Match Report: Newport County 0 Walsall 0

Here is our Match Report from Tuesday evening's Sky Bet League Two clash between Newport County and Walsall.
The Saddlers returned to action on Tuesday evening as they looked to build upon last weekend's welcome win over Forest Green Rovers, the result, which saw Josh Gordon and Wes McDonald get ion the score sheet, was the Red's first win in four league games.

With the gap between Walsall and the Play-Off's being just nine points, it was crucial for the Saddlers to build some momentum as a swift return to League One remains within their grasp.

Newport County got the match underway, and the hosts wasted little time in creating the first chance of the evening, as a deep cross found Ryan Inniss free at the back post, but fortunately for Walsall, the defender sent his headed effort wide.

With just six minutes on the clock, the Saddlers created their first chance of the evening, with Cameron Pring doing well to beat his man and cross into the box, but his effort went unrewarded as the ball evaded everyone and trickled out of play.

Walsall continued to press, winning a corner in the eighth minute as Otis Khan turned the ball out of play, but the visiting side were unable to make use of the set-piece.

A series of fouls and free-kicks followed as both sides enjoyed time on the ball without troubling their opposition defences too greatly.

With twenty-one minutes played, Newport created their second chance of the game, as a right-footed effort from Inniss forced a save from Liam Roberts.

The home team continued to enjoy a brighter spell, without really troubling the Saddlers defences, though Jamille Matt did see a twenty-fourth minute effort sail narrowly wide.

Walsall almost found themselves in trouble twenty-seven minutes in, as the hosts looked to pounce on a Zak Jules mistake, but the Walsall man recovered in time to prevent Billy Waters getting a shot away.

Josh Gordon became the first player to pick up a caution, in the thirty-seventh minute, as he found his way into the referee's notebook for dissent, after being caught offside.

The hosts were soon back on the attack, winning a corner in the thirty-seventh minute, which came to nothing, before Dale Gorman fired narrowly over the crossbar with an effort from the edge of the area, three minutes later.

As we reached the final of the opening forty-five minutes, Daniel Leadbitter picked up an injury which allowed Liam Kinsella a shot on goal. The effort was ultimately blocked, before Gordon fired over the bar.

The hosts were then forced to make a change as Daniel Leadbitter was unable to continue, and was forced to make way for Robbie Willmott as we entered one additional minute.

That would be the last action of a fairly quiet opening half, and the sides headed off with the scores still tied.

0 - 0

The teams returned unchanged following the break, and Walsall got the second-half action underway. It wasn't long before Newport were on the attack, with Mat Sadler preventing an early Jordan Green effort.

Green was able to get a shot away two minutes later, but it was a rather tame effort, after some good work to get himself into position, and Roberts was able to hold.

Seven minutes into the half, County created arguably their best chance of the evening with a long ball from 'keeper, Tom King finding Waters, who controlled well before cutting in and firing narrowly wide.

The hosts continued to dominate, with Green again going close in the fifty-third minute. Thankfully for the Saddlers, Roberts was well placed to beat the effort away from goal.

In the fifty-fifth minute, Walsall manager, Darrell Clarke decided it was time to make a change to his line-up, with Danny Guthrie departing in favour of Stuart Sinclair.

Moments after the change, the Walsall shot-stopper was again called into action, this time to deny Khan a goal from the edge of the area. The resulting corner came to nothing.

The frenetic pace slowed a little as we exited the opening ten minutes of the half, with the Saddlers beginning to see a little more of the ball and quell the onslaught of Newport attacks.

The visitors continued to grow more into the game, with Lavery seeing the Saddlers first real effort of the half sail wide in the sixty-third minute.

The Saddlers then opted to make a second change to their team, with Josh Gordon making way for Elijah Adebayo.

With sixty-six minutes on the clock, Newport chose to make their second change of the evening, as Billy Waters made way for Padraig Amond.

Newport were soon forcing the Saddlers back into defensive action, with a free-kick looking certain to reach Jamille Matt at the back post, but Roberts was alert to the danger and managed to get a hand to the ball before it reached the striker.

The game settled into something of a midfield battle as it continued, but seventy-three minutes in, Green and Matt looked to combine to create an opening goal, but the latter's header sailed narrowly wide of Roberts' upright.

Fifteen minutes from time, the Walsall bench opted to make their third and final change of the evening, as Zak Jules made way for Wesley McDonald.

Two minutes later, Newport followed suit, making their final change of the evening, with Jordan Green the man to make way as Tristan Abrahams joined the fray.

Both sides set out to grab a late winner as we entered the final ten minutes of the game, with Newport captain, Joss Labadie seeing an effort from range creep over the bar, before Adebayo was caught offside at the other end.

With eighty-seven minutes on the clock, Robbie Willmott joined those in the referee's notebook, picking up a yellow card for a foul on McDonald. Mere seconds later, Elijah Adebayo joined him on a yellow, after a scuffle.

Three additional minutes were added to end the match, but neither side was able to find the breakthrough and the sides departed the field taking a point apiece from the encounter. The visitors probably the happier of the two teams, having barely registered a shot on goal all evening.

0 - 0

ATT: 3,049 (188)
REF: Brett Huxtable
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