Match Report: Scunthorpe United 1 Walsall 0 Match Report: Scunthorpe United 1 Walsall 0
By: Bescot Banter •

Match Report: Scunthorpe United 1 Walsall 0

Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' League Two meeting with Scunthorpe United.
Heading into the match on the back of six defeats in as many games, Walsall were in dire need of a return to winning ways as they made the trip to Glanford Park for a League Two meeting with bottom-of-the-table Scunthorpe United.

Walsall began the game brightly, with Joss Labadie forcing an early save from Scunthorpe United goalkeeper, Rory Watson in just the fourth minute, before Reece Devine fired an effort goal-wards seconds later, which the shot-stopper was able to gather.

The Saddlers showed no let-up as they continued to push for an early advantage, with George Miller playing Devine in again in the seventh minute, however only a corner would come from the chance and that danger was easily cleared by the hosts.

With ten minutes on the clock, the Saddlers were presented with another opportunity to open the scoring, as Liam Kinsella headed a good looking ball into the path of Emmanuel Osadebe, but the strikers effort from outside the area sailed narrowly wide of the upright.

Scunthorpe has soon worked the ball up to the other end, as they began to grow into the game, with Anthony Grant firing their first chance of the evening high and wide from thirty yards.

The Saddlers were quick to work the ball back upfield, where Tyrese Shade tested Watson - the goalkeeper managing to keep the strikers effort out with his legs, before Kinsella forced another save from the Irons 'keeper as he crossed a dangerous looking ball in from the right.

Walsall continued to see much of the ball as the game continued, and should have opened the scoring in the twenty-third minute, as Labadie won the ball in the centre of the park and fed Miller with a lovely pass, but the ball got away from the striker and his eventual effort from a tight angle sailed high over the crossbar.

With twenty-nine minutes on the clock, Tom Pugh became the first player to see his name entered into the referee's notebook, as he was cautioned following a foul on Kinsella.

The visiting side were presented with another chance to open the scoring in the thirty-first minute, as Emmanuel Onariase turned the ball out of play to gift them a corner, however nothing would come of the opportunity as Osadebe's in-swinging cross evaded everyone and sailed out of play for a goal-kick.

Scunthorpe were quick to work the ball back to the other end, with Tyrese Sinclair winning a free-kick for his side in the thirty-fourth minute, some twenty-five yards from goal. Ross Millen stepped forth to take the set-piece, and his effort connected with the upright, but Jai Rowe was first to the rebound and headed home to secure his first goal of the season, and the advantage for his team.

Walsall looked to respond quickly, working the ball upfield for Shade, who was a little unlucky to see an effort from outside the area blocked.

Buoyed by their goal, Scunthorpe set about looking to add a second, with Pugh combining with Rowe to win their side a corner in the thirty-eighth minute as Rollin Menayese turned the ball out of play. Liam Feeney swung the ball into the area from the flag-kick, and Onarisase rose well to head it goal-wards, but Walsall shot-stopper, Carl Rushworth had positioned himself well and made the save.

Two additional minutes were added to end the first-half, but neither side were able to create any further openings of note, and the teams headed off to enjoy their half-time refreshments and a few words of encouragement, with Scunthorpe leading by one-goal-to-nil.

The teams returned unchanged after the break, and Scunthorpe got the action back underway. Walsall began the second-half brightly, as they looked to get back on level terms with their hosts, with Osadebe playing in Miller in the forty-ninth minute, but the forwards effort from outside the area was saved by Watson, with the goalkeeper appearing to some to have been outside of his area when he handled the ball, though the referee was unconvinced and waved play on.

With fifty-three minutes on the clock, the Saddlers were handed an advantage, as the Iron were reduced to ten men. Tom Pugh receiving his second yellow card of the evening for a challenge on Hayden White.

The Iron responded to the red card by making a double substitution in the fifty-seventh minute, with Rekeil Pyke and Tyrese Sinclair making way for Joe Nuttall and Dan Gallimore.

As we reached the hour mark, the Saddlers followed suit, making a double change of their own. Rollin Menayese and Emmanuel Osadebe the two men to depart as Brendan Kiernan and Conor Wilkinson joined the fray.

The game settled into something of a midfield battle as it continued, with a series of fouls and free-kicks in the centre of the park ensuring neither side would create much in front of goal, though sixty-seven minutes in, Wilkinson did force a last gasp challenge from Rowe to get the ball away from goal, and three minutes later, Devine forced a corner for his side, which the Iron were able to clear after Miller struck the woodwork with a headed effort.

In the seventy-eighth minute, Scunthorpe opted to make their third and final change of the evening, with Sam Burns being replaced by George Taft for the run in.
Joss Labadie received his tenth league booking of the season in the eighty-first minute, as he was cautioned for a high boot on Rowe, earning the Walsall captain a two game suspension.

The Saddlers continued to seek a late equaliser as time ebbed away, with Wilkinson seeing an effort from outside the area blocked in the eighty-seventh minute, before firing high and wide from a direct free-kick just one minute later.

Four additional minutes were added to end the match, during which time, Walsall won a corner as Ryan Delaney was forced to turn the ball out of play, but Watson remained alert in the Iron goal and made the save.

That would be the final action of note though, and the game ended with Scunthorpe's one-goal lead intact. A poor display from the Saddlers, culminating in the seventh consecutive defeat.

Rowe (34')
Tom Nield
2,123 - Glanford Park
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