Match Report: Newport County 0 Walsall 1 Match Report: Newport County 0 Walsall 1

Match Report: Newport County 0 Walsall 1

Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' League Two meeting with Newport County.
Walsall arrived at the match on the back of their opening day demolition of Hartlepool United and in search of three more points as they looked to continue their promising start to the season.

Walsall got the match underway, and the team saw much of the early ball, though they were unable to create anything to test the Newport County defences.

With just eight minutes on the clock, Scot Bennett became the first player to see yellow, as he picked up a caution following a foul on Taylor Allen. The resulting free-kick was fired goal-wards by Isaac Hutchinson, but his curling effort sailed sailed high and wide.

Newport grew into the game, and twelve minutes in, believed they had opened the scoring as Aaron Wildig headed home, but an infringement of the offside rules meant the goal would not stand.

The home side continued to press, forcing a superb punched clearance from Walsall shot-stopper, Owen Evans, in the thirteenth minute, as Matthew Dolan fired an effort goal-wards from just inside the area.

The referee waved his second yellow card of the game in the sixteenth minute, as Issac Hutchinson was booked for a foul on Omar Bogle.

The game settled a little as it continued, though the hosts continued to see much of the ball, and with twenty-six minutes on the clock, County went close again, as the ball was worked to Sam Bowen on the edge of the area, with the midfielder a little unlucky to see his effort curl wide.

After struggling to create anything of note for much of the game, the Saddlers were presented with a chance to open the scoring in the thirty-first minute, as Liam Kinsella crossed the ball into the area for Andy Williams, however, nothing would come of the opportunity, as the striker failed to connect cleanly, and his effort was blocked.

There was a brief halt to proceedings in the thirty-five minute, allowing Offrande Zanzala to receive treatment for a knock, but the striker was soon back on his feet and play resumed.

Newport were a little unfortunate not to head into the break with a one-goal lead, as a Bowen cross was met by Zanzala, whose headed effort was cleared off the line by Peter Clarke.

That would be the final action of note, and after two additional minutes were played, the sides headed off to enjoy their half-time refreshments with the scores still tied.

HALF-TIME SCORE
NCAFC 0-0 WFC

The teams returned unchanged after the break, and Newport got the action back underway. The second-half got off to a rather slow start, with neither side able to create much to test their opposition defences, until Will Evans fired an effort goal-wards in the fifty-third minute, however, that caused little concern for the Walsall shot-stopper, who watched on as the ball sailed wide.

The hosts continued to press, and went on to win a corner in the fifty-sixth minute, as a cross from Will Evans was turned goal-wards by Bogle, with Clarke forced to turn the effort behind, however, nothing would come of the flag-kick.

Walsall opted to make their first changes of the afternoon in the sixty-first minute, as Danny Johnson and Isaac Hutchinson making way for Timmy Abraham and recent arrival, Tom Knowles.

With sixty-three minutes on the clock, and somewhat against the run of play, Walsall were powered into the lead, as the side won a corner which was played into the box, where a scramble resulted in the ball being turned over the line, by Mickey Demetriou, unfortunately for the County man.

A foul by Donervon Daniels, in the sixty-fifth minute, led to the Walsall captain joining those already named in the referee's notebook, and just two minutes later, Taylor Allen joined him.

With sixty-eight minutes on the clock, Newport chose to make a double change to their line-up, with Sam Bowen and Matthew Dolan making way for Aaron Lewis and James Waite.

The hosts could have levelled the scores moments after the change, as a Demetriou throw was flicked on to Declan Drysdale, but the defenders effort sailed high over the crossbar from close range.

Seventy-two minutes into the contest, Brandon Comley became the fourth Walsall man to see yellow, as he was cautioned for a foul on Bogle.

The hosts continued to press as they looked to get back onto level terms, with Zanzala firing an effort in on goal in the seventy-fifth minute, but his effort was blocked by an alert defender.

Ten minutes from time, Newport chose to make a third change to their line-up, with Aaron Wildig being replaced by Lewis Collins.

Two minutes later, both sides opted to make further substitutions, with Will Evans and Omar Bogle departing in favour of Chanka Zimba and Adam Lewis for the hosts, whilst Walsall replaced Andy Williams with Jack Earing for the closing minutes.

With eighty-four minutes on the clock, Walsall's job was made a little harder, as a second caution was shown to Taylor Allen, following a foul on Aaron Lewis, with the side thus reduced to ten men for the run-in.

Newport set about looking to make their man advantage count during the final few minutes of the game, but despite winning a succession of corners, they were unable to find a way through the Walsall defences, with the best chance falling to Drysdale, whose headed effort from the centre of the box sailed wide.

Six additional minutes were added to end the game, during which time Demetriou saw an effort trickle wide of the mark. That would be the final action of note though, as the Saddlers held on to win the game by one-goal-to-nil. A less impressive display than that which we were treated to last weekend, but a good result nonetheless.

FULL-TIME SCORE
NCAFC 0-1 WFC

DEMETRIOU [OG] (63')
AT RODNEY PARADE
ATTENDANCE 4,188 (857)
REFEREE ALAN YOUNG
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