Match Report: Crawley Town 1 Walsall 0 Match Report: Crawley Town 1 Walsall 0
Match Report: Crawley Town 1 Walsall 0

Match Report: Crawley Town 1 Walsall 0

Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' League Two meeting with Crawley Town.
Walsall arrived at the match in search of their second win in as many games after Jack Earing's goal proved to be enough to secure all three points against Carlisle United on Good Friday.

Walsall began the game brightly, with Sam Perry playing George Miller through on goal just seconds after the match began, but nothing would come of the opportunity as the strikers effort narrowly missed the target.

The Saddlers thought they had taken an early lead, just four minutes into the contest, as Perry and Miller combined again, but a late flag from the linesman ruled the goal out for an infringement of the offside rule.

Crawley Town began to grow into the game as it continued, creating their first chance of the afternoon in the tenth minute, as Will Ferry and Sam Matthews combined to work the ball to Issac Hutchinson, whose effort on goal sailed wide of the near post.

The hosts continued to enjoy a brighter spell, with James Tilley seeing a shot from outside the area blocked in the fourteenth minute.

The game settled into something of a midfield battle as it continued, with both sides enjoying spells on the ball, without troubling their opposition defences, though Ashley Nadesan did see an effort, from outside the area, blocked in the twenty-third minute.

Walsall went close to opening the scoring in the twenty-seventh minute, as Perry fired goal-wards, forcing a save from Crawley shot-stopper, Glenn Morris, with Tom Leak first to the rebound, but the defenders effort sailed over the crossbar.

The game again settled, with little action of note as the pace slowed and the two sides cancelled each other out.

Crawley felt they should have been awarded a penalty in the thirty-fifth minute, as Matthews collected a cross from his captain, Tom Nichols, before going down inside the area, but the referee was unmoved by their appeals and waved play on.

The Saddlers won a corner in the forty-second minute, from which Rollin Menayese played in Manny Monthe, but Morris was alert to the danger and made the save.

A corner at the other end followed, but nothing would come of that opportunity, and the first-half was brought to it's conclusion moments later, with the sides heading off to enjoy their half-time refreshments with the scores unchanged.

The teams returned unchanged following the break, and the action resumed. Crawley began the second-half brightly, with Hutchinson doing well to work the ball to Nichols inside the area, with the Town captain forcing a save from Walsall shot-stopper, Carl Rushworth.

Crawley won a free-kick in a dangerous position in the fiftieth minute, as Emmanuel Osadebe fouled Ferry, but nothing would come of the opportunity as the strike was blocked.

With fifty-five minutes on the clock, the Saddlers looked to have found the breakthrough, as Miller cut the ball back to Perry, but Sam's effort took a deflection on it's way through to goal and ultimately collided with the upright, before being caught by Morris.

That would be the final action of the afternoon for Sam Perry, as the Saddlers opted to make their first change of the afternoon in the fifty-eighth minute, introducing Hayden White in his place.

Three minutes later, the visiting side chose to make a second change to their line-up, with Zak Mills departing in favour of Tyrese Shade.

With sixty-four minutes on the clock, Crawley made their first change of the afternoon, as Sam Matthews made way for Mark Marshall.

Crawley began to up the tempo after the change, with Nichols playing in Nadesan in the sixty-sixth minute, though the effort on goal failed to test Rushworth as it sailed high and wide of the target.

The hosts would have more luck in front of goal just three minutes later though, as they swiftly worked the ball upfield after Joss Labadie saw a tame effort denied, with Nichols playing in Hutchinson who coolly fired a low effort past Rushworth from outside the area.

Walsall looked to respond quickly to falling a goal behind, but after some good work from Brendan Kiernan to play him in, Shade saw an effort from the edge of the box blocked, in the seventieth minute.

With seventy-four minutes played, Walsall made their third and final change of the afternoon, with George Miller making way for Devante Rodney. Crawley also took the opportunity to adjust their line-up, with James Tilley being replaced by Archie Davies for the final fifteen minutes.

Rodney was quick to get involved in the action, collecting the ball from a set-piece in the seventy-seventh minute and firing goal-wards, but his effort was blocked by Jake Hessenthaler, with the resulting corner coming to nothing.

The Saddlers continued to see much of the ball as the game entered the final ten minutes of play, and they looked likely to restore parity in the eighty-fourth minute, but after some great play from Osadebe and Shade, Rodney turned the ball over the crossbar.

Walsall continued to look for a goal late into the game, with Osadebe seeing an effort blocked in the eighty-sixth minute, before Kiernan had an effort saved by Morris two minutes later.

The visitors went on to win a corner as we reached the ninetieth minute, which Osadebe played short to Jack Earing, but the midfielders curling effort failed to find the target, as it cleared the crossbar.

Four additional minutes were added to end the match, but aside from the hosts making their third and final change of the game one minute into stoppage time, Ashley Nadesan making way for Tony Craig, there was little further action of note, and the game was brought to it's conclusion with Crawley Town winning by one-goal-to-nil.

Hutchinson (69')

Peter Wright
2,258 (264)
People's Pension Stadium
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