Match Report: Salford City 2 Walsall 1 Match Report: Salford City 2 Walsall 1
By: Bescot Banter •

Match Report: Salford City 2 Walsall 1

Here is our Match Report from Saturday's League Two meeting between the Saddlers and Ammies.
After avoiding defeat in their last six league outings, the Saddlers traveled to Moor Lane to face Salford City, a side that had gone undefeated in eight and looked to rebound from their devastating last-gasp draw with Harrogate Town.

Walsall got the match underway, and the side began brightly, seeing plenty of the early ball. However, just five minutes into the contest, after a pause in play, allowing him to receive treatment, it became apparent that Donervon Daniels would not be able to continue, and Rollin Menayese was brought on in his place.

Salford City began to grow into the game after the Walsall change, with Brandon Thomas-Asante winning a free-kick for his side in the seventh minute as he drew a foul from Hayden White. Stephen Kelly found Matthew Lund with his cross into the box from the set-piece, but the midfielder was unable to head the ball past Saddlers shot-stopper, Jack Rose, who was well placed to parry the effort before it was turned behind for a corner, which came to nothing as Ryan Watson's effort from outside the box was blocked.

The game settled into something of a midfield battle as it continued, with both sides enjoying spells on the ball, whilst struggling to create anything to test their opposition.

The home side won another free-kick in a dangerous spot in the twentieth minute, as Conor Wilkinson fouled Ashley Hunter. Kelly again swung the ball into the box, finding Theo Vassell, but the defenders sliced his effort and the Saddlers were able to clear.

The visiting side has soon worked the ball up to the other end, where they won a corner as Lund turned the ball out of play. Jack Earing played the ball onto the head of Menayese from the flag-kick, but Salford shot-stopper, Frank Fielding was well placed to make the save.

The end-to-end action continued, with the hosts going close just one minute later, as Jordan Turnbull headed the ball into the path of Thomas-Asante, but the strikers effort on goal sailed high and wide.

There was another pause in proceedings in the thirty-first minute, whilst Devante Rodney received treatment from the medical team, after the striker was caught by Jordan Turnbull, who received a yellow card for the incident. Fortunately for the Saddlers, Rodney was soon back on his feet and able to continue.

Walsall opened the scoring from the resulting free-kick, with Earing playing the ball to the far post, where it was headed back across goal by Manny Monthรฉ, with Menayese first to it to turn it past Fielding.

The hosts looked to level the scores before the break, with Hunter firing an effort goal-wards in the forty-second minute, however, his shot was deflected by Menayese, making it a comfortable save for Rose.

Three minutes later, the hosts succeeded in restoring parity, as Turnbull headed the ball to Matt Smith who fired home from close range.

Four additional minutes were added to end the first-half, during which time, the Saddlers won a corner as Jason Lowe turned the ball out of play. Emmanuel Osadebe crossed the ball to Joss Labadie from the flag-kick, but the Walsall captain was unable to find the target with his headed effort.

That would be the final action of note, and the sides headed off to enjoy their half-time refreshments with the scores tied at one-goal-apiece.

The teams returned following the break, and Salford got the match back underway. Six minutes after the re-start, the Saddlers were presented with an opportunity to re-take their lead as a header from Smith fell to Osadebe, but Thomas-Asante was well placed to clear the danger.

Walsall continued to look the brighter of the two teams, winning a corner in the fifty-second minute, as Turnbull turned the ball out of play, though nothing would ultimately come of the flag-kick, though moments later, Menayese went close, hitting the upright from close range.

With fifty-five minutes on the clock, Devante Rodney was shown the yellow card for a foul on Theo Vassell.

The Saddlers continued to look the brighter of the two sides, with Osadebe playing Tyrese Shade in as we reached the hour mark, though the defenders effort on goal sailed narrowly wide of the mark.

The hosts had soon worked the ball up to the other end though, where Corrie Ndaba worked the ball into the box, but Monthe was on hand to ensure that it would not reach any of his teammates.

With sixty-four minutes on the clock, Walsall opted to make their second change of the afternoon, with Devante Rodney making way for George Miller.

In the sixty-fifth minute, Salford were awarded a penalty, as Liam Kinsella handled inside the box. Ryan Watson stepped forth to take the spot-kick, and duly converted to put his side ahead for the first time in the game.

The hosts continued to press as they looked to put the game to bed, but Thomas-Asante's close range effort in the seventy-first minute was well saved by an alert Rose.

The Saddlers were quick to work the ball up to the other end following that, winning a corner in the seventy-third minute, as Vassell turned the ball out of play.

Before the flag-kick was taken, Liam Kinsella saw his name taken by the referee, as he was cautioned for a foul.

Eventually, Earing was able to take the corner, finding the head of Labadie with his cross, but the Saddlers captain saw his effort cleared off the line.

With seventy-five minutes on the clock, Walsall chose to make their third and final change of the afternoon, with Jack Earing making way for Lee Tomlin.

The Saddlers continued to press, as they looked to level the scores, with Miller going close in the seventy-eighth minute before Shade fired wide two minutes later.

With just ten minutes left to play, Salford opted to make a double change to their line-up, as Ashley Hunter and Stephen Kelly made way for Luke Bolton and Donald Love.

In the eighty-third minute, Manny Monthe joined those listed in the referee's notebook, as he picked up a yellow card after getting involved in an argument with Thomas-Asante.

There was a late stoppage in play as we neared the ninety-minute mark, as Jack Rose required treatment following a collision with Thomas-Asante. Fortunately for the Saddlers, their 'keeper was soon back on his feet and able to see out the remainder of the game, including the five additional minutes added to end the contest.

There was little further action of note, though Ndaba did look to set-up Thomas-Asante at the back post three minutes into the additional five, however, the strikers' first-time effort sailed wide.

That would be the last action of note, as the hosts hung on to their slender lead to see out the game, with Salford winning by two-goals-to-one.

Smith (45)
Watson [P] (66')
Menayese (34')

Anthony Backhouse
2,584 (864)
Moor Lane
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