Match Report: Walsall 1 Colchester United 1 Match Report: Walsall 1 Colchester United 1
By: Bescot Banter         

Match Report: Walsall 1 Colchester United 1

Darrell Clarke's Saddlers were back in action on Saturday afternoon.
Playing host to Colchester United, Walsall were looking to build upon last weekend's one-all draw with Forest Green Rovers and continue their unbeaten start to the league season.

Walsall began the game brightly, with Josh Gordon seeing a half-chance just a few seconds after kick-off, but his connection was poor, allowing Colchester United 'keeper, Dean Gerken to make an easy save.

The visiting side were also quick out of the blocks; a Jevani Brown shot beating Walsall shot-stopper, Liam Roberts, but not the upright, in just the second minute.

The frenetic pace continued, and Gordon saw his second shot of the game blocked just five minutes in.

Just four minutes later, the visiting side called Roberts into action, as Callum Harriott fired a curling effort goal-wards from outside the area.

With ten minutes on the clock, the Saddlers won the first corner of the game, as a Gordon effort was deflected behind. The ball in looked good, but Colchester were alert and able to clear the danger. Walsall soon had the ball back though, and Elijah Adebayo forced another save from Gerken.

The early pace subsided a little as the match continued, as a series of fouls and free-kicks slowed the action and the two sides settled into it.

With twenty-four minutes on the clock, Colchester took the lead, as some good hold-up play from Jevani Brown played Harriott in, and after beating James Clarke, the winger fired a low effort passed Roberts.

Walsall looked to respond quickly, going close in the twenty-seventh minute, as Rory Holden whipped the ball into the box from a free-kick, but the cross evaded everyone and sailed wide of the far post.

Unperturbed, the Saddlers continued to press, with Adebayo and Gordon combining well in the twenty-ninth minute, to play in Wes McDonald, but the midfielders effort on goal took a deflection which sent it narrowly wide. The resulting corner coming to nothing.

Two minutes later, another Walsall free-kick, saw Liam Kinsella presented with a chance on goal, but the Colchester born midfielder fired wide from distance.

There was a brief halt to proceedings in the thirty-seventh minute, allowing Gordon to receive treatment to his right knee, following a knock, but he was soon back on his feet and able to continue.

Almost instantly though, it became apparent that Gordon would not be able to play on, and with forty-one minutes on the clock, the Saddlers were forced to make the first change of the afternoon, with Caolan Lavery replacing the injured man.

Moments after the restart, Dan Scarr looked to draw the sides level, with a powerful effort from close range, but Gerken was well placed to make the save.

Referee Declan Bourne saw fit to add Walsall's Cameron Norman and Colchester's Courtney Senior to his list of bookings for the season as the pair were involved in a brief spat.

Three additional minutes were added to end the first-half, but neither side was able to create any further chances of note, and the teams headed off with Colchester leading by one-goal-to-nil.

0 - 1

The sides returned unchanged following the break, and the action got back underway. The Saddlers started the second-half much as they had ended the first, with Cameron Norman forcing a last gasp clearance from Thomas Eastman just three minutes in. The resulting corner coming to nothing.

With fifty-three minutes on the clock, the Saddlers found the breakthrough, as Adebayo cut inside and curled an effort home, with a little help from the inside of the post.

Just three minutes after levelling the scores, Adebayo almost put his side ahead, as a lovely cross from Holden played the striker in again, but Gerken somehow managed to save from point-blank range.

With fifty-eight minutes on the clock, Colchester opted to make their first change of the afternoon, as Courtney Senior made way for Luke Norris.

The visitors began to enjoy a better spell as the we reached the hour mark, with Ben Stevenson unlucky to catch Harriott offside, moment before Noah Chilvers fired wide from outside the box.

The Saddlers soon has the ball back up at the other end, winning a succession of corners, but the Colchester defences stood firm to deny them a second goal.

Just eight minutes after his introduction into the game, Luke Norris became the third player to see yellow, as he was booked for a foul on McDonald.

Walsall continued to press, going close again in the sixty-eighth minute, as a McDonald cross picked out Lavery, but the striker was unable keep his effort on target.

Twenty minutes from time, Walsall manager, Darrell Clarke opted to make a second change to his line-up, as Danny Guthrie made way for Alfie Bates.

Tom Eastman joined those already in the referee's notebook in the seventy-first minute, as a late challenge on Lavery saw the defender booked. Five minutes later, Jevani Brown also saw yellow, for a foul on McDonald.

Ten minutes from time, the Saddlers went close, as McDonald played in Holden, but Gerken did well to parry the effort.

With just eight minutes of normal time remaining, Colchester opted to give new-signing, Joshua Bohui his first football in a United shirt, as he replaced Kwame Poku.

Just three minutes later, the Saddlers chose to make their third and final change of the afternoon, as Wes McDonald made way for Emmanuel Osadebe.

Seconds after the change was completed, the referee again flashed his yellow card, this time to Elijah Adebayo.

Three minutes from time, the visiting side opted to make use their final substitution, with Callum Harriott making way for Paris Cowan-Hall.

Four additional minutes were added to end the game, and moments into them, a seventh name was added to the referee's notebook, as Liam Kinsella picked up a booking for a foul on Chilvers.

There was little further action of note though, and the match was brought to it's conclusion with the scores tied at one-goal-apiece. The Saddlers perhaps a little unlucky not to take all three points from the contest.

1 - 1
Adebayo (53')
Harriott (24')
Banks's Stadium
Declan Bourne
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