Match Report: Cambridge United 1 Walsall 0 Match Report: Cambridge United 1 Walsall 0
Posted by: Bescot Banter

Match Report: Cambridge United 1 Walsall 0

Here is our Match Report from Saturday afternoon's League Two clash between Cambridge United and Walsall.
The Saddlers arrived at the match in search of three much-needed points as Head Coach Brian Dutton continues to search for his first win since taking over from Port Vale manager Darrell Clarke.

Cambridge United got the match underway, but whilst Walsall saw slightly more of the early ball, neither side was able to create much to test their opposition during the opening ten minutes.

The first chance of the game fell to Walsall, eleven minutes in, as Max Melbourne picked out Caolan Lavery with a ball in from the left, but the striker was unable to keep his headed effort on target.

The Saddlers continued to play well, creating another chance moments later, as Sam Perry picked up the ball twenty-five yards from out and fired goal-wards, with his effort sailing inches over the crossbar.

Cambridge were quick to work the ball up to the other end, creating their first half-chance of the game, but Paul Mullin's effort from outside the area caused no concern for the Walsall defences as it trickled wide.

The hosts continued to enjoy a brighter spell, seeing more of the ball, and seeing Harrison Dunk fire narrowly wide of the upright in the nineteenth minute.

Walsall looked set to take the lead in the twenty-second minute, but United shot-stopper, Callum Burton was alert to Emmanuel Osadebe's delightful shot, pulling off a fantastic save to deny him, and the resulting corner came to nothing.

The home side won their first corner of the game in the twenty-seventh minute, as Mat Sadler was forced to turn the ball out of play, but the visitors ensured nothing would come of the opportunity.

As we reached the half hour mark, the Saddlers were forced to make an early change, as Cameron Norman failed to shake off an early knock and had to bow out, with Tyreik Wright taking his place.

The Saddlers won a free-kick in the thirty-fifth minute, which was played short by the recently introduced Wright, to Hayden White, who was a little unlucky to see his effort nestle in the side netting.

United had soon worked the ball back up to the other end, winning a succession of corners, as first White, then Perry turned the ball out of play. The Saddlers defences continued to stand firm to ensure no end result was found.

Five minutes before the break, Walsall should probably have opened the scoring, but after some lovely build-up play involving White, Melbourne and Osadebe, Wright saw his shot on goal curl wide of the far post.

The visiting side continued to probe, winning a corner in forty-second minute, as Declan Drysdale turned the ball out of play, but nothing would come of the opportunity.

Four additional minutes were added to end the first-half, but neither side was able to create anything further of note before they headed off for their half-time refreshments with the scores level.


The teams returned unchanged after the break, and Walsall got the match back underway. The hosts began the second-half brightly, though Joe Ironside's forty-sixth minute effort was easily held by Saddlers shot-stopper, Liam Roberts.

Cambridge continued to see plenty of the ball as the game continued, though they struggled to test the Walsall back line.

A series of fouls and free-kicks followed as the game settled into something of a midfield battle, with both sides struggling with the poor playing surface.

As we reached the hour mark, the Saddlers were presented with a chance to open the scoring, as Melbourne played in Josh Gordon, but the strikers left-footed effort was blocked.

In the seventy-third minute, an Osadebe cross looked to be destined to break the deadlock as it connected with the head of Gordon, however the ball whistled inches wide of the upright as the striker proved unable to secure his sixth goal of the season.

Moments later, at the other end, United also saw a chance go begging, as an Adam May right-footed effort from range sailed wide.

Fifteen minutes from time, the Saddlers opted to make their second change of the afternoon, with Sam Perry making way for Alfie Bates.

Two minutes later, the hosts chose to make their first change of the afternoon. Liam O'Neil the man to make way as Shilow Tracey entered the fray.

Walsall continued to search for a goal late into the game, with Gordon finding the side netting in the eighty-third minute, before seeing a right-footed effort saved by the United 'keeper two minutes later.

Four minutes from time, the Saddlers chose to make their third substitution of the day, as Caolan Lavery made way for Wes McDonald.

The Saddlers were forced into defensive action late on, blocking an Ironside headed effort before ensuring nothing would come of the resulting corner.

Three additional minutes were added to end the match, during which time Melbourne forced a break in play whilst he received treatment for a knock. He was soon back on his feet and able to continue.

With ninety-four minutes on the clock, Paul Mullin fired into the top corner from twenty yards, snatching a last gasp winner Cambridge, with no time for the Saddlers to respond. A disappointing end to the contest for Walsall, who looked to have done enough to secure a point on the road.

Mullin (90+4')

Abbey Stadium
Ben Toner
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