Match Report: Gillingham 0 Walsall 0 Match Report: Gillingham 0 Walsall 0

Match Report: Gillingham 0 Walsall 0

Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' League Two meeting with Gillingham.
The Saddlers went into the game looking to return to winning ways following their midweek 2-1 defeat to Barrow, a result which was the Reds' first loss of the new campaign, and saw they slip down the table as there isn't much between the sides.

The match got off to a slow start, with both sides enjoying spells on the ball in the early goings, without troubling their opposition defences, until, in the fifth minute, Gillingham's Hakeeb Adelakun fired an effort goal-wards. However, the shot lacked power, allowing Walsall shot-stopper, Owen Evans to make a comfortable save.

Four minutes later, Walsall created their first chance of note, with Liam Kinsella playing in Ronan Maher, who penned his first professional contract on Friday, with the youngster firing an effort goal-wards from outside the box, which, unfortunately for the Saddlers, was blocked.

Walsall created another opportunity to open the scoring in the fourteenth minute, as Andy Williams played the ball to Tom Knowles in space, but the midfielders effort on goal from distance sailed well wide of the target.

The Saddlers continued to enjoy a bright spell, winning a corner in the sixteenth minute, as Gills 'keeper, Glenn Morris turned the ball out of play. The flag-kick was played in to Knowles, whose effort was blocked before Morris gathered.

The game settled into something of a midfield battle as it continued, but twenty-four minutes in, the hosts did win a corner as Manny Monthe turned the ball out of play. Will Wright crossed the ball in towards the back post, but a foul was spotted by the referee so nothing would come of the flag-kick as Walsall came away with the ball.

Wright saw another chance to open the scoring three minutes later, as the ball fell to him on the edge of the area, but his effort on goal was blocked.

Walsall went close again themselves as we reached the half hour mark; the ball falling kindly for Knowles, who fired a shot in on goal from just outside the area, but his effort sailed narrowly wide of the far corner and the scores remained unchanged.

The game settled again after that, but Walsall won a corner in the thirty-eighth minute as Elkan Baggott turned the ball behind, but nothing would come of the flag-kick.

Another Walsall corner followed in the forty-first minute, which the hosts struggled to clear, allowing Monthe to play in Donervon Daniels, whose effort from the edge of the area sailed inches over the crossbar as the Saddlers captain sought to find the top corner.

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 still tied.

HALF-TIME SCORE
GILLINGHAM 0-0 WALSALL

The teams returned unchanged following the break and the action resumed. Within one minute of the re-start, Ronan Maher marked his full debut, with a booking, as he picked up a caution for a foul on Stuart O'Keefe.

Both sides took some time to settle back into the contest, but fifty-three minutes in, Gillingham created the first notable chance of the second-half, with Adelakun pulling the ball back for Ben Reeves, who had space to shoot, but sent his effort sailing high over the crossbar.

The hosts continued to enjoy a good spell, with Ehmer presented with a chance to poke the ball home in the fifty-fifth minute as the ball fell to him at the far corner, but the Walsall shot-stopper was alert to the danger and managed to get a hand to the ball to deny him.

With fifty-eight minutes on the clock, Walsall opted to make their first change of the afternoon, with Ronan Maher making way for Liam Bennett.

Gillingham went close again moments after the change was completed, with Morris and Adelakun combining well, with the latter forcing a save from Evans, who spilled the ball, but managed to gather before Reeves could get a foot to it to turn it home.

The Gills went on to win a trio of corners, as the visitors struggled to deal with the pressure from their hosts, but eventually Evans was able to make a save to ease the pressure and the Saddlers cleared the danger.

Walsall were quick to work the ball up to the other end, where Bennett crossed a delightful ball in towards the far post, with the Gillingham shot-stopper failing to make a clean connection with the ball as he attempted to clear, allowing Hayden White an effort on goal, but he struck the woodwork and Morris was able to gather.

With sixty-six minutes on the clock, Walsall opted to make two further changes to their line-up, with Tom Knowles and Andy Williams making way for Isaac Hutchinson and Timmy Abraham.

The hosts went close to opening the scoring in the sixty-eighth minute, as Stuart O'Keefe managed to take the ball from Brandon Comley thirty yards from goal and raced into the box, but his effort on goal sailed narrowly over the crossbar.

Seventy-three minutes into the contest, Gillingham chose to make their first change of the afternoon, with Hakeeb Adelakun making way for Scott Kashket.

Ten minutes from time, Danny Johnson joined Maher in the referee's notebook.

The game settled again, with neither side creating much to test their opposition defences as time wore on, until the Saddlers won a corner four minutes from time, which Comley delivered into the box for Monthe, whose headed effort sailed narrowly wide of the upright.

Gillingham then opted to make a double change, with Ryan Law and Mika Mandron making way for David Tutonda and Lewis Walker.

Walker looked to be an inspired substitution, as two minutes after his introduction into the game he beat Daniels to connect with a ball over the top, which he poked past the Walsall shot-stopper, but he could only find the post with his effort and Evans was then able to clear.

Moments later, back at the other end, Johnson picked up the ball in a promising position and fired an effort in on goal, but Morris was on hand to prevent the shot from finding the target.

Five additional minutes were added to end the match, and just one minute into those, Donervon Daniels was shown the yellow card for a foul on Kashket.

Lewis Walker saw a headed effort sail wide in the ninety-third minute, and Hayden White joined those already on a caution in the ninety-fourth, as the midfielder was booked for a foul on Jordan Green, but there was little real action of note, and the game was eventually brought to it's conclusion with the sides taking one-point-apiece, as neither were able to break the deadlock

FULL-TIME SCORE
GILLINGHAM 0-0 WALSALL


AT PRIESTFIELD STADIUM
ATTENDANCE 3,917 (333)
REFEREE BOBBY MADLEY
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