Match Report: Burton Albion 0 Walsall 0 Match Report: Burton Albion 0 Walsall 0

Match Report: Burton Albion 0 Walsall 0

Here is our match Report from Saturday afternoon's Sky Bet League One clash between Dean Keates' Saddlers and Nigel Clough's Brewers.
The Saddlers arrived at this weekend's match looking to build upon last Saturday's narrow victory over Bradford City as manager Dean Keates looked to move his side further away from the League One relegation zone.

Joe Edwards got the match underway, and created the first half-chance of the afternoon just three minutes in, but leaning back, his shot sailed wide. The game settled into something of a midfield battle in the early goings as both sides took some time to get into it.

With eight minutes on the clock, Burton Albion tested Liam Roberts for the first time, but the Walsall shot-stopper was able to gather the Colin Daniel effort with ease. Three minutes later, the hosts won the first corner of the game as Nicky Devlin was forced to turn a Scott Fraser cross behind. The ball in from the flag-kick found the head of Liam Boyce, but a foul ensured there would be no effort on goal as the referee awarded a free-kick to the Saddlers.

Burton continued to press, winning a free-kick in a dangerous position on the quarter hour mark as David Templeton was felled by Zeli Ismail. Stephen Quinn aimed the set-piece at the back post where Kyle McFadzean was waiting, but the defenders was unable to make a clean connection with the ball.

The hosts created the first real chance of the afternoon in the eighteenth minute, as some superb play from Lucas Akins and Marcus Harness culminated in a low Templeton effort from close range being blocked by Jon Guthrie.

Albion continued to dominate, with the Saddlers struggling to win the ball from the hosts, though they continued to defend well. The Brewers looked to make their dominance pay in the twenty-second minute as some good work from Fraser set up Templeton, but the wingers long range effort sailed wide of the far post.

The game settled back into something of a midfield battle as it continued, with the sides cancelling each other out for long spells.

With forty minutes on the clock, Josh Gordon became the first player to enter the referee’s notebook, seeing yellow for a late challenge on Quinn.

Four minutes later, Marcus Harness joined Gordon in the book, receiving a yellow card for a late tackle on Luke Leahy.

One additional minute was added to end the first-half, as Walsall captain, George Dobson fired a low cross into the path of Gordon, which the striker was unable to direct goal-wards. That would be the last real action of the opening forty-five, and the sides headed off for their half-time refreshments with the scores level.

0 - 0

The sides returned unchanged after the break and the Brewers got the game back underway. The home side started the second-half brightly, creating an early chance which came to nothing as Templeton’s tame shot was easily saved by Roberts.

The hosts continued to press, winning a corner five minutes in as Leahy was forced to turn the ball behind, but the Saddlers defended well to ensure the flag-kick came to nothing.

Ten minutes into the half, Walsall were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position to the right of the box, as Gordon was fouled by Daniel. Leahy delivered the ball into the box but the hosts defended well and cleared the danger.

The Saddlers continued to enjoy a brighter spell, with Matt Jarvis combining with Edwards to create a chance in the fifty-ninth minute, but McFadzean was well placed to block the effort on goal from Edwards.

The visitors continued to press, and almost opened the scoring in the sixty-first minute as Gordon worked his way into space before firing an effort in, but Lucas Akins was well placed for the hosts and cleared the ball off the line.

Moments later, the Saddlers created another opening, but Brewers ‘keeper, Bradley Collins was able to tip Leahy’s left-footed effort over the bar, with the resulting corner coming to nothing.

With sixty-nine minutes on the clock, Burton opted to make their first change of the afternoon, with Jamie Allen making way for John Brayford.

The hosts brought Roberts into action moments after the change, with Daniel firing an effort in from distance, but the ‘keeper combined well with Guthrie to keep the ball out and clear the danger.

Moments later, with the ball back at the other end, the Saddlers went close to opening the scoring with a wonderful move from Ismail, who beat his man before crossing the ball in for Jarvis, with the midfielder firing a right-footed effort into the side-netting.

The end-to-end action continued apace, with the hosts bringing Roberts into action again fifteen minutes from time. Templeton doing well to find space in the box before firing a right-footed shot into the waiting arms of the Walsall shot-stopper.

In the seventy-eighth minute, the Brewers opted to make their second change of the afternoon, with David Templeton making way for Kieran Wallace.

Walsall should have secured the first goal of the afternoon moments after the change, as a Jarvis cross from the left connected with the head of Gordon inside the box, but a superb one-handed save from Collins ensured the scores remained tied.

With eighty-six minutes played, the hosts made their third and final change of the game, as Alex Bradley took the place of Liam Boyce.

Two additional minutes were added to end the game, but there would little further action as the game ended with the scores as they had been at three o’clock. Neither side able to find a breakthrough as they shared the spoils.

0 - 0

Attendance: 3,924
Referee: Paul Marsden
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