MATCH REPORT | Walsall 1 Blackpool 1×
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MATCH REPORT | Walsall 1 Blackpool 1
 
MATCH REPORT | Walsall 1 Blackpool 1
MATCH REPORT | Walsall 1 Blackpool 1
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MATCH REPORT | Walsall 1 Blackpool 1

5:15 pm Saturday, 14 October 2017
Here is our match report from Saturday afternoon's League One clash between Walsall and Blackpool.
Walsall looked to build upon last weekend's one-all draw with league leaders Shrewsbury Town as they played host to Blackpool at Banks's Stadium. We were in attendance, and you can read our Match Report below.

Jimmy Ryan got the match underway and it wasn't long before his side created the first chance of the game from a corner, which Jay Spearing swung in for Clark Robertson, whose headed effort trickled inches wide of the upright. Blackpool continued to enjoy plenty of time on the ball as the afternoon wore on, but Walsall kept them contained largely to the midfield area.

Nine minutes in, Blackpool won their second corner of the game, which was again swung in to meet the head of Robertson, but his downward header made for an easy save for Mark Gillespie. Three minutes later, the Saddlers finally created their first half-chance of the afternoon, Daniel Agyei sending a promising low ball across the box, but Nathan Delfouneso was waiting at the back post to put it behind ahead of Luke Leahy. The resulting corner came to nothing for Walsall as Blackpool quickly won the ball back and broke, a move which culminated in Kyle Vassell firing a low effort in from twenty yards, which Gillespie gathered.

The Saddlers began to see more of the ball as the game progressed and sixteen minutes in almost opened the scoring when some lovely play between Agyei and Erhun Oztumer saw the latter with a chance to shoot from twenty five yards, but his effort sailed wide of goal without troubling the man between the sticks.

Two minutes later, the Saddlers had more luck in front of goal, when Colin Daniel slid in on Agyei, winning the ball but fouling the Walsall man. Oztumer took the free-kick, and curled a fabulous twenty five yard shot over the wall and into the top corner, leaving the 'keeper with absolutely no chance of preventing the goal. A superb opening goal from the Saddlers after a poor start to the game.

Blackpool responded well to going behind and almost levelled the scores in the twentieth minute with a long ball over the top which set Vassell away, but Gillespie used his legs to deny the visitors.

With twenty five minutes on the clock, Sean Longstaff picked up the first yellow card of the game for pulling back Amadou Bakayoko after being dispossessed by the Walsall man.

As we headed past the half hour mark, the Saddlers saw a chance to double their advantage missed, as Oztumer curled a delightful left-footed effort in from the edge of the box which sailed just wide of the far post. Moments later, Walsall conceded a free-kick at the other end, which Ryan blasted through the Saddlers wall, where Gillespie was waiting to punch the ball clear.

Two minutes before the break, Blackpool almost drew level, but Delfouneso was unable to direct his header from Daniel's cross, sending the ball over the bar from six yards. As we headed into two additional minutes, the visitors created another scoring opportunity, with a deep cross from Delfouneso which was met by an unmarked Callum Cooke at the back-post, but Cooke's header landed in the arms of the Walsall shot-stopper, allowing Walsall to take a one goal lead into the break.

LEAGUE ONE | HT
Walsall 1 Blackpool 0

The Saddlers got the second half underway, with both sides unchanged following the break. Blackpool, keen to draw themselves level, were quick on the attack, winning a corner in the forty eighth minute when a Delfouneso cross was missed by Vassell, who should have scored, and turned behind by Leahy. Spearing swung the ball into the box from the flag-kick, but Curtis Tilt's header flew harmlessly over the bar.

The visitors continued to enjoy long spells of possession as the half continued but, again, were largely confined to the midfield area by a well drilled Walsall back-line.

As we headed past the hour mark, the Saddlers bench opted to make the first change of the game, replacing Daniel Agyei with Tyler Roberts, much to the dismay of the crowd, who were not overjoyed to see Agyei depart.

Two minutes after the Saddlers substitution, Blackpool opted to make a double change to their line-up, introducing Viv Solomon-Otabor and Sessi D'Almeida into the game, in place of Jay Spearing and Sean Longstaff.

Just two minutes after the change, Solomon-Otabor picked up a Vassell pass, cut infield and fired trough Gillespie, who should have done better, to bring the sides level. A poor goal for the Saddlers 'keeper to concede. Buoyed by their goal, the visitors continued to press and in the sixty seventh minute could have taken the lead, but Delfouneso's twenty yard effort sailed narrowly wide of the mark.

With twenty minutes still to play, the Saddlers saw a goal disallowed as Jon Guthrie headed in from a Joe Edwards corner. The linesman spotted an infringement and ruled it out. Very unlucky for the Saddlers, who should have re-taken their lead.

In the seventy eighth minute, Blackpool made their final change of the afternoon, replacing Kyle Vassell with Max Clayton. Five minutes later, Colin Daniel picked up the second yellow card of the game.

The match returned to something of a midfield battle as time wore down, with neither side able to break forward. It wasn't until the final minute that either side saw another chance of note, with the Saddlers being awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position, just outside the box, for a Ryan foul on Oztumer. Oztumer took the set-piece but fired just over the bar.

Three additional minutes were awarded at the end of a quiet half, and though Walsall were awarded another free-kick in the second of them, which was fired into the wall by Oztumer, neither side were able to create any further clear chances and time was called with both sides taking a point from the game.

LEAGUE ONE | FT
Walsall 1 Blackpool 1
Oztumer (18') // Solomon-Otabor (65')
ATTENDANCE | 4,503 (570)
REFEREE | Tom Nield


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