Checkatrade Trophy Match Report: Burton Albion 1 Walsall 2 Checkatrade Trophy Match Report: Burton Albion 1 Walsall 2
Checkatrade Trophy Match Report: Burton Albion 1 Walsall 2

Checkatrade Trophy Match Report: Burton Albion 1 Walsall 2

Here is our Match Report from Tuesday evening's Checkatrade Trophy - Northern Group E clash between Burton Albion and Walsall.
The Saddlers reached their midweek Checkatrade Trophy outing on the back of a busy opening spell which saw them play eight games in twenty-nine days and reach Round Two of the Carabao Cup.

The match, which was played in front of a crowd of empty seats and terraces, got off to a fairly slow start as both sides looked to gain a foothold in the contest. Neither goalkeeper was truly tested in the opening exchanges, although on-loan Wolves midfielder Connor Ronan did produce some neat touches as he made his Saddlers debut.

The first goal of the match arrived just before the ten-minute mark as Maziar Kouhyar produced some fine football to get away down the left, leaving a couple of defenders in his wake, before sending a pin-point cross to the back-post where Kieron Morris was on hand to head home.

The goal gave the Saddlers plenty of confidence and they went on to take charge of large portions of the match. There were not too many attacking opportunities following the goal but Connor Ronan almost combined with Josh Gordon, but the former Leicester City striker was unable to fire home after being found in space.

The Brewers came close to levelling the tie shortly before the twenty-five-minute mark as Jake Hesketh's corner caused Liam Roberts a bit of trouble as the stopper was unable to gather the initial ball. However, Burton couldn't get the ball down and the danger was soon cleared.

Walsall went on to double their lead shortly before the thirty-minute mark as recent arrival Josh Gordon was on hand to slip home after a great team effort saw Morris and Nicky Devlin combine to find space out wide, Devlin showing a superb burst of speed to get into space, before unleashing a low cross into the area.

Burton continued to push for a goal of their own and, after captain Lucas Akins had fluffed an effort following a low cross, had a couple of opportunities blocked as both Will Miller and Devante Cole fell victim to the Saddlers' hard-working defence, who stood firm to deny them.

Our hosts weren't happy to sit back and watch the match slip away and continued to search for a goal, going closer than ever on the thirty-six minute mark as Akins was denied by Jordon Sangha, who had to stoop down low and head the ball off the line (via the crossbar) following a dangerous corner ball.

Both sides continued to attack with each side producing efforts on goal. For the Saddlers, Josh Gordon was alert to steal the ball before turning and firing wide, whilst the Brewers saw Cole head over from Miller's corner.

0 - 2

Both the Saddlers and Brewers returned to the field unchanged, and the second-half got underway to a slow start, the only real action saw Burton's on-loan Southampton midfielder Jake Hesketh send a free-kick into the wall.

The Brewers continued to push for a goal and went close to scoring with around nine minutes of the second-half gone as Kyle McFadzean sent the ball wide of Liam Roberts' goal following Akins' lifted cross.

The home side made the first substitutions of the match just before the hour mark as Will Miller and Jake Flannigan were replaced by Marvin Sordell and Elliot Hodge.

The opening booking of the match arrived shortly after the first subs as first-year pro Dylan Parker saw yellow for a late challenge.

Shortly after Burton saw an attack break down thanks to some fine work from Ronan, the Saddlers created an opening of their own as Gordon flashed an effort just wide of goal, the chance coming following a nice pass from Parker to find his strike partner in space.

Both teams made changes as Kieron Morris and Dylan Parker were replaced by Callum Cockerill-Mollett and Tobias Hayles-Docherty for the Saddlers, whilst Devante Cole being replaced by Marcus Harness for the home side.

With the latest round of changes out of the way, striker Marvin Sordell was the next Brewer to send an effort wide of goal as he failed to test Saddlers stopper Roberts, who was enjoying one of his easier nights between the sticks.

Burton maintained their push for a goal but were often met by the 'Great Wall of Walsall' as the Saddlers stood firm to quell their attacks, plenty of shifts being put in by the men in red.

Walsall would make their third sub of the game shortly after the eighty-seven-minute mark as on-loan Wolves defender Connor Johnson, who appeared to have a tight hamstring, was replaced by Andy Cook. Dean Keates opting for a rather attacking change in the closing stages.

Josh Gordon looked to double his tally late on and almost got through on goal as he broke past his man only to be hauled to the ground, Ben Turner picking up a well-deserved booking.

Sadly for the Saddlers, they were unable to keep their sheet clean as second-half sub Marcus Harness put the ball past Liam Roberts following Sordell's neat through ball.

Unsurprisingly the goal gave the Brewers fresh impetus and saw them go on to create a couple of late openings. Hesketh found space outside the area and sent an effort just wide before Elliot Hodge saw a header and shot both drift past the post.

Despite the late goal and trio of late chances, it was a fairly comfortable win for the Saddlers overall as they now look ahead to Saturday's League One clash with Barnsley, with the hope of keeping their unbeaten start alive at Oakwell.

1 - 2
Harness (89')

Morris (10')
Gordon (28')
Attendance: 724
Referee: Rob Lewis
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