Match Report: Barrow 2 Walsall 1 Match Report: Barrow 2 Walsall 1

Match Report: Barrow 2 Walsall 1

Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' League Two meeting with Barrow.
The Saddlers arrived at the match on the back of last weekend's one-all draw with Stevenage - where Danny Rose's late leveller broke Walsall hearts - and in search of a return to winning ways.

The match got off to a rather slow start, with both sides taking some time to settle into the contest. However, Barrow began to show signs of promise as things settled, with Josh Kay creating the first chance of the evening in the seventh minute, though his effort came to nothing as it cleared crossbar.

Barrow continued to press, and won the first corner of the evening in the eighth minute, as Robbie Gotts and Ben Whitfield combined well, with Manny Monthe on hand to turn the ball behind. Patrick Brough crossed the ball into the area from the flag-kick, and Tyrell Warren headed home to put his side ahead.

Just three minutes later, Barrow doubled their advantage, winning another corner, which Whitfield crossed into the box for Sam McClelland to head home.

Barrow felt they should have been awarded a penalty in the fifteenth minute, as Kay was grounded inside the area, but the referee was unmoved by their appeals and waved play on.

Walsall gradually grew into the game, and eighteen minutes in, created their first chance, as Timmy Abraham played in Isaac Hutchinson, whose effort from outside the area sailed narrowly wide of the upright.

The hosts soon had the ball back at the other end, where they won a free-kick in a dangerous spot, but fortunately, Walsall shot-stopper, Owen Evans was alert to the danger from the set-piece and was able to prevent Whitfield's curling effort finding the target.

With twenty-four minutes on the clock, the Saddlers were presented with an opportunity to pull a goal back, as Hutchinson played in Abraham, but the strikers effort from twenty-five yards out was blocked behind for a corner. The flag-kick being played to Hutchinson on the edge of the box, but his shot sailed wide.

The game settled into something of a midfield battle as it continued, with both sides enjoying spells on the ball.

Walsall went close again in the thirty-fourth minute, as Hutchinson continued to cause problems for the Barrow defences, this time picking out Danny Johnson with a delightful pass, but the strikers powerful effort from outside the area sailed over the crossbar.

Moments later, with the ball back at the other end, Barrow were a little unlucky not to add to their tally, as a delightful cross from Whitfield picked out the head of former Saddler, Josh Gordon, but Evans made the save.

Whitfield called Evans into play again in the thirty-eighth minute, as the forward fired a low effort goal-wards from twenty-five yards out, but the man between the sticks remained alert to the danger and did well to get behind the ball to punch it clear.

Forty-one minutes into the contest, Walsall manager, Michael Flynn decided it was time to make some changes, with Donervon Daniels and Isaac Hutchinson departing as Tom Knowles and Ronan Maher took their places.

One minute later, Manny Monthe became the first player to see yellow, as he was cautioned by the referee for a foul on Whitfield.

Two additional minutes were added to end the first-half, but neither side were able to create anything further of note, and they headed off to enjoy their half-time refreshments with Barrow leading by two-goals-to-nil.

HALF-TIME SCORE
BARROW 2-0 WALSALL

The teams returned unchanged after the break, and mere seconds after the re-start, Walsall pulled a goal back, as Knowles crossed the ball into the area, where Johnson was waiting to bundle home at the far post.

Things settled after the goal, with very little action of note, as both sides enjoyed spells on the ball without troubling their opposition defences.

Ten minutes into the half, Barrow did find a way through, with Gordon forcing Evans into a low save from close range. The resulting corner coming to nothing.

There was a brief pause in proceedings as we reached the hour mark. An injury to Hayden White forcing the stoppage in play, and it was soon determined that the midfielder would be unable to play any further part in the game, so Taylor Allen was brought on in his place.

With sixty-two minutes on the clock, Ronan Maher became the second player to see yellow, as he was carded for a foul on McClelland.

The Walsall defences remained alert as Barrow launched an attack in the sixty-third minute, with Brough's effort on goal being cleared off the line, before the resulting corner was also ably dealt with.

Barrow opted to make their first change of the evening in the sixty-ninth minute, with Ben Whitfield departing in favour of Billy Waters.

There was little action of note as the game settled again. Both sides enjoying spells in possession, though neither were able to make their time on the ball count.

A fourth Walsall change was made in the seventy-ninth minute, with Liam Bennett making way for Andy Williams.

Barrow almost extended their lead in the eighty-third minute, but after a wonderful run from Kay, Waters could only fire wide. The hosts continued to press, with Gordon winning a corner for his side one minute later, which in turn lead to another as a Harrison Neal volley was blocked behind by Monthe. The second flag-kick came to nothing.

With eighty-six minutes on the clock, Barrow chose to make their second change of the evening, with Josh Kay making way for Jordan Stevens.

Five additional minutes were added to end the game, and four minutes in, Josh Gordon received a caution for time wasting. There was little action of note though, and the game was eventually concluded with Barrow winning by two-goals-to-one, as Walsall tasted their first defeat of the season.

FULL-TIME SCORE
BARROW 2-1 WALSALL
WARREN (9')
McCLELLAND (12')
JOHNSON (46')

AT HOLKER STREET
ATTENDANCE 3,435 (268)
REFEREE ANDY HAINES
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