Match Report: Walsall 0 Salford City 2

Here is our Match Report from Tuesday evening's League Two clash between the Saddlers and Salford City.
With the games running out, Walsall arrived at the match in search of the points needed to secure their place in the fourth tier for at least another season, whilst also looking to return to winning ways following their recent defeat to Colchester United.

Salford City got the match underway, and the visitors began the game brightly, winning the first corner of the evening in the seventh minute as Cameron Norman was forced to turn the ball out of play, but nothing would come of the flag-kick.

Walsall grew into the game more as it continued, bringing Salford shot-stopper, Vaclav Hladky into action in the eighth minute, as Caolan Lavery guided the ball to Josh Gordon who fired a low effort towards the bottom corner. The goalkeeper doing well to get down and gather.

Salford had soon worked the ball back up to the other end though, where Richie Towell got on the end of a long ball from Robbie Gotts but failed to test Walsall shot-stopper, Jack Rose, with a headed effort which sailed wide.

After a relatively quiet spell, during which Emmanuel Osadebe did manage an effort on goal which sailed narrowly over the crossbar, Salford found the breakthrough. A poor defensive spell from Mat Sadler and Rose allowing Ian Henderson a free shot on goal. The striker needing no second invitation to slot home.

City continued to see much of the ball following the goal, though the Saddlers were able to prevent any chance for them to extend their lead.

Against the run of play, in the thirty-third minute, Lavery found space for himself inside the box, and fired an effort goal-wards. Unfortunately for the Saddlers, it would not see them draw level, as Hladky pulled off a superb save to deny the goal.

Back at the other end, four minutes later, the Walsall 'keeper was also put to the test, as Henderson picked up the ball, drove forwards and lined up a shot, which Rose was able to save.

Rose was again forced into action moments later, as Towell looked to double his side's advantage with an effort from the edge of the area, but the shot-stopper remained alert to the danger and did enough to deny City a second.

Salford continued to see much of the ball as we raced towards the break, with Walsall continuing to struggle to gain or maintain possession, though the visitors were unable to really make their dominance show in terms of shots at goal, though they did win a corner in the forty-second minute, which came to nothing.

One additional minute was added to end the first half, but neither side were able to create anything further and they headed off for their half-time refreshments with Salford leading by one-goal-to-nil.

HT
WFC
0-1
SCFC

The teams returned unchanged following the break, and Walsall got the match back underway. The Saddlers began the second-half brightly, though it was Salford who created the first chance following the re-start, as Henderson found space to shoot, though his effort sailed wide of the upright, without troubling Rose in the Walsall goal.

The visiting side continued to press, following the Henderson effort, with Gotts forcing Rose to tip a cross over the bar in the fifty-sixth minute. The resulting corner was then headed home from close range by Jordan Turnbull to double his advantage.

In response to the goal, the Saddlers opted to make a quadruple substitution. Mat Sadler, Hayden White, Sam Perry and Emmanuel Osadebe all departing in the sixty-fifth minute, as Alfie Bates, Tyreik Wright, Dan Scarr, and Wes McDonald took their places.

Both sides enjoyed spells on the ball as the game continued, but neither were able to create much forwards momentum, as their opposition cancelled them out.

The visiting side content to keep the action centred around the midfield area as they continually cancelled out any hint of an attack from their hosts.

In the eightieth minute, Salford were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position, as Max Melbourne fouled Henderson. Ibou Touray curled the set-piece into the area, where Turnbull was waiting to head the ball home, but the Saddlers defences remained alert and the effort was blocked.

With eighty-two minutes on the clock, City opted to make a double substitution, replacing Ashley Hunter and Richard Towell with George Boyd and Brandon Thomas-Asante.

Salford continued to press, seeking to put the game to bed, with Touray picking out Boyd inside the box just three minutes after his introduction into the game, but the thirty-five-year-old could only watch as his effort sailed wide of the far post.

Four additional minutes were added to end the game, during which time, Brandon Thomas-Asante saw his name taken by the referee as he picked up a booking for time-wasting, but neither side could produce a final moment of magic, and the match was brought to its conclusion with Salford winning by two-goals-to-nil. A disappointing evening for the Saddlers, who struggled to really get going.

FT
WFC
0-2
SCFC


Henderson (19')
Turnbull (57')
VENUE
Banks's Stadium
REFEREE
Peter Wright
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