Checkatrade Trophy | A Point for Walsall as the Sky Blues Take Two×
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Checkatrade Trophy | A Point for Walsall as the Sky Blues Take Two
 
Checkatrade Trophy | A Point for Walsall as the Sky Blues Take Two
Checkatrade Trophy | A Point for Walsall as the Sky Blues Take Two
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Checkatrade Trophy | A Point for Walsall as the Sky Blues Take Two

9:57 pm Tuesday, 3 October 2017
Walsall were back in Checkatrade Trophy action on Tuesday evening as they played host to Coventry City at Banks's Stadium.
Jon Whitney's Walsall were back in action on Tuesday evening as they played host to Coventry City in the second group game of this season's Checkatrade Trophy competition. Here is our brief match report.

L.Roberts; Devlin, K.Roberts, Guthrie, Leahy; Flanagan; Ismail, Kouhyar, Morris; Bakayoko, Agyei

Substitutes | Ganley; Edwards, Mason, Sangha, Shorrock, Oztumer, Cairns
O'Brien; Di.Kelly-Evans, Grimmer, Hyam, Camwell, Stevenson, Maycock, Vincenti, Beavon, Shipley, McNulty

Substitutes | Addai; Ford, Hickman, Finn, Bayliss, Ponticelli, Sayoud

Walsall opened their Checkatrade Trophy campaign with a win over West Bromwich Albion's Under-21s a couple of weeks ago and were keen to continue their strong Trophy form as they welcomed Mark Robins' Sky Blues to Banks's Stadium.

City started the game well and won the opening corner of the match just a few minutes after kick-off. The Saddlers' opening effort of the match came after six minutes or so as on-loan Bury winger Zeli Ismail cut inside and dragged a shot wide of goal.

With around eleven minutes on the clock, Saddlers stopper Liam Roberts had to be alert as Dion Kelly-Evans' cross fell to Stuart Beavon, the striker couldn't get his effort away as the scores remained level.

Young defender Kory Roberts was the next Saddler to be tested by the Sky Blues as a close-range effort from Beavon had to be cleared off the line as the visitors looked to break the deadlock.

With almost half-an-hour gone City had another effort cleared off the line as Maziar Kouhyar remained alert and prevented Peter Vincenti's header from crossing the line with a header of his own.

Walsall grabbed the first goal of the game a few minutes after Vincenti's cleared effort as the midfield man tripped Ismail in the penalty area, forcing referee Robert Lewis into awarding a spot kick. Ismail was OK to continue and would go on to tuck the ball home from the spot.

As the match neared the break Saddlers stopper Liam Roberts kept his side in the lead with a superb save to deny Vincenti, who was left unmarked following a Sky Blues free-kick. His header was no match for Roberts who saved well.

Vincenti continued to trouble the Saddlers as the half went on, this time he sent the ball wide of goal following Jordan Shipley's neat pass.

There was just one minute added on at the end of the half, and that produced nothing of note as the Saddlers reached the break with a narrow lead.

CHECKATRADE TROPHY - NORTHERN GROUP E | HT
WALSALL 1 COVENTRY CITY 0

The Sky Blues made a change at the break as Jordan Ponticelli replaced Stuart Beavon in attack.

The first real chance of the second-half came via the penalty spot as the referee awarded the Sky Blues a spot kick following Liam Roberts' challenge on Marc McNulty, which saw the stopper sliding into McNulty following a City corner.

Roberts was unable to make up for his error as McNulty took the kick and sent it low past the 'keeper to level the scores.

Chris Camwell went close to taking his side into the lead shortly after the spot-kick as he broke down the wing to send a cross-cum-shot across the face of goal and wide.

Coventry went on to take the lead as the match reached the hour mark as second-half sub Jordan Ponticelli stroked the ball home from McNulty's square ball. Joe Edwards replaced Maz Kouhyar shortly after the goal.

Jordan Shipley was the next player to have an effort on goal as he curled an effort wide following Vincenti's pass. Close, but not close enough for the visiting side.

With just over twenty minutes of the match remaining City stopper Liam O'Brien was forced into action as Bakayoko's low effort was superbly kept out with a one-handed save. Luke Leahy with the initial cross-field ball.

69' | Saddlers goalscorer Zeli Ismail made way for Erhun Oztumer, the Saddlers looking to go a little more direct as time ticked away.

Reece Flanagan had a couple of chances to add to the goal he scored against West Brom as first he sliced an effort wide of goal after finding space in the middle, then a few minutes later he sent in a free-kick which O'Brien had to gather.

74' | City sub - Callum Maycock OFF Bilal Sayoud ON

Coventry went close to extending their lead around ten minutes from time as Dom Hyam met Shipley's corner. He could only get the slightest of touches on the ball as it drifted wide of goal.

Bilal Sayoud kept Liam Roberts alert late on as he sent a long-distance effort towards goal. Nothing to trouble the 'keeper was the game entered three additional minutes.

Walsall went on to level the scores in injury time as on-loan Burnley forward Dan Agyei bundled the ball over the line following a Saddlers corner. As the match ended all-square we went to penalties to decide who would leave the match with an extra point.

PENALTIES
McNulty - Saved - 0-0
Oztumer - Scored - 1-0
Leahy - Scored - 2-0
Vincenti - Scored - 2-1
Stevenson - Scored - 2-2
Agyei - Saved - 2-2
Bakayoko - Scored - 3-2
Shipley - Scored - 3-3
Ponticelli - Scored - 3-4
Edwards - Saved - 3-4

The Saddlers would ultimately take one point from the match as City won the shoot-out to take the bonus point. Hopefully the competition will be put out to pasture before the 2018/19 campaign as it's clear those of us in the lower tiers have become tired of the Premier League's idea of development football.

CHECKATRADE TROPHY - NORTHERN GROUP E | FT
WALSALL 2 COVENTRY CITY 2
Ismail (P 32'), Agyei (90+2') // McNulty (P 54'), Ponticelli (59')
PENS | 3-4
ATTENDANCE | 1,517
REFEREE | Robert Lewis (Shrewsbury)


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