Match Report: Colchester United 2 Walsall 2 Match Report: Colchester United 2 Walsall 2

Match Report: Colchester United 2 Walsall 2

Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' League Two meeting with Colchester United.
Walsall arrived at their penultimate game of the season on the back of a welcome win over Port Vale, a result which saw the Saddlers do the double over their near-rivals - denting their hopes of securing automatic promotion in the process.

With this being both sides' penultimate game of the season, and as both have nothing to play for, fans weren't expecting an instant classic, though enjoyed another opportunity to see their heroes in action.

Colchester United began the game brightly, with Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu seeing a headed effort sail well wide of the mark just five minutes in, before winning a free-kick in a dangerous position three minutes later, with Walsall shot-stopper, Carl Rushworth ensuring the scores remained level with a punch clear.

The home side continued to seek an opening goal, creating their first real chance of the game in the thirteenth minute, as the ball fell kindly for Alan Judge, just outside the area, but his shot goal-wards would not find the target, as a Walsall body blocked the effort.

With twenty-four minutes on the clock, after a rather quiet spell, Colchester found the breakthrough, as Judge crossed the ball into the area from a free-kick, with Freddie Sears ultimately able to get enough of a touch to turn it home after a scramble in the box.

Walsall looked to respond quickly after falling a goal behind, creating their first chance of the game some twenty-five minutes in. Brendan Kiernan driving goal-wards before unleashing an effort, but United shot-stopper, Sam Hornby was alert to the danger and made the save.

The Saddlers continued to enjoy a brighter spell, winning a corner in the twenty-eighth minute, which was played to Tyrese Shade on the edge of the area. The defenders effort on goal was blocked, with the rebound falling to Sam Perry, but Hornby remained alert to the danger and gathered.

The hosts sought to double their advantage in the thirty-sixth minute, with Noah Chilvers seeing an effort blocked, before Judge turned the ball wide from the resulting corner. Moments later, the hosts were presented with another chance to increase their lead, as a cross from Chilvers found Sears, who was also unable to find the target, with his shot at goal trickling wide of the upright.

Walsall were awarded a free-kick in a promising spot in the thirty-ninth minute, as George Miller was fouled by Myles Kenlock, from which, Kiernan levelled the scores, as he collected the ball just outside the box and fired home.

Colchester were forced to make their first change of the afternoon in the forty-third minute, as Myles Kenlock found himself unable to continue, with Cameron Coxe brought on to take his place.

One minute was 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.

Colchester opted to make a second change to their line-up as the teams returned, with Emyr Huws sitting out the second-half, as John Akinde took his place. 
Just three minutes after the re-start, Walsall took the lead. Kiernan doing well to work the ball into the box, where Miller was waiting to turn home his twelfth goal of the season.

The hosts sought to restore parity quickly, with Judge seeing an effort sail wide of the upright in the fifty-third minute, three minutes before the side were awarded a penalty as Sarpong-Wiredu was fouled in the area. Sears stepped up to take the spot-kick, and though Rushworth went the right way, the 'keeper was unable to get enough of a touch to keep the ball out and Colchester drew level.

Walsall had soon worked the ball back up to the other end, where a scramble in the box saw Manny Monthe come away with the ball, but the defenders shot sailed over the crossbar.

The Saddlers opted to make their first change of the afternoon as we reached the hour mark, with Sam Perry making way for Liam Kinsella.

Colchester went close to restoring their earlier lead in the sixty-fifth minute, as Akinde played the ball over the top for Chilvers who drove forwards before firing wide, when he really ought to have scored.

The home side created anther chance to retake the lead five minutes later, as Sears looked to turn provider, crossing the ball into the path of Chilvers, but Rushworth was alert to the danger and made the save. United continued to enjoy a bright spell, with Luke Hannant seeing an effort sail wide in the seventy-second minute.

With eighty minutes on the clock, Walsall chose to make a second change to their line-up, with Emmanuel Osadebe making way for Devante Rodney.

One minute later, Colchester opted to make their third and final substitution of the afternoon, as Alan Judge was asked to make way for former Saddler, Tyreik Wright.

With eighty-three minutes on the clock, Manny Monthe became the first player to see yellow, as he was cautioned for a foul on Sarpong-Wiredu.

Both sides saw chances to grab a late winner as the game continued, with Sears unable to beat Rushworth in the eighty-third minute, before Earing fired over at the other end, three minutes later.

The board went up to indicate that three additional minutes would be played, as Walsall made their third and final change of the game. Brendan Kiernan making way for debutant, Jack Shaw. There was little further action of note though, and the game was brought to it's conclusion with the scores tied at two-goals-apiece.

Sears (24')
Sears [P] (56')
Kiernan (39')
Miller (48')
Dean Whitestone
3,520 (328)
Colchester Community Stadium
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