Match Report: Barrow AFC 1 Walsall 1 Match Report: Barrow AFC 1 Walsall 1
Posted by: Bescot Banter

Match Report: Barrow AFC 1 Walsall 1

Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' League Two meeting with Barrow AFC.
The Saddlers went into the match on the back of a one-all draw with Northampton Town and in search of more points as they looked to increase their advantage over the relegation zone.

After taking ten points from a possible fifteen, the Reds had been in much-improved form as they continued to work towards securing a place in the fourth tier for at least another season.

Walsall began the game brightly, winning a corner just two minutes into the contest, as Barrow's James Jones turned the ball out of play, but nothing would come of the early flag-kick as the ball was cleared as far as Liam Kinsella, whose effort on goal was blocked.

The Saddlers continued to see much of the ball as the game continued, though Barrow were able to ensure that they were unable to make the possession count, with little action of note until Niall Canavan turned the ball out of play in the eleventh minute, gifting the visiting side a corner, from which Conor Wilkinson swung the ball into the area, forcing a scramble in the box which Jones was ultimately able to end with a clearance off the line.

With seventeen minutes on the clock, Barrow were gifted their first chance on goal, as a slight error from Manny Monthe allowed former Saddler, Josh Gordon space to shoot, but the striker was unable to turn the ball home.

With nineteen minutes on the clock, Manny Monthe became the first player to see his name entered into the referee's notebook, as he picked up a yellow card for a foul on Gordon.

Just one minute later, Lee Tomlin joined Monthe on a yellow card, as he fouled Barrow captain, Ollie Banks in an off the ball incident, forcing the official to caution him.

Barrow began to exert more pressure on the Saddlers defences as the game continued, winning a corner in the twenty-fifth minute as Donervon Daniels turned the ball behind, but nothing would come of the flag-kick and a second followed just two minutes later as Jack Earing was forced to put the ball out of play, but again, the hosts were unable to make anything of the set-piece as Gordon's headed effort from outside the area was blocked.

Thirty-five minutes into the contest, Barrow found the breakthrough, with John Rooney breaking the deadlock as he curled an effort past Walsall shot-stopper, Carl Rushworth, with the ball hitting the post and nestling in the back of the net, after some good work from Gordon played him in.

The Saddlers looked to draw themselves back onto level terms, with Tomlin and Monthe combining in the forty-second minute, but the latter was unable to find the target with his headed effort as a well-placed Paul Farman made the save.

Two additional minutes were added to end the first-half, but there was little further action of note and the sides headed off to enjoy their half-time refreshments with Barrow leading by one-goal-to-nil at the break.

The teams returned unchanged after the break, and the action got back underway. Walsall began the second-half brightly, winning a corner just two minutes in, but nothing would come of the set-piece as Wilkinson saw his effort on goal blocked behind for a second flag-kick which Barrow were able to clear.

The game settled into something of a midfield battle as it continued, but fifty-four minutes in, Barrow won a corner themselves as Will Harris picked out Gordon with a cross, with the strikers effort on goal being deflected behind, but the Saddlers defences ensured nothing would come of the flag-kick.

Walsall were quick to work the ball back up to the other end, where they won another corner kick, from which Wilkinson swung the ball onto the head of Daniels, but the defender was able to keep his headed effort on target, sending the ball wide of the upright.

Miller probably should have scored himself moments later, but after finding himself in a one-on-one situation with the Barrow 'keeper, he fired inches wide of the far post.

With fifty-eight minutes on the clock, Walsall opted to make the first change of the afternoon, with George Miller making way for Devante Rodney.

The game settled back into something of a midfield battle after the change, though Walsall continued to see plenty of the ball, and the visitors were rewarded for their patience in the sixty-seventh minute, as they were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous spot. Emmanuel Osadebe delivered the set-piece into the box, where Daniels rose to meet it, turning a powerful header into the far corner to level the scores.

The hosts looked to restore their advantage in the seventy-fourth minute, but after some good play from Gordon, Rooney's effort on goal was blocked.

With seventy-nine minutes on the clock, Barrow opted to make a double change to their line-up, with Tom White and Will Harris making way as Remeao Hutton and Jordan Stevens joined the fray.

The home side continued to press as they went in search of a goal to restore their earlier advantage, but after some good build-up play, Gordon was unable to convert as his headed effort was deflected behind by Daniels, with the resulting corner coming to nothing.

Matthew Platt joined those already on a caution in the eighty-second minute, as an off-the-ball foul lead the referee to book him.

In the eighty-fifth minute, Walsall chose to make their second change of the afternoon, with Lee Tomlin making way for Brendan Kiernan.

The Saddlers were presented with an opportunity to take the lead for the first time in the eighty-seventh minute, as Tyrese Shade collected the ball thirty yards from goal, but his curling effort sailed narrowly wide of the upright.

Three additional minutes were added to end the game, during which time, Osadebe combined with Rodney to create a chance for a late winner, but Farman was alert to the danger in the Barrow goal and made the save.

That would the last action of note, and the game was brought to an end with the scores level at one-goal-apiece.

Rooney (35')
Daniels (67')
Leigh Doughty
3,439 (449)
Holker Street
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