EFL Trophy: Coventry City 0 Walsall 0 - (Pens 5-4)

Here is our Match Report from Tuesday evening's Trophy - Southern Group D clash between Coventry City and Walsall.
The Saddlers and Sky Blues are joined in their group by Forest Green Rovers and Southampton's Under-21s and will be looking to start off their campaign with a win.

Wilson, Watson, McFadzean, O'Hare, McCallum, Kastaneer, Williams, Eccles, Bartlett, Wakefield, Bakayoko

Substitutes: Marosi; Biamou, Hyam, Ngandu, Bapaga, Burroughs, Drysdale
Rose; Facey, Liddle, Jules, Pring; Kinsella, Bates, Guthrie; Holden, Gordon, Adebayo

Substitutes: L.Roberts; Norman, Cockerill-Mollett; Sinclair, Hardy; Lavery, Gaffney

Tuesday's opening game took place at Birmingham City's St. Andrew's Stadium as Coventry are currently ground-sharing with the Blues.

Darrell Clarke's much-changed Saddlers got the game underway, and it was the visitors who secured the first opening of the game as Josh Gordon was released down the right but his low cross was cut out before it could reach the attacking Liam Kinsella.

Coventry's first real opening of the game saw former Saddler Amadou Bakayoko get into attack, as the Sierra Leone striker overpowered Gary Liddle and sent the ball in from the right-hand side of goal.

Baka's ball found the advanced Callum O'Hare in space but, thankfully for Walsall, he failed to find the target as his effort deflected wide of goal. The resulting flag-kick came to nothing as the scores remained tied.

Bakayoko was soon involved in the attack once again as he burst past his man only to see an effort deflect wide of Jack Rose's goal. The resulting corner would again come to nothing but not before Gervane Kastaneer had looked to send the ball back into the danger-zone before Rose gathered.

Walsall almost opened the scoring midway through the first-half as summer signing Elijah Adebayo controlled a high ball just outside the area before unleashing a swerving half-volley towards goal.

The Sky Blues were able to maintain their clean-sheet as goalkeeper Ben Wilson was alert to the danger and did well to tip the ball over his crossbar. A good save to deny Elijah as the scores remained tied.

Coventry were soon back on the attack and saw Kastaneer find space on the left before cutting inside his man and sending an effort over the bar. He should have made more of the space afforded to him, although the Saddlers weren't complaining.

The home side continued to push for the games opening goal and saw another effort clear the bar as O'Hare found space in front of the Saddlers backline before unleashing a disappointing and ultimately off-target effort.

City didn't have to wait long for their next opening as Sam McCallum's cross was nodded on by Morgan Williams before Kastaneer, who was once again in far too much space, failed to secure a good connection with the ball hitting the side-netting.

Walsall were soon able to create an opening of their own as Cameron Pring was able to gather a loose ball before finding Adebayo in space on the edge of the area.

Elijah was only too happy to shoot as he forced Wilson into action with a curling effort from the left-side of goal. The well-travelled Wilson producing another fine save.

With under five minutes of the first-half remaining Bakayoko had another opportunity to open the scoring as he got on the end of Dan Bartlett's corner kick. Thankfully for the Saddlers he failed to get a true connection as the ball sailed wide of goal.

There were no further chances of note as the two sides made their way to the dressing rooms for a quick chat and a couple of energy drinks.

0 - 0

The second-half took a little while to settle down as the first real opening didn't arrive until over ten minutes had been added to the clock.

The chance came via Danny Guthrie's deep corner, which was headed back into the danger zone by Adebayo where Gordon was waiting on the six-yard line, only to see his header go over the bar. A massive miss for the Saddlers. Josh really should've scored.

The two sides then made a change with Danny Guthrie being replaced by James Hardy for the Saddlers. Darrell Clarke giving Guthrie a big round of applause as he took to the bench.

A few minutes after making his first change Clarke opted to make another as on-loan Salford City striker Rory Gaffney, who will be wearing the no.30 shirt, replaced Josh Gordon alongside Adebayo.

And just like that the gaffer made his third swap of the evening as Rory Holden was replaced by Cameron Norman, the manager looking to give his side an energy boost with just over twenty-minutes of the game remaining.

A few minutes after the changes Walsall almost created an opening as the on-loan Pring did well to beat two markers and make his way into the area before passing the ball into an empty space when he would've been better off having an effort on goal.

The Saddlers continued to look for a goal and went close once again as a ball into the box found Adebayo in space. The former Fulham man was able to send a flicked effort towards goal but tit ultimately drifted wide as the scores continued to be tied.

Walsall were soon back in attack and saw another shot go narrowly wide of goal. This time it was young midfielder Alfie Bates who saw an effort drift wide as the former Birmingham City prospect smashed the ball over the bar after Norman saw a corner only partially cleared.

Coventry were able to stem the tide and forced an opening of their own as second-half substitute Will Bapaga was able to cut inside before forcing Rose into a save. Not the most difficult effort to collect but something to keep the stopper alert as time ticked down.

With just a minute of normal time remaining the home side went close to opening the scoring as Bapaga saw an effort drift wide after doing well to make space by beating his marker.

The match itself would ultimately end all-square, however, as is the way with the re-formatted competition, we went on to penalties to determine which team would pick up a bonus point.

0 - 0
Biamou ✔️
Bakayoko ✖️
McFadzean ✖️
Eccles ✔️
Bapaga ✔️
McCallum ✔️
Watson ✔️


Gaffney ✖️
Norman ✔️
Adebayo ✖️
Hardy ✔️
Liddle ✔️
Bates ✔️
Kinsella ✖️
Attendance: 1,005 (326)
Referee: Will Finnie
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