Match Report: Fleetwood Town 0 Walsall 0 Match Report: Fleetwood Town 0 Walsall 0
Posted by: Bescot Banter

Match Report: Fleetwood Town 0 Walsall 0

Here is our Match Report from Saturday afternoon's televised Sky Bet League One clash between Fleetwood Town and Walsall.
With four defeats in their last five league outings, Dean Keates and his Walsall side travelled to Fleetwood's Highbury Stadium in search of some much-needed points.

Walsall got the match underway, but Fleetwood Town soon won the ball and Wes Burns fired a weak attempt goal-wards with just forty seconds played. Moments later, Paddy Madden almost got a shot away after some poor defending from Jon Guthrie and Luke Leahy. The sides settled a little following the early danger, with both sides seeing plenty of the ball.

The Saddlers were awarded a free-kick in the seventh minute, twenty-five yards from goal. Josh Ginnelly stepped up to take the set-piece and fired a low, curling effort round the wall, but Fleetwood ‘keeper, Alex Cairns was well placed to gather. The visiting side continued to press though, forcing a corner two minutes later, but the ball in was poor and the hosts cleared.

Ten minutes in, the Saddlers won another corner. The ball in from Ginnelly was much better and connected with the head of Guthrie who was waiting at the back post, but the defender was unable to guide the effort into the net, firing narrowly wide of the upright.

Walsall continued to look the brighter side as time raced on, enjoying plenty of time on the ball and defending well to ensure Fleetwood were given no time to get a move going, but in the fourteenth minute, Jason Holt was presented with a chance to get a shot away and fired over the crossbar.

The Saddlers soon had the ball back up at the other end, where a lovely move from Ginnelly saw the visiting side win another corner, which fell back to the winger who fired inches wide. Walsall continued to press, winning another corner in the nineteenth minute, but the flag-kick was easily dealt with by the Fleetwood defences.

The game settled into something of a midfield battle as time marched on, with neither side able to keep the ball for any real length of time. It wasn’t until the twenty-eighth minute that either side created another chance, but James Husband’s cross but well caught by Walsall ‘keeper, Liam Roberts.

With twenty-nine minutes on the clock, Walsall won their fifth corner of the afternoon, but Burns met the in-swinging ball and headed it away. The resulting flag-kick was swung into the box, where Holt was on hand for the hosts to clear the danger, gifting the Saddlers a throw in, which was played back into the box where Ashley Hunter was able to finally clear the danger.

Walsall continued to cause problems for their hosts, winning two further corners in the following three minutes, but the home side remained alert in defence to deal with the danger.

Thirty-five minutes in, Russell Martin should have opened the scoring for the Saddlers, getting on the end of a cross from Ginnelly in an unmarked position, twelve yards from goal, but his headed effort sailed wide of the target when he really should have scored.

Fleetwood won their first corner of the afternoon in the thirty-seventh minute, but the visiting side were eventually able to clear the danger, before Burns worked the ball into the area and looked to set up Hunter, who missed the ball alleviating the pressure on Roberts goal momentarily.

Five minutes from time, the home side again got forwards, with Lewie Coyle forcing a save from Roberts with a twenty-five yard, left-footed effort. The Trawlermen continued to press, with Ross Wallace curling an effort goal-wards, forcing the Walsall shot-stopper to turn the effort behind. The resulting corner fell to Cian Bolger who tried his luck from range, but the man between the sticks was equal to it and gathered.

There was a brief halt to proceedings a minute before the break, allowing Cairns to receive treatment after a collision, but the goalkeeper was soon back on his feet and able to see out the first-half, including one additional minute, before the sides headed off for their half-time refreshments, the scores tied as they had been at the start of the afternoon.

0 - 0

The sides returned unchanged following the break and Fleetwood got the second half underway. Just a minute into the half, the hosts drew the first save from Roberts, who did well to get down to deny Wallace from eight yards.

The sides settled back into the game, both enjoying short spells on the ball whilst not being given time or space to create anything much, though Hunter was able to get a shot away in the fifty-first minute, which sailed well wide of the upright without troubling the Walsall ‘keeper.

After a slow spell, Fleetwood manager, Joey Barton opted to make the first change of the afternoon in the fifty-ninth minute, introducing Ched Evans in place of Wes Burns.

Three minutes after entering the fray, Evans was prevented from getting his first shot of the afternoon away, seeing the cleared ball fall to Hunter whose low, driven effort inside the area was blocked by Nicky Devlin and cleared.

In the sixty-fifth minute, the home side opted to make their second change of the afternoon as they continued to search for the opening goal, introducing Conor McAleny in place of Ashley Hunter.

Walsall followed suit three minutes later, with Morgan Ferrier taking the place of Josh Gordon.

With seventy-two minutes on the clock, Russell Martin became the first player to enter the referee’s notebook, picking up a yellow card for a foul on Madden. The resulting free-kick was fired over the wall by Wallace, where Roberts was on hand to prevent the goal.

The Saddlers won a corner in the seventy-fifth minute, which they played short, before working the ball to Zeli Ismail twelve yards from goal, but the midfielders effort was blocked before the danger was eventually cleared.

The Trawlermen soon had the ball back up at the other end, where Coyle was presented with a chance to shoot, but his left-footed effort sailed well wide of the target.

Walsall enjoyed a good spell of possession as we raced into the final ten minutes, creating a superb chance in the eighty-second minute, as some good play from Ismail saw a cross met by Ferrier whose headed effort trickled inches wide of the upright.

Ferrier won his side a corner in the eighty-fifth minute, holding the ball up well before it was put out of play. The ball in was cleared as far as Leahy, who turned the ball back into the box before the hosts again cleared, putting the ball out for a throw in. The ball was played back into the box by Leahy, with a long throw that was flicked on to Ferrier at the back post, but the striker was unable to turn the ball home.

Three minutes were added to end the game, and twenty seconds into them, Evans almost combined with Madden to find what would have no doubt been the winning goal, but Madden’s effort sailed over the bar.

Fleetwood then opted to make a final, late change, introducing Harrison Biggins in place of Ross Wallace.

The home side were awarded a free-kick moments from time for a foul on Evans by Liam Kinsella. The ball in was caught by Roberts who was then fouled himself, allowing Walsall to clear the ball as full-time was called. A fairly even contest, with both sides enjoying good spells of possession, with positives to be taken from keeping a clean-sheet on the road.

0 - 0

Attendance: 3,090
Referee: Ross Joyce
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