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Match Report: Walsall 0 Carlisle United 2

Here is our Match Report from Saturday's League Two clash between Walsall and Carlisle United.
After suffering a duo of defeats at the end of 2020 Darrell Clarke's Saddlers were looking to start the new year in style as they welcomed promotion-chasing Carlisle United to WS1 for their first outing of 2021.

Carlisle United got the match underway, and the visitors began brightly, with Taylor Charters firing narrowly wide from distance inside the opening minute.

Both sides enjoyed time on the ball as they began to settle into the game, without really testing their opposition, though eight minutes in, Walsall won the first corner of the game, which came to nothing as the ball in was headed out of play for a Carlisle throw in.

The visiting side won a free-kick in a dangerous spot in the twelfth minute, as Joshua Kayode was fouled by James Clarke, but nothing would come of it as the low ball into the box was cleared by the Saddlers defences.

United were presented with another chance to open the scoring just two minutes later, as Omari Patrick intercepted a poor Walsall pass, before working the ball to Charters, but the latter's effort sailed high over the crossbar without troubling Liam Roberts in the Saddlers goal.

Carlisle continued to look the brighter of the two sides as the game continued, with Joshua Kayode and Lewis Alessandra combining well in the twentieth minute to see the former presented with a chance on goal, however, his effort from outside the area was blocked.

Walsall felt they should have been awarded a penalty in the twenty-fifth minute, however, the referee was unmoved by their appeals and waved play on, with the ball falling to the feet of Liam Kinsella, whose effort on goal took a deflection, allowing United 'keeper, Paul Farman to make an easy save.

Just one minute later, Carlisle had more luck in front of goal, as Kayode, Allessandra and Charters combined well to play in Patrick, who opened the scoring.

With twenty-seven minutes on the clock, Taylor Charters became the first player to see yellow, as he picked up a booking for a foul on Cameron Norman.

As we reached the half hour mark, the visiting side won their first corner of the match, as Mat Sadler turned a Charters cross behind. However, nothing would come of the set-piece, as the ball sailed through the crowded box.

A Saddlers corner followed as the hosts swiftly worked the ball up to the other end, but Carlisle defended well to clear the danger.

The Saddlers continued to enjoy a brighter spell, and thirty-seven minutes in, were perhaps a little unlucky not to level the scores. Wes McDonald firing a promising effort goal-wards, from thirty yards, but Farman was well placed to claim.

Carlisle soon had the ball back at the other end, winning a corner, as Norman was forced to turn a Jack Armer shot, from the edge of the box, out of play. The flag-kick would come to nothing, as Roberts got a hand to Kayode's shot.

Walsall were soon back on the hunt for an equalising goal, with Norman doing well to get the ball to Josh Gordon, three minutes before the break, but the United shot-stopper was well positioned to gather the headed effort.

A couple of Walsall corners followed, but the hosts were unable to make them pay, and after one additional minute was played, the referee brought an end to the first-half with Carlisle leading by one-goal-to-nil.

-
HT
-
WALSALL
0 -1
CARLISLE

The teams returned unchanged following the break, and Walsall got the match back underway. The second-half got off to a slow start, but six minutes in, a late challenge on Patrick, lead to Josh Gordon joining Charters in the referee's notebook.

The Saddlers began to grow into the game as it continued, and eight minutes into the second-half, forced a save from Farman as McDonald worked his way into the area and fired goal-wards.

There was a brief halt to proceedings in the fifty-fourth minute, allowing Callum Guy to receive treatment following a tangle with Gordon, but he was soon back on his feet and able to continue.

The visiting side created their first real chance of the half in the fifty-sixth minute, as Joe Riley was played in by Alessandra, but his effort from the edge of the area trickled wide of the upright, without troubling the Saddlers shot-stopper.

With fifty-seven minutes on the clock, Jack Armer joined those on a caution, as he saw yellow for a foul on Kinsella.

Just two minutes later, Alfie Bates joined the growing ranks in the referee's notebook, as he too saw yellow, following a foul on Alessandra.

In the sixty-first minute, Walsall manager, Darrell Clarke opted to make a triple substitution. Alfie Bates, Stuart Sinclair and Mat Sadler all departing early, as Jake Scrimshaw, Danny Guthrie and George Nurse all entered the fray.

The substitutes looked to make an immediate impact, with Nurse playing the ball to Scrimshaw in the box in the sixty-third minute, however Rhys Bennett was on hand for the visitors to ensure the visitors maintained their lead.

The hosts continued to press, as they looked to get back on level terms, but Gordon saw a twenty-five yard effort sail wide, from a free-kick, in the sixty-fourth minute, before Elijah Adebayo wasted a chance three minutes later.

Carlisle won a corner in the seventieth minute, from which Guy saw an effort turned behind for a second flag-kick, which was played to Charters, whose effort on goal was cleared off the line.

Fifteen minutes from time, the visitors decided that Callum Guy would be unable to continue, following a second spell of treatment, and Dean Furman was brought on to take his place.

With seventy-eight minutes on the clock, Carlisle doubled their advantage, with Riley playing in Kayode, who fired home from close range to all but put the game to bed.

Nine minutes from time, the Saddlers opted to make a fourth change to their line-up, with Cameron Norman making way for Emmanuel Osadebe.

With eighty-three minutes played, the visiting bench opted to make a second change, with Omari Patrick making way to allow Brennan Dickenson on to make his United debut.

Moments after his introduction into the game, Dickenson gave away a free-kick, which lead to a corner as the ball deflected out of play, however nothing would come of the opportunity and his side launched a counter attack, which culminated in Charters firing wide.

In the ninetieth minute, United introduced a second debutante, as Taylor Charters made way for Lewis Bell.

Five additional minutes were added to end the game, during which time, Alessandra fired over from distance, before Gordon fired wide for the hosts from a corner. That would be the final action of note though, as Carlisle held on to their two-goal lead to see out the game and claim all three points.

A disappointing display from the Saddlers to start the new year. The side struggling to make best use of their time with the ball, and failing to make their chances count.

-
FT
-
WALSALL
0 - 2
CARLISLE


Patrick (26')
Kayode (78')
VENUE
Banks's Stadium
REFEREE
James Oldham

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