Match Report: Nuneaton Borough 1 Walsall 4

Here is our Match Report from Saturday afternoon's pre-season clash between Nuneaton Borough and Walsall.
Walsall boss Darrell Clarke named three trialists among his first-half XI as he continues to look at possible new additions with the upcoming League Two campaign in mind.

Walsall started the game well and had a couple of openings via A.Trialist - Believed to be former Milton Keynes Dons man Brandon Thomas-Asante - as firstly he forced home goalkeeper Cameron Belford into an early save with a fairly tame effort.

Belford had to remain alert as Asante was back on the attack soon after as he was on hand to collect Shay Facey's neat cut-back before sending the ball wide of the Nuneaton goal.

Our hosts were also keen to grab the opening goal of the game and went close via summer signing Callum Powell as he found space before lifting the ball over Walsall stopper Liam Roberts' goal.

Walsall thought they had opened the scoring shortly before the match reached the fifteen-minute mark as Thomas-Asante slipped the ball home after C.Trialist had taken the ball off Boro defender Joel Kettle. The referee calling play back for an offside.

The Saddlers didn't have to wait too long to open the scoring as, shortly after Nuneaton had a goal of their own chalked off for a foul on Cameron Pring, long-serving midfielder Liam Kinsella unleashed a superb effort from outside the area, giving the 'keeper no chance and putting his team into the lead.

Both sides continued to look for openings and either could have scored as the first-half continued. Summer signing Cameron Pring had to be alert in the Walsall area as he stood firm to deny Nuneaton on the line.

Whilst C.Trialist - believed to be young Bristol City striker Rory Holden - did well to cut inside his man before firing a long-distance effort just past the post. Rory is currently on the look out for a loan move ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.

The Saddlers were able to retain their lead for the remaining few minutes of the half as the teams headed to the changing rooms for a cigarette and a few orange segments...

0 - 1

The gaffer initially opted to name a new eleven for the second-half, with prospects Joe Willis and Callum Cockerill-Mollett lining-up alongside new arrivals Elijah Adebayo and Wes McDonald.

However, it soon became apparent that the team wasn't quite right with a few of the first-half team also running out for the second forty-five.

Along with the above confusion, there were also a few new trialists to identify as the manager seeks to complete he squad rebuild with plenty of time for team building.

The second-half got underway and the Saddlers were soon back on the front foot as B.Trialist - former Leicester City winger Kairo Edwards-John who had remained on the pitch - continued his impressive spell by doubling Walsall's lead with a fine curling effort which went in off the post.

Buoyed by their second, Walsall continued to push for more goals and went close on a couple of occasions as summer signings James Hardy and Jack Kiersey both fired wide of the net.

The Saddlers were swiftly given a lesson in concentration as Luke Benbow caught out E.Trialist - young goalkeeper Joe Slinn - with a low free-kick. Slinn will no doubt be disappointed to see the ball creep in as the home side cut the deficit.

Walsall went close to reestablishing their two-goal lead at the hour mark as second-half substitute Elijah Adebayo beat two markers before squaring the ball for B.Trialist who saw an effort cleared off the line.

Hardy was the next Saddler to keep the 'keeper awake as he finished off a fine display of movement by crashing the ball just wide of goal. Walsall's new recruits looking keen to get among the goals so far.

The Saddlers were soon rewarded for their endeavour as they grabbed the fourth goal of the game via the difficult-to-deal-with Adebayo. The former Fulham man able to get on the end of Edwards-John's well-worked cross and slip the ball home.

Hot prospect Alfie Bates was afforded a well--deserved round of applause shortly after the Walsall goal as he was replaced by Joe Willis. Bates entering another fine display as he looks to force his way into Clarke's first-team plans.

The match continued with both sides looking for openings. Neither 'keeper was able to sit back and relax. Joe Slinn did well to push a powerful effort over the bar. The former Port Vale man recovering well from his earlier error.

Walsall were able to put the game to bed just over five minutes from time as former Everton midfielder Jack Kiersey benefitted from a loose ball in the area. The 20-year-old cooly slotting home to give his new side a comfortable lead.

A good win and positive performance for the Saddlers as they get set to fly to Poland for their pre-season training camp, which includes a behind closed doors clash.

1 - 4
Benbow (54')

Kinsella (22')
B.Trialist (48')
Adebayo (66')
Kiersey (86')
Attendance: -
Referee: -
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