Match Report: Walsall 1 Sutton United 0 Match Report: Walsall 1 Sutton United 0
Posted by: Bescot Banter •

Match Report: Walsall 1 Sutton United 0

Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' League Two meeting with Sutton United.
Michael Flynn's Saddlers were back in action on Saturday afternoon as they played host to promotion-chasing Sutton United at Banks's Stadium.

With their last two games ending in one-all draws - against Northampton Town and Barrow AFC respectively - the Saddlers were tasked with going one better as they looked to increase their advantage over the teams in the relegation zone.

The game got off to a slow start, though Sutton United did win a corner five minutes in, as Walsall captain, Joss Labadie turned the ball out of play, however nothing would come of the flag-kick, as the Saddlers defences dealt with the danger.

Eleven minutes into the contest, Walsall created their first half-chance of the afternoon, as Emmanuel Osadebe worked the ball to Conor Wilkinson, but the strikers left-footed effort from distance was blocked.

With seventeen minutes on the clock, Sutton were forced to make their first change of the afternoon, as injury forced Donovan Wilson from the game, with Omar Bugiel taking his place.

There were concerns for Liam Kinsella five minutes later too, but fortunately for the Saddlers, after a brief spell of treatment, the midfielder was able to re-join the action.

The game settled into something of a midfield battle as it continued, with neither side able to create much with the ball, though both did see plenty of it.

With thirty-three minutes on the clock, Walsall took the lead, as Wilkinson stepped up to convert a spot-kick awarded after he drew a foul from Joe Kizzi inside the area moments before.

United looked to restore parity quickly, and went close to doing so in the thirty-eighth minute, but Wilkinson was well placed in front of goal to block a well struck shot from Harry Beautyman.

The Saddlers found themselves with an opportunity to double their advantage in the fortieth minute, but after a neat pass from Kinsella, George Miller saw his effort from outside the area saved by Sutton shot-stopper, Stuart Nelson.

Four additional minutes were added to end a rather quiet first-half, during which time, the visiting side sought a late equaliser, with Manny Monthe forced to make a late block to deny Enzio Boldewijn, with the resulting corner coming to nothing.

Five minutes into extra time, Sutton made their second change of the game, as Harry Beautyman was forced to depart due to injury, with Robert Milsom the man to take his place.

There was no further action of note following that, as the referee brought an end to the first-half, and the sides headed off to enjoy their half-time refreshments with Walsall leading by one-goal-to-nil.

The teams returned unchanged after the break, and Sutton United got the action back underway. The second-half got off to a slow start, with Ben Wyatt seeing an effort from distance blocked two minutes in, before the game settled, once again, into something of a midfield battle.

The Saddlers began to exert more pressure as the game continued, with both Osadebe and Miller seeing efforts blocked in the fifty-fourth minute, before Wilkinson saw a headed effort blocked two minutes later, with the ball falling to Tyrese Shade, whose powerful strike was turned behind for a corner, which came to nothing, as Wilkinson fired over from a tight angle.

As we reached the hour mark, the Saddlers again found themselves in shooting range, with Osadebe playing in Wilkinson, but the strikers effort was well saved by the Sutton shot-stopper.

In the sixty-second minute, Robert Milsom became the first player to see yellow, as he was cautioned for a foul on Labadie.

One minute later, United opted to their third and final change of the game, as Ricky Korboa was replaced by David Ajiboye.

Walsall continued to look the more dangerous of the two sides, with Miller setting up Wilkinson moments after the change, but the strikers powerful effort on goal was turned away by Nelson who did well to get a hand to it.

With fifteen minutes of the game remaining, Donervon Daniels became the second player to see yellow, as the referee cautioned him for a foul on Bugiel.

Sutton won a corner shortly after the card was shown, as Shade turned the ball behind, but nothing would come of the flag-kick as Richie Bennett headed wide.

Another corner kick followed moments later, as Kinsella guided the ball out of play, but again, nothing would come of the opportunity, as Boldewijn fired over the crossbar from outside the area.

The Saddlers opted to make their first change of the afternoon in the seventy-eighth minute, as Conor Wilkinson made way for Devante Rodney.

Eighty-two minutes into the contest, Ben Wyatt joined those on a caution, as he was shown the yellow card for a foul on Kinsella.

Walsall manager, Michael Flynn caught the referee's attention, after a disagreement with Kizzi, and was also shown the yellow card.

With eighty-seven minutes on the clock, the visiting side found themselves in good position to level the scores, but Bennett was unable to divert Wyatt's cross home.

One minute later, the referee was again forced to dip into his pocket, as Craig Eastmond got into an argument and saw yellow as a result.

Four additional minutes were added to end the match, during which time Bennett saw an effort sail over the crossbar, but there was little further action of note and the game ultimately drew to a close with Walsall winning by one-goal-to-nil.

Wilkinson [P] (33')

Scott Oldham
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Banks's Stadium
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