Match Report: Carlisle United 2 Walsall 1

Here is our Match Report from Saturday's Sky Bet League Two clash between Carlisle United and Walsall.
Fuelled by last weekend's welcome win over Crawley Town, the Saddlers arrived at this weekend's clash with struggling Carlisle full of confidence and keen to continue their recent spell of form as there is still plenty to play for.

Rory Holden got the match underway, and his side got off to a good start, seeing plenty of the ball in the early goings, before winning a free-kick in a dangerous position just two minutes in. Nathan Thomas was on hand to clear for the hosts though and nothing would come of the set-piece.

Walsall continued to see much of the ball as the match continued, but six minutes in, Liam Roberts was called into action to ensure a glanced effort from Lewis Alessandra would not result in an early goal for Carlisle United.

Four minutes later, Roberts was again involved, as he gathered a free-kick which had been fired goal-wards, from some distance, by Thomas.

There was a brief halt to proceedings in the eleventh minute, whilst Josh Gordon received treatment for a head injury. Thankfully, he was soon back on his feet and able to continue.

Both sides enjoyed spells of possession as the game continued, with neither able to create much going forwards, until the Saddlers won a free-kick on the edge of the box, when Cameron Pring was fouled, in the seventeenth minute. The ball in looked good, but was cleared behind by Mike Jones. The resulting corner came to nothing.

With twenty-one minutes on the clock, Carlisle found the breakthrough, as Nick Anderton fired them into the lead, from close range, after Walsall failed to deal with an Elliot Watt free-kick.

The Saddlers looked to respond quickly, with Gordon firing an effort in, in the twenty-fourth minute, but a deflection off Byron Webster would ensure only a corner would come from it. The flag-kick coming to nothing.

Unperturbed, the visiting side continued to press, with Elijah Adebayo finding the side-netting in the twenty-sixth minute, before winning a corner for his side a minute later, with another shot which was blocked by Hayden.

The flag-kick saw Liam Kinsella test Adam Collin in the Carlisle goal, but the 'keeper was able to get his fingertips to it, with Gordon unable to make use of the follow-up as he was caught offside. Walsall continued to look the brighter, with Gordon firing wide moments later.

Carlisle won two corners in quick succession in the thirty-first minute, but nothing would come from either, as the Saddlers defended well.

The Saddlers were quick to work the ball back up to the other end, with Wesley McDonald combining well with Holden to allow the latter a shot on goal, but the United shot-stopper was on hand to prevent the twenty yard effort finding the back of the net.

With thirty-four minutes on the clock, Mike Jones became the first player to see his name entered into the referee's notebook, seeing yellow for a foul on Holden.

Just two minutes later, Byron Webster joined Jones in the book, as he picked up a yellow card for a foul on Adebayo.

The Saddlers were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area in the thirty-eighth minute, as McDonald was felled, but Holden's ball in was poor, and Hayden cleared.

Moments later, up at the other end, Roberts was called into action to deny Ryan Loft. The resulting corner, was played in by Watt, for Loft, who headed in off the underside of the bar, and an unfortunate Roberts, to double his sides advantage.

The hosts continued to look the brighter as we headed towards the break, with Thomas forcing a corner from a free-kick, but the Saddlers defences stood firm to ensure they would remain only two goals behind.

Three additional minutes were added to end the first-half, during which time, Thomas fired over from distance before the sides headed off for their half-time refreshments.

2 - 0

The two sides returned unchanged following the break, and Carlisle got the action back underway. Walsall began the second-half brightly, as they looked to get back into the game, and it took just five minutes for them to pull a goal back, as a Holden corner kick fell to Mat Sadler who fired past Carlisle captain, Collin.

The Saddlers continued to look the brighter side as time marched on, but the hosts did work the ball into shooting range in the fifty-fifth minute. Roberts was on hand though to deny Anderton.

The hosts then won a corner, as a Thomas cross was put out of play, but the flag-kick came to nothing as an Anderton foul saw Walsall come away from the play with a free-kick.

With fifty-seven minutes on the clock, Walsall opted to make the first change of the afternoon, with Liam Kinsella making way for Danny Guthrie.

There was a brief pause in proceedings as we reached the hour mark, allowing Walsall captain, James Clarke to receive treatment for a knock. It was soon determined that he would be unable to continue, and he departed the game with Cameron Norman taking his place.

The Saddlers continued to press, as they looked to get back onto level terms, winning a free-kick in a dangerous position in the sixty-fifth minute, but Holden over-hit it and the chance went begging.

After a quieter spell, United won a corner in the sixty-ninth minute, as a ball into the box was turned behind by Dan Scarr. The Saddlers stood firm to ensure nothing would come of the flag-kick.

With seventy minutes played, the Saddlers opted to make their third and final change of the afternoon, as Rory Holden made way for Jack Nolan.

The pace slowed a little as the match continued, but sixteen minutes from time, the Saddlers won a corner as a Nolan shot was deflected behind, but the ball in was poor and Thomas cleared.

With seventy-five minutes played, Stefan Scougall joined the ranks in the referee's notebook, as he picked up a yellow card for kicking the ball away.

In the seventy-eighth minute, Carlisle opted to make their first change of the afternoon, with Ryan Loft making way for Jack Bridge.

There was another pause in proceedings in the seventy-ninth minute, allowing Scougall to receive treatment for a knock. He was soon back on his feet though and able to continue.

Just two minutes later it was decided that Stefan Scougall would not be able to see out the remainder of the game, and he was replaced by Jack Iredale.

Carlisle almost put the game to bed, six minutes from time, but the Saddlers defences stood firm to enure the cross into the box would not be met by anyone who could turn it home.

The Saddlers were quick to work the ball back up to the other end, but the cross into the box had just a little too much on it for Nolan, who was waiting in good position.

A free-kick was awarded Walsall's way a minute from time, but Nolan's delivery was turned behind for a corner, which came to nothing.

As we entered six additional minutes, Carlisle opted to make their third and final change of the game, with Lewis Alessandra making way for Taylor Charters.

The Saddlers saw plenty of the ball as the final minutes of the game were played out, but United defended stoically to ensure that no further goals would be scored and the referee brought an end to the contest with Carlisle winning by two-goals-to-one.

A disappointing afternoon for the travelling Saddlers, who failed to take their chances and made costly errors which allowed their hosts to take advantage.

2 - 1
Anderton (21')
L.Roberts OG (42')
Sadler (50')

ATT: 4,097 (286)
REF: James Oldham
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