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Pre-Season: Kidderminster Harriers 0 Walsall 5

Here is our Match Report from Saturday's pre-season clash between Walsall and hosts, Kidderminster Harriers.
Arriving at the match in the back of defeats to Crystal Palace and Aston Villa, Matthew Taylor's side were looking to grab a few confidence-boosting goals as they continue to prepare for the upcoming Sky Bet League Two campaign.

With the season just a few weeks away, the Saddlers fans in attendance welcomed their first glimpse of summer signing Conor Wilkinson, as the former Leyton Orient man partnered on-loan Huddersfield Town striker Kieran Phillips in attack.

That was really the only highlight of the opening fifteen minutes or so, as neither side was able to create a noteworthy attack, with the defences coming out on top during a thankfully cooler afternoon in Worcestershire.

Walsall's first effort of the afternoon arrived via the foot of A.Trialist, the well-travelled upstart picking up the ball in midfield before lashing an effort over Luke Simpson's goal. Not really close to an opener, but at least the ball went somewhere near goal.

Kidderminster's first opening of the game came via former Walsall trialist Omari Sterling-James, who looked to find the top corner from a free-kick out wide. Thankfully for the Saddlers, his effort was just off target with the scores remaining tied.

The Saddlers were the team to open the scoring as Emmanuel Osadebe capped off a neat attacking move to poke the ball beyond the 'keeper. Finally, something for the Saddlers faithful to cheer as the game continued to edge towards the half-time break.

That man Osadebe went on to both double his tally and add to his team's lead on the stroke of half-time with a sweetly-struck curling effort. Emmanuel giving Head Coach Matthew Taylor plenty of positives to talk about during his team talk.

HT
KHFC
0-2
WFC
 
Walsall made a change at the break, with on-loan Brighton stopper Carl Rushworth being replaced by Jack Rose between the sticks. MatthewTaylor, keen to take a look at his goalkeeping options with the season just around the corner.

The Saddlers started the second forty-five quickly, as they soon added a third goal with A.Trialist and Conor Wilkinson linking up for the latter to slip the ball past Simpson. A sweet finish for the man making his first appearance in a Walsall shirt.

Buoyed by his goal, Wilkinson almost added a second just minutes later as he forced Simpson into a fine save at his near post. The ball could've easily crept in for a Saddlers fourth.

Walsall didn't have it all their own way, however, as Sterling-James once again went close via a free-kick, this time his effort going low past Rushworth's post. Close, but not close enough.

Just a few minutes after the Harriers free-kick, the Saddlers were able to get the ball back down the right end of the pitch and added a fourth goal as Kieran Phillps, ably assisted by Osadebe, was given far too much room to turn and slam the ball home.

Satisfied by his team's performance, Matthew Taylor went on to ring the changes with Emmanuel Osadebe, Joss Labadie, Conor Wilkinson, Rollin Menayese, Manny Monthé, and Zak Mills being replaced by Stephen Ward, Ash Taylor, Tom Leak, Liam Kinsella, Joe Willis, and B.Trialist.

Kidderminster looked to cut the deficit as substitutes Amari Morgan-Smith and Jaiden White combined, with Morgan-Smith holding the ball on the edge of the area before finding WHite who sent an effort wide of goal.

Walsall made another couple of changes as the half advanced, with Kieran Phillips, A.Trialist and Joe Foulkes being replaced by Brendan Kiernan, Hayden White, and Danny Coogan.

The next effort on goal came the way of second-half sub Ash Taylor, who forced goalkeeper Simpson into a save with a header from close range following a whipped-in corner kick.

With twelve minutes of the game remaining, the Saddlers went on to grab a fifth goal, with substitute Brendan Kiernan slipping home following some neat build-up play from Ward and Kinsella to find Brendan in the box.

There were no further goals or chances of not as the Saddlers won in comfortable fashion ahead of Tuesday's clash with West Bromwich Albion.

FT
KHFC
0-5
WFC
-




Osadebe (39')
Osadebe (45')
Wilkinson (47')
Phillips (57')
Kiernan (78')
VENUE
Aggborough Stadium
ATTENDANCE
1,163

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