Match Report: Stevenage 1 Walsall 1

Here is our Match Report from Saturday's League Two clash between Stevenage and Walsall.
The Saddlers were back in action on Saturday afternoon as they travelled to Hertfordshire and the Lamex Stadium where they faced Alex Revell's Boro, a side they'd only faced on eight previous occasions.

Stevenage got the match underway, but within twenty seconds of kick-off, Walsall took the lead. An early back pass to Jamie Cummings in the hosts net being charged down by Caolan Lavery, who blocked the 'keepers kick, deflecting it into the net. A superb start for the visiting side.

The home side set about looking to restore parity, but their first real chance of the game came to nothing, as a Luke Norris seventh minute effort from the edge of the area was easily stopped by Walsall 'keeper, Liam Roberts.

Walsall responded with a chance of their own moments later, as Max Melbourne played in Wes McDonald, whose effort on goal was blocked behind by Terence Vancooten for the first corner of the game, which ultimately came to nothing.

Stevenage soon had the ball back and continued to search for a route back onto level terms, winning a free-kick in a dangerous position in the thirteenth minute. Chris Lines swung the ball in to the back post, where it was met by Luke Prosser, but the defenders header back across goal could not be turned home by Elliott List, whose touch turned the ball wide.

The Saddlers soon created another chance to extend their lead at the other end, as McDonald did well to beat Luther James-Wildin and work the ball to Frank Vincent, but Cumming was alert to the danger in the Stevenage goal and prevented the deflected effort finding the target.

Both 'keepers remained busy, with Roberts called into action again in the twentieth minute, pulling off a fine one-handed save to deny List, whose headed effort appeared to be heading home.

The hosts had soon worked the ball back to the other end, where List was presented with another chance on goal, however, he was unable to keep his effort on target, finding only the side-netting.

As we reached the half-hour mark, the hosts won their first corner of the game, as Roberts was forced to save an effort from James-Wildin from the edge of the box. The Saddlers remained alert at the back and were able to clear the danger following the flag-kick.

A second Stevenage corner followed just two minutes later, as Mat Sadler was forced to turn the ball out of play, but Norris was unable to direct Elliot Osbourne's in-swinging cross home, sending the ball wide of the target from close range.

Osbourne provided Roberts with a bigger test in the thirty-eighth minute, as he found space inside the area and got a shot away, but the Walsall man was equal to it, reaching well to get a hand to the ball to tip it behind. The resulting corner coming to nothing.

Stevenage continued to dominate as we raced towards the break, but after the remaining minutes, including one added, were played out, the sides headed off for their half-time refreshments with Walsall leading by one-goal-to-nil.

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HT
-
BORO
0-1
WFC

Stevenage opted to make their first change of the afternoon as the teams returned; Luke Norris sitting out the second-half, as Danny Newton took his place before Walsall got the game back underway.

The second-half began much more quietly than the first, with both sides enjoying time on the ball without really troubling their opposition defences. A series of fouls and free-kicks stifling the flow of the game at times.

There was little real action of note, until, in the fifty-sixth minute, Liam Kinsella saw red. An unnecessary, two footed challenge from the midfielder on Jack Aitchison enough to see him expelled from the game.

The hosts almost restored parity moments after the dismissal, as Newton fired an effort in, which looked to be destined for the top corner. However, Roberts was once again able to get a hand to the ball to prevent the goal.

As we headed past the hour mark, the Saddlers opted to make their first change of the game, with Wes McDonald making way for Josh Gordon.

Stevenage followed suit, making their second change of the day, as Luke Prosser was replaced by Joe Martin.

With sixty-five minutes on the clock, Hayden White received the first yellow card of the game, as he picked up a caution for time wasting.

Five minutes later, the Saddlers chose to make a second change to their line-up, as goal-scorer, Caolan Lavery was replaced by Alfie Bates.

Mere seconds after the Walsall change was completed, Stevenage levelled the scores. List beating Roberts with a left-footed effort fired into the bottom corner.

With seventy-two minutes on the clock, Terence Vancooten became the second player to see yellow, as he picked up a booking for a foul on Gordon.

The hosts set out to make their man advantage really pay, but the Saddlers continued to defend well, ensuring Aitchison could not get a shot away in the seventy-third minute before deflecting a Newton effort behind for a corner, which came to nothing, three minutes later.

Dan Scarr was presented with an opportunity to restore Walsall's earlier lead in the eighty-second minute, as a clearance from a Frank Vincent flag-kick found him inside the area, but his effort on goal sailed high over the crossbar.

In the eighty-sixth minute, the Saddlers chose to make a third change to their line-up, as Emmanuel Osadebe was replaced by Callum Cockerill-Mollett.

Stevenage also took the opportunity to change things up, bringing off Elliott List in favour of Matty Stevens.

Walsall continued to seek a second goal as we headed into the final couple of minutes, with Scarr a little unlucky to see a headed effort from the centre of the box sail wide.

Five additional minutes were added to end the game, but neither side were able to carve out any further chances of note, and the contest was brought to an end with the scores still level at one-goal-apiece

-
FT
-
BORO
1-1
WFC
List (70')
Lavery (1')
VENUE
Lamex Stadium
REFEREE
Antony Coggins
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