Saturday, 9 December 2017

Saturday, 9 December 2017

MATCH REPORT | Walsall 1 Scunthorpe United 0

Here is our Match Report from Saturday's League One clash between Walsall and Scunthorpe United.
Walsall returned to league action on Saturday afternoon as they took on Scunthorpe United at Banks's Stadium. We were in attendance, and you can read our match report below.

Walsall got the match underway, and were soon forcing their visitors to defend, but Scunthorpe United were equal to the early pressure. The Saddlers almost opened the scoring after just seven minutes, but Luke Leahy's ball in flashed across the face of goal, with nobody able to turn it home.

Ten minutes in, Scunthorpe won a corner which was swung in towards Josh Morris who found himself in space on the edge of the box, but the midfielder skied his effort. Three minutes later, the Saddlers had more luck in front of goal, with Kieron Morris firing a right-footed, twenty yard effort into the back of the net, thanks to a deflection en-route.

The first yellow card of the game was awarded in just the sixteenth minute, when Duane Holmes pulled the shirt of Erhun Oztumer in front of the referee.

The Saddlers should have extended their lead in the twentieth minute, winning a corner which was swung in by Zeli Ismail for Jon Guthrie, who headed the ball back across goal for Morris, but Morris mistimed his shot, allowing the visiting side to clear. Five minutes later, the hosts saw another wonderful chance missed when Oztumer picked out Ismail who crossed the ball into the box towards Flo Cuvelier, who was lurking in a promising position, but the Scunthorpe defences were alert and got to the ball ahead of him to clear the danger. Amadou Bakayoko was then able to pounce on the cleared ball, but his low shot sailed wide of the mark.

The home team continued to dominate, seeing much of the ball, and as we reached the half hour mark, Cuvelier again found himself in shooting range, but his right-footed effort from twenty five yards, sailed high over the crossbar without troubling Matt Gilks in the Scunthorpe goal.

With thirty six minutes on the clock, the Saddlers again saw a chance to double their advantage go begging, as a Bakayoko cross from the left almost picked out a stretching Oztumer, but their was just too much on it for the Turkish midfielder and Scunthorpe captain, Rory McArdle was able to clear ahead of him.

The Iron felt they should have been awarded a penalty in the thirty eighth minute after an awkward bounce of the ball appeared to have hit a hand in the area, but the referee was unmoved and waved play on.

As we raced towards the break, the visitors sought to draw themselves level and almost succeeded in the forty third minute, but Walsall 'keeper, Mark Gillespie was alert and got down well to stop Hakeeb Adelakun's thirty yard effort.

As one additional minute was played out, the Saddlers almost extended their lead, but Gilks was alert once more and palmed a left-footed, thirty yard Oztumer effort wide. A decent first half, some good chances for both sides and some excellent defending on display.

Sky Bet League One | HT
1 - 0

Both sides returned unchanged after the break, and Scunthorpe got the second half underway. The visitors soon won a corner as they looked to get themselves back on level terms, but the Walsall defences stood firm to deny a chance on goal. Five minutes into the half, the Saddlers won a corner themselves, but Paddy Madden was on hand for the visitors and cleared. The Saddlers then won another corner moments later, thanks to a header from McArdle but that also came to nothing.

The hosts continued to search for a second goal, to put some daylight between the sides and almost found one in the fifty sixth minute, but Gilks was alert and pulled off a fine save to prevent the twenty five yard, dipping effort finding the back of the net.

Moments later, Leahy was felled inside the box after playing a lovely one-two with Oztumer, promoting the referee to point to the spot. Oztumer stepped up to take the spot-kick, but Gilks guessed correctly and pushed the ball clear, allowing Cameron Burgess to put the ball safely behind and the resulting corner came to nothing.

Sixty two minutes in, the visitors opted to make a double change to their line-up, replacing Tom Hopper and Paddy Madden with Simon Church and Kevin Van Veen for the final half hour.

Scunthorpe began to see a lot more of the ball as the game continued, forcing the Saddlers into a more defensive role than they had enjoyed previously. In the seventy second minute, the Iron saw a decent chance to draw level missed, as some good link up play from Josh Morris, Van Veen and Wallace looked to have set up Church, but the forward was just unable to get a touch on the ball and the move petered out.

With just quarter of an hour remaining, the Saddlers made their first change of the match, bringing Reece Flanagan on in place of Flo Cuvelier.

The game became something of a midfield battle as we raced towards the final whistle, with neither side able to create much going forward.

In the eighty third minute, Walsall made their second change of the afternoon, replacing Zeli Ismail with Nicky Devlin for the final seven minutes. The Scunthorpe bench also took the opportunity to make their third and final change of the day, with Duane Holmes making way for Clayton Lewis.

Just two minutes later, the Saddlers bench opted to make their final change of the afternoon, sending Daniel Agyei on in place of Amadou Bakayoko.

Four additional minutes were awarded at the end of the half, but neither side were able to convert and Kieron Morris' early goal ultimately proved enough for the Saddlers who took all three points from their third consecutive league match.

Sky Bet League One | FT
1 - 0
Morris (13')

Attendance - 3,865 (279)
Referee - Scott Oldham

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