Match Report: Tranmere Rovers 1 Walsall 3 Match Report: Tranmere Rovers 1 Walsall 3
Posted by: Bescot Banter

Match Report: Tranmere Rovers 1 Walsall 3

Walsall were back in action on Saturday afternoon as they made the trip to the Wirral where they faced Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park.
Heading into the match in the back of their midweek draw with Stevenage, which saw Josh Gordon come off the bench to grab a late point, the Saddlers were back in action as they made the trip to the Wirral where they faced Tranmere Rovers.

Tranmere Rovers got the match underway, but it was Walsall who created the first real chance of the game, as a fifth minute strike from Rory Holden was cleared off the line, at the back post, by a well placed Peter Clarke.

Rovers soon had the ball up at the other end, but neither James Vaughan nor Paul Lewis was able to collect Lee O'Connor's cross into the box. The hosts continued to press, with O'Connor and Lewis combining again in the ninth minute, with the latter heading the ball wide.

The home side continued to see plenty of the ball as the game continued, with Peter Clarke looking to meet Vaughan with a long ball in the fourteenth minute, but the Saddlers defences were on hand to clear the danger.

With nineteen minutes on the clock, the Saddlers took the lead. Wes McDonald delivering a well placed, low cross into the box for Elijah Adebayo, who beat his man and turned the ball in at the near post to secure his sixth goal of the season.

Tranmere looked to respond quickly to falling a goal behind, but Liam Feeney's twenty-third minute cross into the box was allowed to run through to Jack Rose in the Walsall goal.

The Saddlers went on to create a chance at the other end, moments later, as Alfie Bates picked up the ball in midfield and drove towards goal, with his eventual effort on goal sailing wide of the mark. Bates went closer with a second, similar move just a minute later, but again failed to hit the target.

With thirty-one minutes on the clock, Rovers levelled the scores, as a cross fell to Feeney, who found the bottom corner with a half-volley to net his first goal of the season.

The hosts continued to see much of the ball as the game continued, though they were unable to create anything to really test the Walsall defences. Their best chance coming by way of a Feeney cross aimed at Vaughan, but the Saddler beat him to the ball and cleared the danger.

Two minutes before the break, the Saddlers almost restored their earlier advantage, as Liam Kinsella crossed the ball to the back post, where it was met by Dan Scarr, but Rovers 'keeper, Scott Davies was well placed to prevent an almost certain goal. The resulting corner saw Scarr with another chance, but his header across goal was well claimed by the man between the sticks.

That would be the final action of note in the first half, and the sides headed off for their half-time refreshments with the scores tied at one-goal apiece.

1 - 1

The teams returned unchanged following the break, and Walsall got the action back underway. It took just three minutes for the Saddlers to re-establish their lead, as, after seeing Kinsella hit the crossbar and Emmanuel Osadebe miss the rebound, McDonald picked up the ball, cut inside and fired a powerful strike into the top corner, from outside the area, securing his second goal of the campaign.

Walsall continued to dominate, winning a free-kick in a dangerous position in the fifty-first minute, from which McDonald drew a fine save from Davies, with the resulting corner coming to nothing.

The Saddlers continued to press, with McDonald feeding Holden in the fifty-fourth minute, but Rory was unable to keep his effort on target, sending the ball inches over the crossbar.

Davies was again called into action in the fifty-sixth minute, as Adebayo played Holden in, with the latter seeing his effort tipped onto the post to keep him off the scoresheet.

The hosts were finally able to work the ball up to the other end following that chance, and as we reached the hour mark, Peter Clarke headed a Feeney free-kick narrowly wide.

There was a brief halt to proceedings following that chance, allowing O'Connor to receive treatment, but he was soon able to continue.

With sixty-three minutes on the clock, the Rovers bench opted to make a triple change. James Vaughan, Corey Blackett-Taylor and Paul Lewis all departing, as Morgan Ferrier, Kaiyne Woolery and Danny Lloyd-McGoldrick took their places.

The Saddlers were soon back in the driving seat, and almost added to their tally in the sixty-sixth minute, as Holden hit the crossbar from a corner.

Just a minute later, Scarr had more luck in front of goal, as he bagged his first goal of the season, poking home a Holden flag-kick.

Walsall didn't ease the pressure, winning a free-kick in a dangerous spot in the seventieth minute, which Holden whipped in for Osadebe, but Emmanuel's headed effort sailed inches wide of the upright.

Holden continued to seek a goal himself, with Kinsella looking to assist in his pursuit in the seventy-second minute, but Davies remained alert in the Tranmere goal and parried the curling effort.

In the seventy-fourth minute, Tranmere opted to make a fourth change to their line-up, as Kieron Morris made way for Otis Khan.

The game settled a little as we marched towards the final whistle, but five minutes from time, Walsall chose to make their first change of the afternoon, with Elijah Adebayo making way for Josh Gordon.

The hosts looked to pull a goal back in the eighty-fifth minute, as Ferrier played in Woolery, but the latter was unable to direct his effort on target, dragging the ball narrowly wide.

Two minutes from time, the Saddlers again tested the Rovers shot-stopper, with Davies doing well to deny first McDonald, then Gordon.

With eighty-nine minutes on the clock, Walsall chose to make a second change to their line-up, with Emmanuel Osadebe being replaced by Stuart Sinclair for the closing minutes.

Four additional minutes were added to end the game, during which time, the Saddlers made a third substitution, as Wes McDonald was taken off in favour of Jake Scrimshaw, and Khan saw a shot on goal saved.

That would be the last of the afternoon's action though, and the Saddlers held on to secure all three points, winning by three-goals-to-one. A good all-round performance from the travelling side, who created plenty of chances and defended stoically.

1 - 3
Feeney (31')

Adebayo (19')
McDonald (48')
Scarr (67')
Prenton Park
Martin Coy
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