MATCH REPORT | Walsall 3 Stafford Rangers 1×
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MATCH REPORT | Walsall 3 Stafford Rangers 1
 
MATCH REPORT | Walsall 3 Stafford Rangers 1
MATCH REPORT | Walsall 3 Stafford Rangers 1
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MATCH REPORT | Walsall 3 Stafford Rangers 1

9:43 pm Tuesday, 2 May 2017
On Tuesday evening Walsall's Development side took on Stafford Rangers in the Final of this season's Walsall Senior Cup competition, as the Saddlers looked to win the trophy for just the second time in their history.
On Tuesday evening Walsall's Development side took on Stafford Rangers in the Final of this season's Walsall Senior Cup competition, as the Saddlers looked to win the trophy for just the second time in their history. We were in attendance, and our match report is below.

The Saddlers, who had defeated Tividale, Romulus and Wolverhampton Casuals to make the final, started the game brightly, and had the first real effort on goal after around five minutes as Kacy-Milan Butterfield found space and curled the ball wide from distance.

Stafford's first effort was also a wayward one as Jack Sherratt lifted the ball over Brandon Ganley's crossbar, no early goals but at least some endeavour.

Butterfield looked to open the scoring with just under ten-minutes on the clock as he rose well to meet Jordon Sangha's corner, sadly for the Saddlers he couldn't his the target as the ball drifted wide of the post.

Former Saddler Jake Heath almost opened the scoring soon after as he sent in a free-kick from a dangerous position, Ganley was alert and did well to gather under plenty of pressure from the onrushing attackers.

Amadou Bakayoko was the next to have an effort on goal as he spotted stafford 'keeper Adam Whitehouse off his line, the resulting lob was just too weak as the goalie gathered to keep the scores level.

Stafford began to get more into the game as the half reached the mid-way point, Benjamin Haseley saw a cross go out before Heath headed the ball straight at the 'keeper from Izak Reid's ball in.

Reid continued to pose a threat as he broke through the Saddlers' backline but was unable to open the scoring as Ganley stood firm to block his shot.

Ganley continued to be the difference between the two sides as he produced another fine save to deny Matthew Bailey who had sent in a header. The long throw in causing plenty of issues for the Saddlers.

Sam Tonks had to be substituted after twenty-six minutes of play, the injured defender was replaced by Ben Kendrick.

Thankfully for those of us with writers' cramp, the game slowed down a little as we neared the thirty-minute mark, still a closely fought match as both sides sought to secure the opening goal.

Tobias Hayles-Docherty was the next Saddler to have an effort on goal, his low drive easily saved by Whitehouse.

Walsall opened the scoring with just over ten minutes of the first-half remaining as Butterfield was on the end of a superb attacking move to slot the ball home, a great goal, and well deserved for the Saddlers, though against the run of play.

Kyle Perry went close to grabbing an equaliser as the first-half neared a conclusion,his volley from distance just drifted wide of goal.

Izak Reid also went close just before the break, but his long-distance effort also failed to test Ganley as the ball went just over the bar.

WALSALL SENIOR CUP | HT
WALSALL 1 STAFFORD RANGERS 0

Walsall made a change before the second-half got underway as left-back Callum Cockerill-Mollett was replaced by Cody Fisher.

The Saddlers had the opening effort of the half as Sangha broke upfield and sent an effort wide of goal. A nice run from the midfield man as the Rangers defence were yet to settle after getting back underway.

The Saddlers doubled their lead with fifty minutes on the clock as Tobias Hayles-Docherty fired home from the edge of the box following Bakayoko's right-wing cross, a good finish from the attacker as he eased the pressure on his side.

Stafford made a double change soon after the Saddlers' second goal as Levi Reid and Richard Batchelor replaced Mitchell Tolley and Benjamin Haseley.

Walsall further extended their lead after fifty-seven minutes as Bakayoko slotted home following Sangha's free-kick, a fine finish from Baka who has had a superb individual campaign.

Despite their comfortable lead the Saddlers had to be alert at the back as Perry looked to cut the deficit as he headed the ball past Ganley, thankfully for the Saddlers Kory Roberts was quickly back to clear the ball off the line to preserve his side's lead.

Stafford made their final change of the game upon the hour mark as former Saddler Kris Taylor replaced Jack Sherratt.

Hayles-Docherty looked to double his tally as we reached the seventieth minute, his effort was tipped over the bar and the resulting corner was easily cleared.

Back at the other end of the pitch, Stafford continued their search for a goal as Kris Taylor saw an effort blocked before two corners were not taken advantage of as Perry headed wide from the second ball in.

Kyle Perry continued to search for his and his team's opening goal and was rewarded when his header from a right-wing cross looped over Ganley to give his side a chance as time continued to tick away.

The Saddlers made their final change with just under fifteen minutes of the game remaining as Tobias Hayles-Docherty was replaced by Will Shorrock.

Kyle Perry almost got his side closer to being on level terms with just over five minutes to play as he saw a volley rise over the bar, plenty to keep Ganley interested but not enough to force a save.

Stafford continued to press for another goal as the game neared the end. Perry headed wide from a corner just as six minutes of injury time was indicated by referee Richard Watson.

Second-half substitute Kris Taylor also saw an effort go wide of goal as the visitors continued their quest for a second goal.

With around two minutes of stoppage time remaining first-year pro Kory Roberts did well to prevent Stafford from scoring as he produced a superb block to keep the score at 3-1.

The Saddlers were able to weather the storm and held on to their lead, capturing the Walsall Senior Cup for just the second time in the competition's history.

WALSALL SENIOR CUP | FT
WALSALL 3 STAFFORD RANGERS 1
GOALS | Butterfield (34') Hayles-Docherty (51') Bakayoko (57') - Perry (73')
ATT | 749
REF | Richard Watson


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