Match Report: Walsall 0 Charlton Athletic 2 Match Report: Walsall 0 Charlton Athletic 2
Posted by: Bescot Banter

Match Report: Walsall 0 Charlton Athletic 2

Here is our Match Report from Tuesday evening's Sky Bet League One clash between Walsall and visitors, Charlton Athletic.
Dean Keates' Saddlers arrived at Tuesday evening's match in search of some points following last weekend's defeat to Burton Albion, however their task wasn't to be an easy one as Lee Bowyer's Play-Off chasing Charlton Athletic were in town, looking for some points of their own.

Charlton got the match underway, but it was Walsall who enjoyed the brighter start to the game, with Josh Ginnelly causing problems for the visiting side from the off, though Charlton ‘keeper, Jed Steer was equal to his early cross thanks to a deflection.

The visiting side were quick to work the ball up to the other end, creating their first chance of the evening in just the third minute as Tariqe Fosu fired an effort in from a tight angle, but the ball sailed narrowly wide of the far post keeping the scores level.

Just two minutes later, Fosu was again involved, winning a penalty for his side as he raced into the box where Walsall captain, George Dobson went in on him. Lyle Taylor stepped up to take the spot-kick and fired the ball into the back of the net, sending Walsall shot-stopper, Liam Roberts the wrong way.

The hosts set about looking to restore parity and ten minutes in were unlucky not to do so as a Morgan Ferrier cross was well blocked by Naby Sarr. Walsall continued to enjoy a decent spell and as we reached the quarter hour mark, the home side saw their first real chance of the evening sail over the bar as Josh Gordon fired a powerful, twenty yard effort over after a good run forwards.

The Addicks began to enjoy a better spell as we raced past the twenty minute mark, with a Taylor back-heel almost being turned home by Fosu, who was denied only by a deflection. The resulting corner was cleared by the Walsall defences, with Gordon looking to break, which resulted in the first yellow card of the evening being shown to Josh Cullen as the midfielder fouled the Walsall striker in a bid to prevent the move.

There was a brief halt to proceedings as we reached the half hour mark, as a tussle between Jon Guthrie and Igor Vetokele saw the Charlton man come off worst, seemingly injuring his shoulder. The stretcher was soon called for and the Addicks front-man was replaced by Karlan Grant.

Walsall felt they should have been awarded a penalty in the thirty-eighth minute, as a neat passing move culminated in Dobson being felled in the box by Cullen, but the referee was unsympathetic to the Saddlers appeals and waved play on.

The hosts continued to press as they sought to bring the sides level before the break, but Ginnelly’s fortieth minute cross-come-shot sailed well wide of the target. The Saddlers then won a free-kick two minutes later, which Luke Leahy took before the referee had indicated he was ready, resulting in the defender seeing the second yellow card of the game, before sending the set-piece sailing high over the bar.

Charlton looked to finish the half strongly, testing the Walsall ‘keeper in the forty-fourth minute as a lovely cross from Taylor fell to Grant six yards from goal, but Roberts remained alert and pulled off an acrobatic manoeuvre to punch the ball clear.

Five additional minutes were added to end the first-half, during which Isaiah Osbourne and Ferrier combined to set up Andy Cook, but the strikers twenty yard effort flashed wide of the upright. Moments later, up at the other end, the Addicks felt they should have been awarded a second penalty as Joe Aribo was brought down by Osbourne, but the incident was adjudged to have occurred just outside the box and a free-kick was given, which the Saddlers were able to clear before the officials called an end to the half.

0 - 1

Walsall opted to make their first change of the evening as the sides returned following the break, with Isaiah Osbourne losing out to Liam Kinsella, before the Saddlers got the second-half underway.

Just three minutes into the second-half, Joe Aribo became the third player to see yellow, picking up a booking for a foul on Ferrier.

With just fifty-one minutes on the clock, the Addicks doubled their advantage, with former Walsall loanee, Krystian Bielik getting on the end of a Cullen corner to fire the ball home.

The match settled into something of a midfield battle following the goal, with both sides enjoying spells of possession, without creating anything going forwards.

With sixty-three minutes on the clock, Charlton manager, Lee Bowyer picked up a yellow card for complaining when the referee refused to stop play after Chris Solly went down with a head injury.

The Saddlers were finally able to work their way into shooting range in the sixty-seventh minute, but Jason Pearce was well placed to deal with Ferrier’s cross before any of his Saddlers team-mates could get to the ball to turn it home.

Walsall continued to press, and were rewarded with a corner in the sixty-ninth minute as Cullen was forced to put the ball out of play, but the Addicks defences were able to deal with the in-swinging ball. Moments later, Ferrier saw a right-footed, close range effort blocked.

The match then returned to a scrappy midfield affair, with plenty of free-kicks being awarded as players continued to foul each other, with little sign of either side creating anything much going forwards.

With seventy-three minutes on the clock, Lyle Taylor picked up his fifth yellow card of the campaign, being booked for a foul on Leahy.

Fifteen minutes from time, the Saddlers opted to make their second change of the evening, replacing Josh Gordon with Zeli Ismail for the run-in.

The Saddlers almost found a goal back in the seventy-eighth minute, as Ferrier curled an effort goal-wards, but Steer remained alert in the Charlton goal and pushed the ball away.

There was a brief halt to proceedings in the seventy-ninth minute whilst Josh Cullen received treatment, but it was soon apparent that he would be unable to continue, so the Addicks made their second change of the night, introducing George Lapslie in the injured man's place.

Two minutes later, Charlton opted to make their third and final change of the game, replacing Tariqe Fosu with Mark Marshall for the final ten or so minutes.

The Addicks looked the brighter side as the minutes ticked away, content to keep the ball in the midfield area and ensure their hosts could not create a moment of magic.

Five minutes from time, the Saddlers chose to make their final change of the evening, with Josh Ginnelly making way for Connor Ronan.

Charlton continued to control the game as we headed through the final few minutes, winning a corner in the eighty-eighth minute thanks to some good work from Marshall, but Bielik’s flag-kick sailed inches over the bar.

Five additional minutes were added to end the game, and just a minute into them, Roberts was called into action to gather a Marshall effort from the edge of the box. There was little further action though before the referee brought an end to the contest, with Charlton running out two-goal-to-nil winners. A poor performance from the Saddlers who never really seemed to get going.

0 - 2

Taylor PEN (6')
Bielik (51')
Attendance: 3,719 (328)
Referee: Tom Nield
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