MATCH REPORT | Newport County 2 Walsall 1 MATCH REPORT | Newport County 2 Walsall 1

MATCH REPORT | Newport County 2 Walsall 1

Here is our Match Report from Saturday evening's Emirates FA Cup - First Round clash between Newport County and Walsall.
Walsall travelled across the Welsh border to take on Newport County in the First Round of this season's Emirates FA Cup. We were in attendance, and you can read our Match Report below.

Erhun Oztumer got the match underway. Both sides took some time to settle into the match, with the Saddlers seeing much of the ball. The first half-chance of the match came five minutes in, when a cross in from the right by Zeli Ismail clipped the far post, evading his teammates who would have had little to do to turn it in.

Eight minutes in, Newport County's Matty Dolan saw his sides first half-chance missed when he sliced a right-footed volley wide from the centre of the box, the ball taking a deflection off a teammate for good measure as it headed out.

Walsall captain, Adam Chambers was lucky not to pick up the first booking of the match in the twelfth minute, for an industrial tackle, which thankfully for Walsall resulted only in a brief talking to by the referee. There was then a pause in proceedings moments later as Chambers received treatment to his ankle, but he was soon up and able to continue.

Sixteen minutes in, Newport won a corner when the ball was turned behind by Ismail, but the Saddlers defences were able to deal with the danger and cleared. Moments later, having won the ball back, Newport had more luck, opening the scoring when Chambers and Shaun Donnellan were beaten by Frank Nouble, who sent a left-footed effort looping over the static Mark Gillespie's head, into the back of the net.

Keen to get back on level terms, Walsall pressed forward, winning a corner in the nineteenth minute when the ball was turned behind by David Pipe, but the hosts defences cleared. Moments later, the Saddlers got forward again, Oztumer picking out Luke Leahy in an advanced position with a delightful pass forward, but Leahy's dangerous cross into the box was just too much of a stretch for Tyler Roberts and the ball went out for a goal-kick.

As we reached the half hour mark, the Saddlers again got the ball forward thanks to some good work by Oztumer. The Turkish midfielder played the ball into the box looking for Kieron Morris, who was just unable to get to it before it headed out for a goal-kick. Four minutes later, Oztumer has a chance himself, picking up the loose ball after a half-volley from Roberts was blocked, but the midfielders effort on goal sailed high and wide from distance.

Luke Leahy conceded a corner in the thirty seventh minute as he rose well to prevent a header goal-wards. The ball in was a good one, finding the head of Nouble, but the forward nodded the ball well wide under pressure from Chambers. Newport soon had the ball back following the goal-kick, but Gillespie was on hand to gather as it entered the box, preventing any further efforts on goal.

The Saddlers were quick to get the ball up to the other end as they continued to seek an equaliser, winning a corner for their efforts. Ismail played a low ball to Roberts in a move lifted straight off the training ground, but Roberts then steered his shot high and wide. Newport then worked the ball up to the other end again, where.

Two additional minutes were played at the end of the half, but neither side were able to create any further chances of note and Newport took their slender, one-goal, lead into the break.

Newport County 1 Walsall 0

The sides returned, unchanged, after the break and just under thirty seconds after kicking-off, Newport County once again had the ball in the back of the net. The hosts having gotten the ball forward from the re-start, then got forward again as the Saddlers failed to fully deal with the danger, allowing a tidy through-ball to find Shawn McCoulsky, who turned a right-footed effort, across Gillespie and into the bottom left corner with just twenty seven seconds of the second half played.

The Saddlers, with much to do, soon had the ball up at the Newport end, where it was picked up by Roberts on the left side of the box. The forwards right-footed effort looked good, but was easily saved by Newport 'keeper, Joe Day.

The match became something of a midfield battle, until, in the fifty fourth minute, Kieron Morris fired the ball into the back of the net. Unfortunately for the Saddlers, the flag had already been raised as he was deemed to be offside and the goal was disallowed, though it did appear that the Walsall man was in fact onside. The Saddlers then won a corner in three minutes later, but the Newport defences stood firm and headed the ball clear.

In the fifty ninth minute, there was a brief halt to proceedings, whilst Newport captain, Mark O'Brien received treatment after taking a ball to the side of the head. He was eventually up and able to continue.

The Walsall bench opted to make their first change in the sixty second minute, replacing would-be scorer Kieron Morris with Amadou Bakayoko. Two minutes later, Newport made their first change of the evening too, replacing their captain, Mark O'Brien, with Scot Bennett.

Both sides seemed to struggle to maintain possession for any great length of time as the game progressed, with neither creating much before again loosing the ball to their oppositon, though Walsall did see more of the ball than their hosts.

In the seventy fourth minute, the Saddlers opted to make their second change of the evening, as Erhun Oztumer made way for Maz Kouhyar.

Moments after the Saddlers change, Newport, having won a corner, played the ball into the box, where it was met by Nouble with a glancing header which sailed across goal and out wide. A huge let off for the Saddlers, who would have been all but out of the FA Cup had the ball been turned in.

After a scramble in the Walsall box in the seventy seventh minute, the Saddlers came away with the ball and headed for the Newport box, where a lovely cross in from Kouhyar was met by the head of Bakayoko who glanced a headed effort into the back of the net to bring his side to within one goal of their opponents.

With just nine minutes to play, the Newport bench opted to make their second change of the evening, replacing scorer of their second goal, Shawn McCoulsky with Padraig Amond.

Moments after the Newport substitution, the Saddlers had a chance to draw level, but Kouhyar's twenty five yard, left-footed effort sailed over the bar without troubling the man between the sticks.

Walsall looked the brighter side as the clock ticked down, passing the ball well and keeping possession, but struggling to find an end product.

Four additional minutes were added at the end of the match, but the home defences stood firm, seeing themselves through to the second round, and sending Walsall crashing out of the FA Cup at the first time of asking. Good defensive work, coupled with two good goals and a lot of determination enough to see the win for the home team as the Saddlers failed to capitalise on the chances presented to them.

Newport County 2 Walsall 1
Nouble (18'), McCoulsky (46') // Bakayoko (77')
ATT | 2,701 (399 Walsall)
REFEREE | Gavin Ward (Surrey)
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