Match Report: Plymouth Argyle 3 Walsall 0 Match Report: Plymouth Argyle 3 Walsall 0

Match Report: Plymouth Argyle 3 Walsall 0

Here is our Match Report from Saturday afternoon's Sky Bet League Two clash between Plymouth Argyle and Walsall.
Darrell Clarke and his Saddlers arrived at this weekend's match looking to return to winning ways after a couple of poor results - a defeat to Crewe and goalless draw with Newport - as they faced a fellow former League One side.

The Pilgrims got the match underway, but after a fairly quiet opening five minutes, it was Walsall who won the first corner of the game as Niall Canavan was forced to turn the ball behind. The ball in was played to the back post where Stuart Sinclair was waiting, but the midfielder could only win a throw-in, which was easily dealt with.

The hosts were awarded a free-kick twenty-five yards from goal moments later, as Dan Scarr felled Dominic Telford, but the striker was unable to beat the wall with his effort.

Argyle continued to press, with Danny Mayor darting into the box ten minutes in, but his curling effort on goal struck Scarr and diverted away from the target.

Moments later, back at the other end, Cameron Norman won a corner for the visiting side, but Plymouth were able to clear the danger with ease.

With just thirteen minutes on the clock, the hosts took the lead as a perfectly weighted pass from Mayor picked out Callum McFadzean, with the latter cutting the ball back for Ryan Taylor who found the bottom corner with a sweet strike.

The hosts continued to press, buoyed by their goal, with former Saddler, Joe Edwards firing inches over the bar from twenty-five yards, in the fifteenth minute.

Eighteen minutes into the contest, Plymouth thought they had doubled their advantage as a through-ball from Conor Grant found Gary Sawyer, who turned the ball home with his chest, but the linesman was quick to raise his flag for an infringement of the offside rule and the goal was disallowed.

The Saddlers went close themselves two minutes later, as Josh Gordon found himself in shooting range, firing a powerful effort goal-wards from twenty-five yards, but Alex Palmer was alert in the Argyle goal and made a diving save to keep it out. The resulting corner evaded everyone as it fizzed through the box and Plymouth came away with a throw-in.

The hosts broke, with Telford doing well to beat Mat Sadler, before sending an effort soaring over the bar from close range. Two minutes later, Dominic Telford again found himself in shooting range, but the forward pulled up with what appeared to be a hamstring injury, and was forced to make way, with Zak Rudden replacing him.

Thirty-three minutes, Plymouth went close again as a low ball from Joe Riley, out on the right, was picked up by Rudden who would have turned it home had Scarr not been in position to turn the ball away on the line.

Gary Sawyer became the first player to see yellow in the thirty-seventh minute, picking up a caution for a trip on Cameron Norman, and the resulting free-kick came to nothing.

The Saddlers continued to press, with Elijah Adebayo showing some superb skill to skip past Sawyer on his way into the box, but he was unable to find a red shirt with his cut-back and Plymouth cleared the danger.

Adebayo continued to cause our hosts problems, getting round Palmer, who had come off his line to gather the ball, before firing narrowly wide of the upright.

After successfully dealing with the Walsall strikers efforts, the hosts went close themselves in the forty-fourth minute as a cross from Joe Riley was met by Scott Wootton who forced a superb stop from Liam Roberts, whose diving save prevented Taylor converting.

Three additional minutes were added to end the half, but neither side was able to create anything further and the teams headed off for their half-time refreshments with Plymouth leading by one-goal-to-nil.

1 - 0

The teams returned unchanged after the break, and Walsall got the action back underway. It took a while for the sides to settle back into the game, but five minutes into the second-half, some nice work from Canavan set up Grant, whose effort from distance sailed over Roberts crossbar, without troubling the 'keeper.

Ten minutes into the half, the Saddlers went close as a James Clarke throw was half-cleared as far as Norman, who was unable to keep his shot on target, firing over from a tight angle, when he probably should have scored.

Darrell Clarke then opted to make a double substitution, as his side continued to seek a route back into the game. Callum Cockerill-Mollett and Josh Gordon the men to make way, as Caolan Lavery and Wesley McDonald entered the fray.

There was a brief pause in proceedings in the fifty-eighth minute, whilst Riley received treatment for an injury, but play soon continued, with the midfielder off the pitch continuing to receive medical attention.

The Saddlers went close again, as Gary Liddle picked out McDonald on the edge of the box, before the recently introduced man fired a curling effort goal-wards, but the ball sailed narrowly over the crossbar and the team remained a goal behind.

With sixty-one minutes on the clock, it was decided that Joe Riley would not be continuing in the match, and former Toffee, Jose Baxter took his place.

Cameron Norman became the second player to see yellow, as he picked up a booking for a foul on Mayor in the sixty-fifth minute.

The resulting free-kick was played short, with the ball eventually finding it's way to Baxter who fired an effort in which was deflected behind for a corner. The flag-kick was played to Taylor, whose cut-back was easily saved by Roberts.

Walsall soon had the ball back in the danger zone themselves, with Stuart Sinclair trying his luck from twenty-five yards out, though the ball was easily stopped by Argyle 'keeper, Palmer, before Adebayo fired high over the bar from a similar distance.

The Saddlers continued to see lots of the ball as the game continued, but as has been the case too often this season, they struggled to really test their oppositions defences.

Walsall opted to make their third and final change of the afternoon in the seventy-second minute, with Liam Kinsella making way for James Hardy.

The hosts went close moments after the change had been made, with Grant racing towards the box, before firing an effort in from distance, which sailed over Roberts' crossbar.

The Saddlers were quick to work the ball back up to the other end, where Adebayo looked to play in Hardy, but the strikers cross was just too close to Palmer, and the shot-stopper spared his sides blushes.

With seventy-seven minutes on the clock, Gary Liddle found his name being added to the referee's notebook as he saw yellow for a foul on Mayor.

The hosts also used this time to make a change to their line-up, as Conor Grant made way for Antoni Sarcevic.

Just four minutes after Liddle saw yellow, Dan Scarr joined his team-mate in the referee's notebook for a foul on Mayor.

Five minutes after his introduction into the game, Sarcevic made his presence felt as he coolly converted a Mayor cross to double his sides advantage.

Just three minutes after effectively putting the game to bed, and eight minutes after entering the fray, Antoni Sarcevic saw red. The dismissal coming for a late challenge on Sinclair.

With eighty-nine minutes on the clock, Taylor put the final nail in the Saddlers coffin, as he converted from close range to ensure all three points would be staying in Plymouth.

Five additional minutes were added to end the game, and two minutes into them, James Hardy's name was added to the referee's notebook for a foul on McFadzean, but there was little further action as the Saddlers succumbed to a three-nil defeat on the road.

Another poor performance from Walsall, who continue to squander chances.

3 - 0
Taylor (13')
Sarcevic (82')
Taylor (89')

Attendance: 9,337 (397)
Referee: Josh Smith
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