Match Report: Walsall 1 Scunthorpe United 0 Match Report: Walsall 1 Scunthorpe United 0
Match Report: Walsall 1 Scunthorpe United 0

Match Report: Walsall 1 Scunthorpe United 0

Here is our Match Report from Saturday afternoon's Sky Bet League two clash between Walsall and Scunthorpe United.
The Saddlers arrived at this weekend's clash following a much-needed midweek victory over Morecambe. Stuart Sinclair's goal proving to be enough to secure three welcome points as the Reds won for just the second time this season.

Fellow strugglers Scunthorpe were unlucky not to to join the Saddlers with a win as they came from two goals down to grab a point against Oldham on Tuesday evening and were no doubt keen to add more points on Saturday.

Scunthorpe United got the match underway, but the Saddlers started the game on the front foot, winning a throw-in just seconds after the referee's whistle had sounded, from which they went on to win the first corner of the match.

Unfortunately for the home side, Danny Guthrie's in-swinging flag-kick was a touch too high for his team-mates and the visiting side came away with the ball.

The Iron were soon threatening the Saddlers goal, with a deep cross from Ryan Colclough which was met at the back post by Alex Gilliead and played back across the face of goal, but Walsall shot-stopper, Liam Roberts was alert to the danger and made sure he was the first to it.

The visitors continued to press, with Matthew Lund and Gilliead combining well to set James Perch away in the sixth minute, but the Saddlers defences remained alert and cleared the danger.

There was a brief pause to proceedings in the ninth minute, allowing Zak Jules to receive treatment after being hit in the face by the ball. He was soon back on his feet and able to continue.

Scunthorpe won their first corner of the game as the action resumed. Roberts remained alert as the ball was swung in, punching the ball clear for a second corner, which was met by the head of Yann Songo'o who drew another save from the Walsall shot-stopper.

With sixteen minutes on the clock, the Saddlers went close to opening the scoring, as a delightful chipped cross from Guthrie was met by Caolan Lavery, who found space on the edge of the box to fire a left-footed effort goal-wards, but the effort sailed inches wide of the upright.

The early frenetic pace slowed a little as the game continued, but twenty-one minutes in, the Saddlers found themselves in shooting range again, with Gaffney and Lavery linking up well, before Songo'o cleared the danger.

The move ended with another pause in proceedings whilst Lavery again received treatment. This time, the striker was not able to continue and the Saddlers were forced to make their first change of the afternoon, with Josh Gordon coming on to take his place.

The Iron won another corner in the twenty-third minute, as a Songo'o effort from the edge of the area was deflected over the bar by Guthrie. The flag-kick was swung into the box by Colclough, but he was unable to find his intended target at the back post and the ball sailed harmlessly out of play.

The Saddlers were soon back in defensive mode as Gilliead beat two men before turning a cross in-field for Kevin Van Veen, but Roberts was again alert to the danger and gathered with relative ease ahead of the striker.

Scunthorpe continued to look the more likely to score, going close again in the thirty-second minute as Gilliead crossed the ball in for Van Veen, who headed over from the centre of the box.

With thirty-five minutes on the clock, the Saddlers won a corner, which Guthrie swung, finding Wesley McDonald, who fired a right-footed effort in from distance, but the ball sailed harmlessly over the crossbar without troubling Rory Watson in the United goal.

A minute later, Danny Guthrie became the first player to see his name added to the referee's notebook, picking up a yellow card for a foul on George Miller.

The Saddlers continued to see more of the ball as the game continued, though they were unable to threaten the Scunthorpe goal.

The Iron won a free-kick moments before the break, thirty yards from goal, but Van Veen was unable to keep his effort on target and we headed into three additional minutes with the sides continuing to cancel each other out.

There was little further action of note during the time added on, and the two sides headed off for their half-time refreshments with the scores still tied.

0 - 0

The sides returned unchanged after the break, and Walsall got the game back underway. The Saddlers started the second-half brightly, winning a corner five minutes in, as a shot from Gordon was deflected behind by Scunthorpe captain, Rory McArdle. The flag-kick was swung in by Guthrie, but the Iron's defences stood firm and cleared the danger.

The Saddlers continued to press, with Gordon again looking lively, as he fired a left-footed effort in from distance, but Watson was well placed to save.

Moments later, the Saddlers again went close, winning a free-kick in a dangerous position, which Guthrie played the ball into the box for Gaffney, who met it at the near post before turning an effort narrowly wide of the upright.

With fifty-six minutes on the clock, the Iron were presented with their first real chance of the second-half, as Dan Scarr turned the ball out of play for a corner. The ball in from the flag-kick was good, but the Saddlers defences were alert to the danger and cleared ahead of Songo'o who was looking to get on the end of the cross.

The Saddlers were quick to work the ball back up to the other end, where they were awarded a free-kick as Rory Holden was fouled by Van Veen. Guthrie played the set-piece into the box, where the Iron's defences were able to clear, only as far as McDonald who fired a powerful effort over the crossbar.

With an hour on the clock, the visitors tested Roberts in the Walsall goal, as Van Veen turned and fired a quick effort in, looking to catch the Saddlers shot-stopper off guard, but Liam was was able to get down in time to keep the effort out.

Sixty-one minutes in, Rory Holden became the second player to see his name added to the referee's notebook as he picked up a yellow card for a foul.

The visiting side then opted to make their first change of the afternoon, with George Miller making way for Abobaker Eisa.

Three minutes later, Ryan Colclough joined Guthrie and Holden in the referee's notebook as he saw yellow for a foul.

With sixty-five minutes played, a moment of magic from a corner saw the Saddlers take the lead; James Clarke firing home with an over-head kick as Guthrie picked him out with an accurate cross to the back post.

That would be Danny Guthrie's last contribution, as he was then replaced by Liam Kinsella who joined the action to make his one hundredth appearance as a Saddler.

The Iron looked to respond to the Saddlers goal in the sixty-ninth minute, with Junior Brown and Colclough combining well before a low, dangerous cross was played into the box, which none of their team-mates were able to meet.

The visiting side continued to press, and went close again fifteen minutes from time, with Colclough firing a low, powerful effort narrowly wide of Roberts' upright.

Scunthorpe then opted to make a second change to their line-up, with Yann Songo'o departing in favour of Regan Slater.

Walsall were presented with an opportunity to double their advantage in the seventy-seventh minute, as they won another corner which was played into the box, but Watson was alert to the danger and got to the ball ahead of Clarke.

The sides cancelled each other out as the match continued, but Roberts was called into action in the eighty-third minute as Perch and Gilliead combined to play in Eisa, but the Walsall 'keeper was able to gather.

With six minutes of the ninety remaining, Scunthorpe opted to make a third and final change to their line-up. Junior Brown the man to depart early as Kgosi Ntlhe took his place.

Two minutes later, the Saddlers also opted to make their final change of the afternoon, as Wes McDonald made way for Cameron Norman.

The visiting side continued to seek a goal to draw them level as time ebbed away, and again they went close in the eighty-seventh minute as a deep cross from Colclough was met by Lund, but Jules was on hand for the Saddlers to turn the ball out of play. The resulting corner was played into the box by Slater, but the Walsall defences stood firm to clear the danger, as far as McGahey who played the ball back into the box, where Roberts ended the move.

Five minutes were added to end the match, during which time the visiting side won a pair of corners which tested the Saddlers defences, who were ultimately just able to hang onto their clean sheet to secure a second win on the bounce, continuing their rise up the table.

1 - 0
Clarke (65')

Attendance: 4,037 (306)
Referee: Marc Edwards
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