Match Report: Notts County 2 Walsall 1 Match Report: Notts County 2 Walsall 1

Match Report: Notts County 2 Walsall 1

Here is our Match Report from Saturday afternoon's pre-season clash between Notts County and Walsall.
Walsall arrived at this weekend's clash on the back of a duo of pre-season wins and triumphs over Nuneaton Borough and Polish side Odra Opole saw Darrell Clarke's side begin to find some momentum heading into the new season.

Walsall got the game underway via Josh Gordon and, following a few minutes which saw the sides settle into the game, it was the Saddlers who created the first opening of the contest.

Summer signing Elijah Adebayo was the man on a mission as he found space inside the County area before smashing the ball towards goal. Sadly for the former Fulham man, a Notts defender was able to gt a block in and prevent his side from falling behind.

The Saddlers were soon defending danger of their own as new arrivals Danny Guthrie and Jack Rose almost combined to allow the home side to take the lead.

Guthrie had sought to slow the play down by sending the ball back to the 'keeper only for the on-loan Southampton stopper to slice his clearance before ultimately clearing the ball off the line. Too close for comfort.

Walsall then went on to create a couple of chances of their own. The first opening saw wingers Cameron Norman and Callum Cockerill-Mollett combine to find Stuart Sinclair only for the former Bristol Rovers man to fail to hit the target.

The second chance fell the way of Adebayo as he got on the end of another Norman cross. only for goalkeeper Liam O'Brien to gather the ball to quell the attack.

Adebayo was almost found in space again a few minutes later. This time it was his strike partner Josh Gordon who sought to find the 6ft 3in striker in space after dispossessing a defender. Sadly Josh's pass was under-hit and the move came to nothing.

The openings just kept on coming with both sides keen to open the scoring. The home side looked to have made a decisive move as Remaye Campbell was found in space by Matt Tootle.

Thankfully for the Saddlers, the youngster was unable to get an effort on goal as he saw an effort blocked before the Saddlers broke up field to create an opening of their own.

This opening saw Adebayo become the creator as he burst past his man to send in an ultimately over-hit cross as the promising break came to noting, the scores remaining level.

The Saddlers were soon back on the attack as Cockerill-Mollett and Adebayo combined to find Gordon in space. Callum's cross was headed back into the box by Elijah before Josh, stretching to make contact, saw his effort drift wide of goal.

Walsall were rewarded for their attacking endeavour with around five minutes of the half remaining. Danny Guthrie's corner was sent back across goal by Mat Sadler where Dan Scarr was in space, the central defender smashing the ball into the roof of the net to give his side the lead.

0 - 1

Darrell Clarke made a change at the break as on-loan Saint Jack Rose was replaced by A.Trialist - former Port Vale stopper Joe Slinn - who  was invited back to train with the club after spending last season on-loan with Rushall Olympic.

The first opening of the second-half went County's way as trialist Chris Camwell found space out wide to send in a cross, his ball was well directed but Kane Hemmings could only head wide of goal.

Camwell almost gifted the Saddlers a second goal shortly after he'd been on the attack as he sent a poor pass in the general direction of the 'keeper only for it to fall for Adebayo. Sadly for the Saddlers their new arrival was unable to make the most of his present as the score remained one-nil.

Both managers soon opted to make a whole host of changes with Neal Ardley swapping six as Darrell Clarke won Top Trumps by making eight as the gaffer continued to consider his options.

Walsall swapped Cameron Norman, James Clarke, Callum Cockerill-Mollett, Danny Guthrie, Liam Kinsella, Stuart Sinclair, Elijah Adebayo, and Josh Gordon for Cameron Pring, Shay Facey, Jack Kiersey, Alfie Bates, James Hardy, Wes McDonald, Mitch Candlin and B.Trialist - Bristol City's Rory Holden.

County substitute Owen Betts thought he had levelled the score just moments after taking to the field as he slotted the ball past Slinn. Luckily for the Saddlers referee David Coote pulled play back for an offside.

Our hosts went close again soon after as trialist Camwell sent a free-kick just over the bar from just outside the Walsall area. Not that close but certainly a warning shot.

County were soon rewarded for their efforts as they went on to level the score with sixty-six minutes on the clock. Nathan Tyson was the man who ultimately created the opening as he found Mitch Rose in space, his touch was poor but the ball fell for Enzio Boldewijn who coolly slotted home.

The home side almost went into the lead a few minutes later as substitute Slinn's poor touch allowed Tyson in, thankfully Slinn was able to recover and make a save as the score remained level.

The home side went on to make more changes as manager Ardley looks to strengthen his side ahead of their upcoming Vanarama National League campaign, the Magpies falling into non-league football for the first time in their 157-year history.

Walsall's next opening arrived with around ten minutes of play remaining as substitute Alfie Bates, who has had a superb pre-season campaign so far, found space outside the are and sent an effort just over the bar. Too close for comfort for the goalkeeper.

With just over five minutes of play remaining, a disappointing turn of events ultimately saw County go into the lead. Trialist Joe Slinn did little to enhance the chances of a new deal as he came out of his area and felled the onrushing Tyson, earning a booking in the process.

The resulting free-kick was well used by the home side as Boldewijn was on hand to smash an effort into the bottom corner of goal, putting his side into the lead and giving Clarke plenty to ponder as the match continued.

There were no more goal and no further chances of note as the Saddlers slipped to defeat heading into their midweek clash with Dean Smith's Aston Villa.

2 - 1
Boldewijn (66')
Boldewijn (84')
Scarr (40')

Attendance: 1,390 (295)
Referee: David Coote
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