Match Report: Walsall 0 Barnsley 1 Match Report: Walsall 0 Barnsley 1

Match Report: Walsall 0 Barnsley 1

Here is our Match Report from Saturday afternoon's televised Sky Bet League One clash between Walsall and Barnsley.
The Saddlers had lost their last two games heading into this weekend's clash and were looking to return to winning ways as they welcomed title-chasing Barnsley to Banks's Stadium.

Barnsley got the match underway, with their side seeing much of the ball during a scrappy opening few minutes. The visitors firing the first effort goal-wards in the fourth minute, but Alex Mowatt’s twenty yard, tame shot was easily gathered by Walsall goalkeeper, Liam Roberts.

Walsall began to grow into the game, and had the ball in the back of the net in the seventh minute, as Isaiah Osbourne fired home, but an earlier, rather soft foul by Josh Gordon on Ethan Pinnock ensured the goal would not stand.

The Saddlers continued to break forwards when allowed, with captain, George Dobson firing a tame effort through a crowded box in the tenth minute, which Jack Walton was able to gather.

Barnsley won the first corner of the game in the twelfth minute, as Dobson was forced to put the ball behind. The flag-kick saw the visitors appeal for a penalty, when clearly it was the Walsall man who had been fouled, but the referee waved away their appeals and awarded only a second corner, from which the Saddlers broke, with Corey Blackett-Taylor setting up Gordon, whose effort on goal sailed high over the crossbar.

The Saddlers forced a corner themselves in the nineteenth minute, which Luke Leahy swung into the box for Jon Guthrie, but the defenders headed effort sailed wide. Walsall won the ball back quickly and raced forwards again through Zeli Ismail, whose cross into the box was met by Liam Kinsella, who fired high over the bar.

Moments later, the Saddlers again found themselves in shooting range, with some good work from Isaiah Osbourne and Ismail setting up Blackett-Taylor at the back post, but the midfielders headed effort sailed narrowly wide of the upright.

Barnsley continued to get forwards between Walsall chances, but caused little problem for the Saddlers defences. Though a blocked, eight yard effort from Cauley Woodrow in the twenty-fifth minute did see Roberts called to gather.

After a spell of midfield action, the Saddlers won a corner in the thirty-third minute, which was swung into the box and cleared by the Tykes defences.

Back at the other end, two minutes later, the visiting side won a corner of their own as Roberts was forced to turn a powerful Mamadou Thiam effort over the bar, but the Saddlers defences stood firm to ensure the flag-kick came to nothing.

The Saddlers soon had the ball back in the Barnsley half thanks to some good work from Osbourne, who set Ismail racing away, but after beating Williams, the midfielders effort on goal nestled in the side netting.

With forty-one minutes on the clock, Liam Lindsay became the first name added to the referee’s notebook, picking up a yellow card for a dangerous challenge on Osbourne.

One additional minute was added to end the first-half, during which time the Tykes were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position, but the Saddlers defences stood firm to ensure the sides would head off level at the break.

0 - 0

The teams returned unchanged, and Walsall got the second-half underway. The hosts started the half brightly, creating the first chance on goal just a minute in, but Dobson’s effort from the edge of the area sailed over the crossbar without troubling Walton in the Tykes goal.

Two minutes later, up at the other end, Barnsley were awarded a free-kick, which was played into the box where it was turned behind for a corner by Dan Scarr. The ball was whipped into the box from the flag-kick but the Saddlers defences continued to stand firm.

The end-to-end action continued apace, though neither side was able to break through their opposing defences.

The Saddlers would have opened the scoring in the sixty-third minute, but for some heroics from Williams who cleared Blackett-Taylor’s effort off the line.

Moments later, the hosts again created a superb scoring opportunity, as Blackett-Taylor found Ismail who beat his man to cut the ball back across goal, with Leahy just unable to get to the ball in time to turn it home.

In the sixty-eighth minute, the Tykes opted to make their first change of the afternoon, with Mike-Steven Bahre being replaced by Callum Styles.

Styles was quick to get involved, firing a right-footed effort in from outside the box in the seventy-third minute, but a well placed Walsall body ensured the shot was blocked behind, with the resulting corner coming to nothing.

Moments later, with the ball back at the other end, Gordon saw an effort on goal well blocked by the legs of Walton.

Seventy-six minutes in, the visitors opted to make their second change of the afternoon, with Cameron McGeehan making way for Victor Adeboyejo.

Twelve minutes from time, the Saddlers should have opened the scoring, as Osbourne set Ismail away, with the midfielder doing to beat Lindsay before crossing the ball to Gordon who drew a superb save from Walton to deny the hosts.

Back at the other end, moments later, Roberts was also brought into action, the Saddlers shot-stopper doing well to block a low, driven effort from Woodrow.

In the eighty-second minute, George Dobson found his name being added to the referee’s notebook, the Saddlers captain picking up a yellow card for a foul on Dimitri Cavare.

Barnsley opted to make their third and final change of the afternoon in the eighty-fourth minute, with Mamadou Thiam being replaced by Jordan Green for the final few minutes.

Within five minutes of his introduction into the game, Jordan Green joined the ranks in the referee’s notebook, seeing yellow for a foul on Dobson.

With just one minute of the regulation ninety remaining, the Saddlers opted to make their first change of the afternoon, as Morgan Ferrier took the place of Zeli Ismail.

Three additional minutes were added to end the game, with Jacob Brown nabbing all three points for Barnsley with a right-footed effort which sailed into the bottom left corner. The striker then seeing yellow for his over-celebration of the goal.

The Saddlers responded to falling a goal behind by making their second change of the afternoon, Andy Cook taking the place of Isaiah Osbourne in the ninety-fourth minute, but it would prove to be too little, too late for the hosts who had looked almost certain to take at least a point from the game heading into injury time.

The full-time whistle sending all three points home with Barnsley. A disappointing end to what had been an entertaining game for the Saddlers.

0 - 1

Brown (90+2')
Attendance: 4,969 (905)
Referee: Ben Toner
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