MATCH REPORT | Leamington 2 Walsall 1

On Tuesday evening John Ward's Walsall development side travelled to the Phillips 66 Community Stadium to take on Leamington in the Semi-Final of the Birmingham County FA Senior Challenge Cup. We were in attendance, and our match report is below.
On Tuesday evening John Ward's Walsall development side travelled to the Phillips 66 Community Stadium to take on Leamington in the Semi-Final of the Birmingham County FA Senior Challenge Cup. We were in attendance, and our match report is below.

Leamington kicked the game off but it was the Saddlers who started the game brightly, with the front-two providing plenty of work for the Brakes' defence, although neither goalkeeper was really tested in the opening twenty-or-so minutes.

After around twenty-two minutes of play young Saddlers striker Cameron Peters saw a shot clip the top of the bar after beating his marker to the ball, unlucky for the highly-rated forward.

Just as Leamington had begun to get the ball forward Walsall opened as Amadou Bakayoko latched onto a slick pass, rounded 'keeper Tony Breeden and slotted the ball into the back of the net. A nice goal for the Saddlers to set themselves on the road to the Final.

The Brakes continued to get on the ball and almost forced a goal via Courtney Baker-Richardson as the former Coventry City prospect was found by Richard Taundry's long throw. The Saddlers defence standing firm as their side remained in the lead.

With less than ten-minutes of the first-half remaining Bakayoko was almost in on goal once again, Maziar Kouhyar sent in a lofted pass in Baka's direction but the 'keeper was alert to the danger and raced off his line to beat the striker to the ball.

Leamington continued to have time on the ball and were unlucky not to level the scores as Kurtis Revan did well to make space down the wing before sending a dangerous ball across the face of goal. Walsall's Ben Kendrick alert to clear from in front of goal.

Both sides had one more goal-scoring opportunity before the referee blew for half-time. Leamington's chance came first as Robbie Thompson-Brown lashed an effort wide of MacGillivray's goal and Walsall's Bakayoko was denied by an alert goalkeeper. A competitive affair as we reached the break.


As the rain increased Walsall got the second-half underway and were not really threatened during the early minutes as the Brakes found space out wide but could not find their mark with a couple of less-than-accurate crosses.

Milan Butterfield became a member of the 'Wayward Cross Club' a few minutes later as his effort crept behind goal. Maz Kouhyar had begun the attack,and found plenty of space on the edge of the area.

The Brakes made the first change of the match as we reached the hour mark as Jack Edwards replaced Darren Pond.

Ahmed Obeng looked to get the ball into a dangerous position for his side as he broke down the wing, nothing came of his attack but he certainly kept the Saddlers' defence busy.

Former Walsall defender Richard Taundry sent a long-range effort over MacGillivray's bar before the home side made their second change of the evening as Connor Gudger replaced Jamie Hood.

Young centre-back Kory Roberts was the next Saddler to have an effort on goal, his effort going wide of goal following an initially cleared corner.

Walsall continued to probe the Leamington defence as Will Shorrock sent a curling shot wide of goal.The Brakes doing well to contain the Saddlers as they looked to extend their lead.

Thompson-Brown almost levelled the scores with nineteen minutes of the game remaining as his shot crashed against the inside of the post. Obeng doing well to hold the ball up as the Saddlers defence scrambled to clear.

Walsall made their first change of the game with just over ten minutes remaining as Tobias Hayles-Docherty replaced Cameron Peters.

Jack Edwards kept MacGillivray honest as his thirty-yard effort proved too hot to handle as the stopper had to gather at the second time of asking.

Walsall's lead continued to be in danger as the clock continued to count down. Thompson-Brown saw an effort cleared off the line following Taundry's deep, hanging cross.Unlucky for the Brakes.

The Saddlers' second change of the game came with five minutes remaining as Cody Fisher replaced Kouhyar, a good run out for the midfielder who continues to recover from injury.

Leamington also made a late change as Ryan Quinn came on for Courtney Thompson-Brown, some fresh legs added to the mix.

The home side levelled the scores with just a couple of minutes remaining as Obeng tapped home from close range following Revan's deep cross. A brief lapse in concentration for the Saddlers as Leamington looked to have sent the match to penalties.

Sadly for the Saddlers they were knocked out of the competition deep into second-half injury time as Jack Edwards crashed the ball home following a poorly dealt-with cross. A disappointing end to the match as the Saddlers paid the price for not making more of their time on the ball.

Congratulations to the Brakes who will take on either Sutton Coldfield Town or Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Final.

HT | 0-1
GOALS | Obeng (88') Edwards (90+2') - Bakayoko (24')
REFEREE | Mark Howes
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