving save.

In the eighty ninth minute, Jon Whitney made his third and final change of the night, as he replaced Erhun Oztumer with George Dobson.

Five additional minutes were awarded at the end of the ninety. The hosts enjoyed the better of the late play, though they were unable to breach the Walsall defences. In the ninety second minute, a sliced, twenty five yard effort from Dawson went wide and two minutes later Madden flashed a ball across the face of goal, leaving his teammates little to do to turn the ball home, but James O'Connor was on hand for the Saddlers to clear the danger, ensuring his team kept a clean-sheet and took a valuable point on the road.

ATTENDANCE | 3,168 (Walsall Not Given)
REFEREE | Graham Salisbury (Lancashire)

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