Match Report: Walsall 2 Oldham Athletic 1 Match Report: Walsall 2 Oldham Athletic 1
By: Bescot Banter         

Match Report: Walsall 2 Oldham Athletic 1

Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' League Two meeting with Oldham Athletic.
Arriving at the match on back of a welcome win over title-chasing Sutton United, the Saddlers were looking to make it five games unbeaten as they welcomed Oldham Athletic to the Banks's.

Walsall began the game brightly, and went close to opening the scoring just six minutes into the contest, as Conor Wilkinson played captain, Joss Labadie through on goal, but Oldham Athletic goalkeeper, Danny Rogers was alert to the danger and managed to make the save at the second time of asking.

The Saddlers continued to press, with Emmanuel Osadebe playing George Miller in in the seventh minute, but after controlling well, the striker fired narrowly wide of the far post.

The game settled a little as it continued, with both sides enjoying spells on the ball, but it was Walsall who again went close in the fourteenth minute, as Hayden White won the ball and laid it off to Osadebe, who was unable to keep his effort down, firing high over the crossbar.

However, after all the promising play from the Saddlers, it was Oldham who opened the scoring, as Hallam Hope forced a corner, which was swung into the box by Nicky Adams and met by Will Sutton, who headed home from close range.

A Walsall corner followed just two minutes later, as Sam Hart turned the ball out of play, but the hosts were unable to replicate the Latics endeavours at the other end, and the flag-kick came to nothing.

Twenty-seven minutes into the contest, Oldham looked set to double their advantage, as Davis Keillor-Dunn picked up the ball just inside the Walsall half and looked to create something spectacular, but his effort sailed inches over the crossbar.

Walsall levelled the scores in the thirty-second minute, as Osadebe secured his fourth goal of the season, cutting inside before firing past Rogers from the edge of the area.

Christopher Missilou almost reinstated his sides earlier lead in the thirty-eighth minute, after creating space to shoot from the edge of the box, but his effort ultimately missed the target as it cleared the crossbar.

The Saddlers really ought to have taken the lead, forty-one minutes in, as Osadebe deliver the ball onto the head of Labadie, who was waiting inside the area, but the captain was unable to find the back of the net, with the ball sailing narrowly wide of the far post.

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 the scores tied at one-goal-apiece.

The teams returned unchanged after the break, and Walsall got the action back underway. The hosts began the second-half brightly, with Osadebe forcing the Oldham shot-stopper into action, just three minutes in, as he looked to turn a corner home at the far post.

Unperturbed, the Saddlers continued to press, with Labadie playing in Wilkinson moments later, but the strikers effort from outside the area sailed wide, shortly before Miller took the ball from Sutton and fired an effort narrowly wide of Rogers' upright.

With fifty-three minutes on the clock, the Latics opted to make their first change of the evening, with Harry Vaughan making way for Dylan Bahamboula.

Six minutes later, the Saddlers followed suit, as they replaced George Miller with Devante Rodney for the final thirty minutes of the contest.

With sixty-one minutes on the clock, Joss Labadie saw his name taken by the referee, as he picked up his thirteenth booking of the season following a foul on Keillor-Dunn.

Rodney almost made his mark, just two minutes after his introduction into the game, as he picked out Wilkinson with a lovely cross, but the striker was unable to beat the Oldham defences with his effort on goal.

The visiting side had soon worked the ball up to the other end, where Missilou was a touch unlucky not to beat Rushworth, as the shot-stopper got down well to turn the midfielders low effort round the post, with the resulting corner coming to nothing as an Alex Hunt shot was blocked.

There was a brief halt to proceedings in the sixty-ninth minute, allowing both Donervon Daniels and Labadie to receive treatment. Daniels was soon back on his feet, but it was determined that the skipper would be unable to continue, and he was replaced by Brendan Kiernan.

Seventeen minutes from time, the Saddlers found themselves ahead for the first time in the contest, as Osadebe worked the ball to Wilkinson, who did well to flick it past Rogers in the Oldham goal.

With seventy-five minutes on the clock, Carl Piergianni joined those listed in the referee's notebook, as he was cautioned for a foul on Rodney.

In the seventy-eighth minute, Oldham opted to make their second change of the evening, as Hallam Hope was replaced by Jamie Hopcutt.

Ten minutes from time, the Saddlers were unlucky not to extend their lead, as Jack Earing played Wilkinson in, but a well-placed Sutton blocked the strikers effort.

Four minutes after the previous outing of the yellow card, the referee again reached into his pocket, this time to book Will Sutton following a foul on Rodney.

Walsall continued to seek a third goal as time ebbed away, with Kiernan almost finding the target after beating his man in the eighty-fourth minute, however, Rogers was alert to the danger and turned the ball behind, with the resulting corner coming to nothing.

In the eighty-sixth minute, the Latics chose to make their third and final change of the game, as Alex Hunt made way for Callum Whelan.

The Saddlers final change of the game was made just three minutes later, as Jack Earing was replaced by Sam Perry.

Conor Wilkinson saw his name taken in the eighty-ninth minute, as he was cautioned for arguing, moments before the board went up to indicate that six additional minutes would be played to end the match.

Carl Rushworth joined him there, three minutes into the additional six, as he was cautioned for time-wasting.

Despite the lengthy spell of time added, there was little further action of note, and the game was eventually brought to it's conclusion with Walsall holding onto their advantage, to win the game by two-goals-to-nil.

Osadebe (32')
Wilkinson (73')
Sutton (21')

Ollie Yates
4,339 (566)
Banks's Stadium
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