VISIT THE BESCOT BANTER STORE

Match Report: Salford City 2 Walsall 0

Here is our Match Report from Boxing Day's League Two clash between Salford City and Walsall.
With an eye upon the Play-Off places, the Saddlers arrived at their clash with Salford City on the back of a quartet of wins and with a view to extending that run at the expense of the Ammies.

Salford City got the match underway, and both sides enjoyed spells of early possession, whilst largely cancelling each other out, however, five minutes in, Liam Kinsella did find himself in shooting range on the edge of the area, but his effort sailed wide of the mark.

Walsall continued to seek an early advantage, with Elijah Adebayo and Josh Gordon combining well in the ninth minute to set up Wes McDonald, but his low effort from outside the area was well saved by City 'keeper, Vaclav Hladky.

The Saddlers continued to look the more likely of the two sides to open the scoring. with Hladky forced to save a twenty-five yard, goal-bound effort from Alfie Bates in the fifteenth minute.

However, just a minute after the Bates chance, Salford found a breakthrough, as a whipped in ball from Brandon Thomas-Asante was turned home from close range by James Wilson.

Unperturbed, Walsall soon had the ball back in shooting range at the other end, with Emmanuel Osadebe the latest Saddler to test Hladky. The Salford shot-stopper doing well to parry the effort away from his goalmouth.

The hosts were presented with a chance to double their advantage in the twenty-third minute, as Ian Henderson played in Thomas-Asante, but the effort on goal was poor, failing to trouble Jack Rose in the Walsall goal as it sailed high and wide of the mark.

The Saddlers had soon worked the ball back up to the other end, where Bates looked to have teed up Dan Scarr at the back post, from a corner, but the defenders headed effort fell wide of the upright.

The duo looked to repeat the move a few minutes later, with Bates again finding the head of Scarr from a corner kick, however the effort was blocked and ultimately came to nothing.

Shortly after we reached the half hour mark, the hosts won a flag-kick, which saw Thomas-Asante presented with a chance on goal, as the Saddlers failed to clear, but his shot sailed wide of the upright.

The Saddlers were a little unlucky not to be on level terms by the time we reached the thirty-ninth minute, as Adebayo saw a long range effort on goal blocked, before McDonald fired an effort narrowly wide.

One additional minute was added to end the first-half, but there was little further action of note, and the sides headed off for their half-time refreshments with Salford leading by one-goal-to-nil.

-
HT
-
SALFORD
1 - 0
WALSALL

The teams returned unchanged following the break, and Walsall got the second-half underway. The half got off to something of a slow start, with both sides enjoying spells on the ball, without creating anything of note.

In the forty-ninth minute, Ashley Hunter became the first player to see yellow, as he picked up a booking after getting himself into an argument.

Five minutes later, Ibou Touray joined Hunter in the referee's notebook, as he was shown yellow card for a foul on Kinsella.

With fifty-three minutes on the clock, the hosts created the opening chance of the half, winning a free-kick in a dangerous position, from which Hunter fired onto the roof of the net.

Three minutes later, the Saddlers opted to make double change to their line-up, with Emmanuel Osadebe and Alfie Bates making way for Danny Guthrie and Jake Scrimshaw.

Shortly after the changes had been made, Walsall won a corner, which Guthrie swung into the box for Adebayo, but the striker was unable to keep his effort on target, sending the ball narrowly wide of the upright.

As we reached the hour mark, the Saddlers were lucky to remain to just the one goal behind, as Wilson played in Hunter, forcing a last gasp, sliding challenge from Kinsella to deny the hosts a second.

Salford continued to cause the Saddlers defences problems, with Rose forced to make a save in the sixty-fifth minute, to deny Thomas-Asante.

The Saddlers felt they should have been awarded a penalty in the sixty-seventh minute, as Gordon was felled by Touray inside the box, but the referee was unmoved by their appeals, and waved play on.

The hosts soon had the ball back up at the other end, where Oscar Threlkeld saw an effort from outside the box blocked by Kinsella, with the resulting corner coming to nothing.

Walsall could have levelled the scores in the seventy-sixth minute, as Gordon met an Adebayo cross with a diving header, but the effort sailed narrowly wide of the mark.

The Saddlers then chose to make another double change, with both Elijah Adebayo and Hayden White making way as Jack Nolan and Caolan Lavery entered the fray.

In the eighty-third minute, Salford also chose to make a double change to their line-up, as Brandon Thomas-Asante and James Wilson were replaced by the fresh legs of Luke Burgess and Jordan Turnbull.

The hosts changes made an almost immediate impact, as the recently introduced Burgess picked his way through the Walsall defences and slotted the ball into the bottom corner in the eighty-seventh minute to all but put the game to bed, as he doubled his sides advantage.

The Salford bench responded to the goal, by making a third change to their team, with Ian Henderson making way for Mani Dieseruvwe.

Four additional minutes were added to end the game, during which time the hosts almost secured a third goal, as Hunter broke away and forced a save from Rose, before then being substituted, as Bruno Andrade took his place.

That would be the final action of note, as the referee brought an end to the contest, with Salford City holding on to win the match by two-goals-to-nil. A disappointing end to the Saddlers winning run, as the team failed to take their chances.

-
FT
-
SALFORD
2 - 0
WALSALL
Wilson (16')
Burgess (87')


VENUE
Peninsula Stadium
REFEREE
Scott Oldham

Don't forget you can join us across social media, we're @BescotBanter on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You can also find the very latest Saddlers news and updates on Google News.
 Twitter     Facebook     Instagram     Google News