Saturday, 18 February 2017

MATCH REPORT | Walsall 2 Peterborough United 0
Saturday, 18 February 2017
MATCH REPORT | Walsall 2 Peterborough United 0
Saturday, 18 February 2017

MATCH REPORT | Walsall 2 Peterborough United 0

Avatar  by Admin    5:47 pm    Saturday, 18 February 2017
On Saturday afternoon Walsall played host to Peterborough United in the latest Sky Bet League One fixture of the season. We were in attendance, and our match report is below.
On Saturday afternoon Walsall played host to Peterborough United in the latest Sky Bet League One fixture of the season. We were in attendance, and our match report is below.

Both sides started the game brightly and either could have opened the scoring in the opening five minutes. The first chance of the game fell to Peterborough United, who took advantage of a mistake from their former player, Erhun Oztumer to break, but after a goal-mouth scramble, the Walsall defences were able to clear the danger. The Saddlers didn't waste any time in creating a chance of their own as Simeon Jackson held the ball well before setting up Kieron Morris who had found space twenty five yards out, but Morris' effort on goal sailed harmlessly over the bar without troubling Posh 'keeper, Luke McGee.

Both teams continued to seek out an early advantage, and eight minutes in, the Saddlers looked to be troubling the visiting defences as Walsall captain, Adam Chambers, played in Jackson with a long ball, but Michael Smith was on hand to clear the danger, allowing the visiting side to launch a counter attack, which culminated in a deep cross to the back post being met by Andrew Hughes, whose headed effort missed the target.

Peterborough were awarded a free-kick in the sixteenth minute in a dangerous, central position. Junior Morias stepped up to take the set-piece and fired an effort in on goal from thirty yards out; his right footed shot sailed wide without troubling Neil Etheridge in the Walsall goal. Back at the other end, moments later, a long range, right footed shot from Isaiah Osbourne was blocked by Anthony Grant.

The tempo slowed a little as both teams patiently enjoyed time on the ball without creating much, and in the twentieth minute the Saddlers were rewarded with a corner courtesy of Ryan Tafazolli. The corner was cleared with ease by  Tafazolli, gifting the home side a second corner, which was also cleared without threatening the Peterborough goal.

In the twenty fifth minute, a lovely pass from Morris picked out Jason McCarthy, who sent a low cross in to Jackson, but the Jackson's close range effort was easily saved by McGee. The game continued as something of a midfield battle as both sides looked for an advantage. It wasn't until the thirty second minute that the visiting side were able to get a shot away, but Craig Mackail-Smith's effort from an acute angle was palmed away by Etheridge.

Anthony Grant was the first player to receive a caution, for a poor challenge on Oztumer in the thirty fourth minute. Oztumer took the resulting free-kick and saw his cross take a deflection before it was picked up by Jackson who sent a looping header goal-wards, but McGee was able to claim.

The Saddlers continued to look the more likely to score as we raced towards the break. In the forty fourth minute, Oztumer saw a right footed shot from outside the box charged down by Tafazolli, before McCarthy sliced an effort wide from similar distance. Moments later, a clever flick from Oztumer almost played in Jackson who looked through on goal had the ball reached him, but the Peterborough defences intercepted the pass and put the ball out for a corner, which came to nothing.

In the final minute of the first half, Morris won a free-kick for the Saddlers on the edge of the box. Oztumer's ball into the box needed the mearest touch to turn it in, but nobody was able to get to it and it trickled harmlessly through to McGee who claimed. Seconds before the whistle, McCarthy had one last effort on goal, a right footed shot from close range which McGee got down to save. Neither side able to find a breakthrough in the first half


The second half got underway with the sides unchanged, and just five minutes in, Adam Chambers picked up his third yellow card in as many games, for a foul on Paul Taylor. The resulting free-kick saw the ball fired straight at Etheridge who claimed with ease. Back at the other end, the Saddlers won the first corner of the half, which caused the Posh defences problems before they ultimately cleared the danger.

Ten minutes into the half, Etheridge was called into action, making a one-handed save to prevent a goal as Morais cut inside before powering a low eighteen yard strike towards the Walsall 'keeper's near post. The visitors soon had the ball back in the Walsall area and Gwion Edwards fired a left footed effort in, which Etheridge saved as it headed towards the bottom right hand corner of his goal.

The game continued with both sides seeing spells of possession with little creativity going forwards. In the sixty fourth minute, Simeon Jackson became the third player to receive a yellow card as he was cautioned for obstructing McGee.  Three minutes later, the Walsall bench opted to make their first change of the game, as Isaiah Osbourne was replaced by George Dobson, whilst the visiting side made a double substitution as they looked to match the Saddlers formation with three at the back; Michael Smith and Paul Taylor the men to make way for Marcus Maddison and Lee Angol.

The visiting side won a corner in the seventy third minute, but before they could take the set-piece, the Walsall bench made their second change of the afternoon as Amadou Bakayoko came on to replace Simeon Jackson. After the change, Maddison sent a low cross in from the corner, which hit Dominic Ball on it's way out. Five minutes after his introduction into the game, Bakayoko picked up a yellow card for a foul on Peterborough captain, Chris Forrester, and the resulting free-kick was fired over the bar by Tafazolli.

In the eighty second minute, play was brought to a halt as Gwion Edwards went down following an innocuous looking incident. After receiving treatment on his lower leg from both teams physios, he was taken from the pitch on a stretcher and replaced in the eighty fourth minute by Martin Samuelsen.

As we reached the end of the regulation ninety, Oztumer found Morris in space but Morris' twenty five yard effort sailed just over the bar. Seven additional minutes were awarded at the end of the second half and the Saddlers won a corner in the second of them, courtesy of McGee who did well to deny Oztumer. The visiting 'keeper was unable to repeat his exploits, dropping the ball under pressure from an Oztumer set-piece to gift the Saddlers a late opening goal.

Clearly unhappy at having conceded so late in the day, and apparently convinced that the goal should not have stood, the visiting side protested vigorously to the referee who consulted with his assistant before allowing the goal to stand. In the commotion that followed, Luke McGee received a yellow card and Chris Forrester saw red for protesting to the referee.

In the ninety fifth minute, George Dobson was also the recipient of a yellow card for a foul on Martin Samuelsen in the attacking half. The Walsall bench took the opportunity to introduce their third and final substitute of the afternoon as they looked to see out the remaining few minutes with their slender lead intact. Franck Moussa the man to come on for the final two minutes in place of goalscorer, Erhun Oztumer. Moments after the change, the free-kick was taken and the header goal-wards from the centre of the box was gathered by Etheridge, who fumbled the save leading to claims of a goal. The referee waved away the Posh's protests after his assistants confirmed that the goal should not stand and the match continued.

In the final of the seven minutes added time, Dobson got the ball into the area, where he saw an effort on goal blocked, before Kieron Morris dispossessed Grant and tucked the ball under McGee to double the Saddlers lead. With no time for a reply, the Saddlers took all three points with a two-goal-to-nil late victory.

HT | 0-0
GOALS | Oztumer (90+2'), Morris (90+7')
ATTENDANCE | 4,759 (571 Away)
REFEREE | Mark Haywood (West Yorkshire)

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