MATCH REPORT | Rushall Olympic 2 Walsall 2

Walsall played their final pre-season fixture ahead of Saturday afternoon's League One clash with Bury as they took on Rushall Olympic at Dales Lane.
On Tuesday evening the Saddlers continued their pre-season preparations as they took on Rushall Olympic at Dales Lane. We were in attendance, and you can read our match report below.

Walsall named a youthful team as they looked to rest their first-teamers ahead of Saturday's season opening clash with big-spending Bury.

The Saddlers suffered an early injury as defender Sam Tonks required some attention from the Physio following a tough challenge by Charlie Duke. Unfortunately, after a couple of minutes of treatment, he was unable to continue and was replaced by Tom Leak.

The Saddlers' first shot on goal came a few minutes after the substitution as Kacy Milan Butterfield found some space in midfield and took aim from distance. His effort was much more of a danger to the cars in the car park as opposed to the goalkeeper's clean sheet as the scores remained level.

With around seventeen minutes on the clock the Saddlers continued to probe as Will Shorrock found Tobias Hayles-Docherty in space, and the latter unleashed a low drive which just crept wide of goal the Pics' goal.

Walsall would go on to open the scoring soon after as midfield man Jordon Sangha capped off a fine passing move by slotting the ball home from around twenty yards.

Rushall went close to leveling the scores just a few minutes later as a Danny Waldron's diving header was saved at close range by young Saddlers stopper Ethan Dawe. Very alert play from the 'keeper to keep his sheet clean.

Dawe had little time to dwell on his save as he was called into action again soon after as a Liam Lawrence corner fell to Waldron - who was in far too much space, thankfully for the Saddlers the Walsall 'keeper was alert and saved the shot which came through a crowd of people.

The Pics continued to search for an equaliser as they were awarded a free kick on the edge of the Walsall area. Duke was the man to take it but he couldn't control his effort as he sent the ball high and wide.

The Saddlers almost doubled their lead soon after Duke's wayward effort as Cameron Peters, who received the ball from Hayles-Docherty, was denied by a last-ditch tackle by Will Hancox, brave defending as the Saddlers looked certain to score.

Both teams continued to have long-distance efforts on goal as Valadi Barai sent an effort wide for the Pics and Mitchel Candlin did likewise for the Saddlers. No shortage of shots as the game progresses, just not too many on target.

Our hosts levelled the scores with seven minutes of the first-half remaining as Joe Hull slammed the ball home following a goalmouth scramble after a Lawrence free-kick.

Walsall had another effort on goal soon after the Pics' equaliser as Peters turned into space and lashed the ball wide from a tight angle.

Rushall ended the half strongly and saw an effort blocked following a spell of sustained pressure as Zak Lilly was denied on the edge of the area.


Rushall's Liam Lawrence had the first effort of the second half as he worked some space before lifting an effort over the bar from a few yards outside the area.

The Saddlers thought they had gone into the lead after fifty-seven minutes as Cameron Peters headed home from a Jordon Sangha cross, however the assistant referee had his flag raised for offside.

Happily for the young Saddlers side they would go on to take the lead shortly after as Cameron Peters was on hand to stab the ball home following Mitchel Candlin's deflected effort which had wrong-footed the 'keeper.

Rushall substitute Jayden McCalla kept the Walsall 'keeper alert as he forced a save with a speculative effort. His effort was followed up by an effort from a trialist who had a shot parried away.

There was another injury scare during the second half as Joe Hull and Nicky Devlin clashed heads following a Rushall corner. Both players were OK to continue after a spell of treatment.

Pics 'keeper Dan Crane remained alert as the clock ticked down, he saved a Cameron Peters effort which came in from a tight angle keeping the score at 2-1 to the Saddlers.

The home side almost levelled the scores with just over ten minutes remaining as Dominic Dell smashed an effort off the underside of the bar following a nice cut-back.

As the game approached the final whistle Walsall midfielder Jordon Sangha sought to extend his team's lead as he unleashed a powerful effort from distance, his shot failed to test the 'keeper as it deflected off Cameron Peters and drifted wide of goal.

Valadi Barai almost levelled the scores just a few seconds later as he saw an effort blocked, solid defending from the Saddlers.

Nicky Devlin was forced off with around three minutes remaining and was replaced by Little, a but of a concern for the Saddlers.

Liam Lawrence saw an effort deflected wide late on as Rushall pushed for an equaliser. Sadly for the Saddlers the Pics' search was a successful one as a Trialist headed home from close range from the resulting corner.

Dominic Dell looked to put his side into the lead late on but was denied by the 'keeper as the match ended all-square.

GOALS | Hull (38') Trialist (90+1') - Sangha (20') Peters (59')
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