Match Report: Colchester United 0 Walsall 0 Match Report: Colchester United 0 Walsall 0

Match Report: Colchester United 0 Walsall 0

Here is our Match Report from Saturday afternoon's Sky Bet League Two clash between Colchester United and Walsall.
The Saddlers returned to action as they made the trip to the JobServe Community stadium to take on John McGinn's in-form Colchester. With goals at a premium, could the Saddlers get back to winning ways?

Colchester United got the match underway, and they began brightly, drawing what was a fairly comfortable save, from Liam Roberts just a minute in as Ryan Jackson attempted an early right-footed effort from outside the box.

It took a short while for the sides to settle into the game, but after a hectic opening seven minutes, the Saddlers were presented with a chance to open the scoring, winning a throw-in, which saw Cameron Norman work the ball into the box where Zak Joules was waiting to head goal-wards, but his effort sailed inches wide of the upright.

The hosts soon had the ball back up at the other end, where it was picked up by Luke Norris on the edge of the box, but Roberts remained alert to claw away the strikers low effort which appeared to be heading into the bottom corner.

Colchester continued to press, with Norris looking to turn provider in the tenth minute, but Courtney Senior, the intended recipient of the cross was caught in an offside position and the momentum was lost.

The Saddlers began to see more of the ball as the game continued, though they were unable to create anything by way of a potential scoring opportunity, though Danny Guthrie did see a left-footed shot from range blocked in the twelfth minute.

With quarter of an hour played, Walsall went close, as a ball over the top from James Clarke found Caolan Lavery who was in behind the Colchester defences, but the move was ultimately quashed without causing any concern to Dean Gerken in the United goal. The visiting side continued to press, winning a free-kick which they were unable to make use of, before Lavery fired an effort goal-wards in the twentieth minute, which the hosts defences were able to deal with.

The Saddlers continued to look the more likely to score, with Guthrie doing well to create space for himself inside the box in the twenty-fourth minute, before seeing his cross take a deflection which allowed Gerken to make an easy save.

Colchester soon had the ball back up at the other end though, with Jules forced to make a last gasp tackle to prevent Paris Cowan-Hall getting a shot away. The hosts soon had the ball back inside the box, following a lovely driving run from Frank Nouble, but the forward was crowded out before he was able to fire home.

Norris then saw a shot blocked by the Saddlers defences in the thirty-third minute after soon good work from Senior to play him in.

Five minutes before the break, the Saddlers won their first corner of the game, but after a game of pinball in and around the box, the ball trickled out of play for a Colchester throw. The throw-in was taken quickly and the hosts raced up-field, where they felt they should have been awarded a penalty following a coming together inside the box. As it was, there was a short pause in proceedings, whilst Cameron Pring received treatment, though he was eventually able to rejoin the action.

With half-time almost upon us, Colchester won a corner as Roberts was forced to turn a Norris effort behind. The flag-kick was swung into the box, but the Saddlers defences were able to deal with the danger ensuring the scores remained tied.

Three additional minutes were added to end the first-half, and with Pring continuing to struggle, the Saddlers were forced to make their first change of the afternoon as Dan Scarr was brought on to replace him.

The final few minutes of the half were uneventful, with the sides heading off for their half-time refreshments with the scores still tied at nil-nil.

0 - 0

The sides returned unchanged for the second-half, and Walsall got the action back underway. Colchester started half brightly, winning a corner just moments after the re-start as Ryan Clampin and Nouble combined, forcing Clarke to turn the ball out of play, but the flag-kick came to nothing.

The hosts continued to see plenty of the ball as the match continued, though they struggled to test the Saddlers defences. They did win a free-kick in fifty-second minute, but the eventual shot from Clampin was turned wide by Roberts. The resulting corner was played short before the ball was crossed in towards the far post. Norman was alert through and took the ball from Nouble.

With fifty-five minutes on the clock, Gary Liddle became the first player to see his name added to the referee's notebook, seeing yellow for a foul on Senior.

The Saddlers then chose to make their second change of the afternoon, with Danny Guthrie making way for Stuart Sinclair for the final thirty-five minutes.

The visiting side finally began to see more of the ball, creating their first chance of the second-half as we reached the hour mark, with Liddle firing a low, twenty yard effort in, which drew a fingertip save from Gerken. The resulting corner was eventually cleared after a scramble in the box, with the Saddlers then winning a free-kick in dangerous position just outside the box, which Senior cleared.

Walsall continued to cause the Colchester defences problems, with Norman seeing a right-footed effort from outside the box blocked.

Moments later, up at the other end, Nouble whipped a low shot through a crowded box, forcing Roberts out to save.

The Saddlers soon had the ball back in the United half, winning a corner as Tom Eastman was forced to put the ball out of play. Norman whipped the ball in towards Gerken's goal, but Nouble met it and cleared the danger.

With sixty-five minutes on the clock, the Colchester bench opted to make their first change of the afternoon, as Paris Cowan-Hall made way for Jevani Brown.

In the sixty-ninth minute, the home side then opted to make a second change to their line-up, with Luke Norris being replaced by Theo Robinson for the final twenty minutes.

The Saddlers followed suit three minutes later, making their third and final change of the afternoon, with Rory Holden making was as Elijah Adebayo entered the fray.

The game settled into something of a midfield battle as it continued, but seventy-five minutes in, Colchester went close to finding an opener as Ben Stevenson set up Jackson who tried his luck from the edge of the area, but Roberts was alert to the danger and pulled off a fine save to deny the goal, before Brown fired a close range effort into the side netting.

With seventy-eight minutes on the clock, the Saddlers went close themselves, as Norman picked out Adebayo who fired an acrobatic overhead kick straight into the waiting arms of Gerken.

Liam Kinsella found himself joining Liddle in the referee's notebook moments later, as he picked up a caution for a foul on Brown.

Brown then went close with a left-footed effort as the sides continued to battle for an opening goal, but the shot sailed over Roberts' crossbar without troubling the 'keeper.

Back at the other end, moments later, the Saddlers won a corner as Jackson was forced to turn the ball behind, but the flag-kick came to nothing as the sides continued to cancel each other out.

There was brief halt to proceedings in the eighty-fifth minute whilst Adebayo received treatment following a race up-field which saw him caught offside when he looked likely to score. The Saddlers left seeing out the game with ten men.

With just a minute of the regulation ninety remaining, the home side opted to make their third and final change of the afternoon as Courtney Senior made way for Kwame Poku.

As we entered four additional minutes, the recently introduced Poku drove into the box before firing a effort over the bar. That would be the last real action of the afternoon though, with the sides cancelling each other out, taking a point apiece from the game. Another disappointing afternoon for the Saddlers who continue their run of failing to secure a goal.

0 - 0

Attendance: 3,265 (266)
Referee: Brett Huxtable
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