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Match Report: Shrewsbury Town 0 Walsall 1

The Saddlers continued their pre-season preparation as they faced Shrewsbury Town behind closed doors.
The Saddlers went into the match looking for their first goal after opening their pre-season campaign with a two-nil defeat to Crewe Alexandra before their mid-week draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers' Under-23s.

Walsall manager Darrell Clarke named a strong starting eleven for this afternoon's outing, with Liam Roberts, Cameron Norman, Dan Scarr, James Clarke and Zak Jules making up the defence.

Veteran Danny Guthrie and Alfie Bates were named in midfield with new recruit Rory Holden; Joining Josh Gordon, Elijah Adebayo and Wes McDonald in attack.

Shrewsbury boss Sam Ricketts named Harry Burgoyne, Donald Love, Ro-Shaun Williams, Aaron Pierre, Scott Golbourne, Scott High, Josh Vela, David Edwards, Jason Cummings, Daniel Udoh, and Shaun Whalley in his starting eleven.

It was the Shrews who created the first chance of the game as as Scott Golbourne sent in a whipped cross into the box which with defender Aaron Pierre looked to chest down but was denied as he settled for a corner which was sent in his direction before the defence crowded him out, earning a goal-kick.

The next opening went the way of the Saddlers as right-back Cameron Norman broke into the box before seeing an effort blocked into the side-netting by an alert Pierre. The resulting flag-kick was cleared.

Josh Gordon was soon thrust into the action as he saw an effort zip wide of goal, no goal but some positive signs following the recent goalless draw with Wolves' development team.

The Saddlers continued their pursuit of the game's opening goal as, following Norman's neat through ball, striker Elijah Adebayo broke down the channel before sending an effort towards goal from the angle, sadly the effort didn't result in a goal as the ball drifted wide of goal.

Shrewsbury's next attack of not sae Shaun Whalley, Daniel Udoh and and Josh Vela combine before the latter saw a saved by Liam Roberts in the Walsall goal. The resulting corner came to nothing as the scores remained level.

The home side continued to push for a goal with both Vela and Udoh forcing Roberts into action with tame efforts, Vela's effort being a header and Udo's shot taking a bounce in the turf before being grasped by the Saddlers stopper.

Jason Cummings was the next in line for an effort on goal but the former Nottingham Forest striker was unable to trouble the scorers as his shot went wide of goal.

The Saddlers looked to end the first-half on a high and saw a cross put behind for a corner as Wes McDonald and Norman combined to almost pick out Elijah Adebayo in the area before Ro-Shaun Williams intervened. The resulting corner came to nothing as the opening half ended all-square.

SHREWS
0 - 0
WALSALL

Walsall manager Darrell Clarke made a double change before the second-half got underway as Caolan Lavery and Jayden Campbell replaced Elijah Adebayo and Wes McDonald.

With a focus on fitness the home side also made a pre kick-off change as Jason Cummings made way for Rekeil Pyke in attack.

The Saddlers created the first opening of the second forty-five as a neat Norman cross found the head of Rory Holden with the former Bristol City attacker unable to direct his effort on target.

With little more in the way of goal-mouth action the Saddlers made several changes with Norman, Scarr, Clarke, Bates, Guthrie, Holden and Gordon being replaced by Joe Foulkes, Tom Leak, Callum Cockerill-Mollett, Jack Nolan, Sam Perry, Liam Kinsella and the well-travelled A.Trialist.

Shrewsbury soon followed suit with manager Sam Ricketts making five changes of his own as both managers look to give as many players match minutes with a busy campaign ahead.

Liam Roberts had to be alert as Brad Walker's superb defence-splitting pass found Donald Love in space but, thankfully for the Saddlers, the former Manchester United defender's cut-back was poor and easily gathered.

The home side continued to create chances and were soon back on the charge as a Sean Goss effort earned a corner which he took and found the head of Ryan Sears who could only send the ball over the bar from close range.

Despite the home side's pressure it was the Saddlers who took the lead as Jayden Campbell broke down the left wing before finding Caolan Lavery who was able to cut the ball back to Liam Kinsella with the midfield man dispatching the ball into the back of the net from the edge of the six-yard box.

There were no further goals but the match was a valuable one for both sides with plenty of players given some all-important match minutes.

SHREWS
0 - 1
WALSALL

Kinsella (81')

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