Match Report: Cheltenham Town 2 Walsall 1 Match Report: Cheltenham Town 2 Walsall 1

Match Report: Cheltenham Town 2 Walsall 1

Here is our Match Report from Tuesday's Papa John's Trophy clash between the Saddlers and Cheltenham Town.
Walsall opened their Southern Group C campaign with a narrow 1-0 defeat to West Ham United Under-21s, a result which is just one of an increasing number of disappointments over recent weeks.

Cheltenham Town created the first chance of the game, four minutes into the contest, as Dan N'Lundulu fired an effort goal-wards from a tight angle, but Walsall shot-stopper, Owen Evans was alert to the danger and made the save.

Walsall felt they should have been awarded a penalty seven minutes in, as Jack Earing appeared to be felled inside the area by Town 'keeper, Shaun MacDonald, but the referee was unmoved by their appeals and waved play on.

With just nine minutes on the clock, Taylor Perry became the first player to see yellow, as he was cautioned for a foul on Earing.

The Saddlers enjoyed a brighter spell as the match continued, with Tom Knowles seeing a shot on goal from outside the area blocked in the eleventh minute, but it was the hosts who almost opened the scoring three minutes later, as Ryan Broom combined with Alfie May to create a chance, but the latter's effort on goal was denied by Evans.

Walsall won a corner in the twenty-second minute, which Knowles crossed into the box from Andy Williams, but the strikers effort sailed wide of the post.

The Saddlers continued to press, and were presented with another chance to open the scoring in the twenty-seventh minute, as Danny Cashman crossed the ball into the area, onto the head of Knowles, who nodded narrowly over the crossbar.

As we reached the half hour mark, Cheltenham found themselves in shooting range, as Liam Sercombe worked the ball into the area for N'Lundulu, whose effort on goal was blocked behind for a corner, which came to nothing as Perry fired over.

The home side continued to press, with Broom firing wide in the thirty-first minute, moments before Sercombe saw an effort on goal blocked by Peter Clarke, with the resulting corner coming to nothing.

With thirty-eight minutes on the clock, Cheltenham found the breakthrough, as Ryan Jackson crossed the ball into the area for N'Lundulu, who fired home from the centre of the box.

The Saddlers looked to respond quickly to falling behind, but Earing's forty-first minute effort, following a corner, sailed wide, and two minutes later, Williams saw a shot blocked.

Cheltenham doubled their advantage in the forty-third minute, as the Robins won a corner, which caused a scramble in the box, with the ball eventually falling to Sercombe who fired past Evans with the help of a deflection.

The Saddlers again felt they should have been awarded a penalty in the forty-fourth minute, as Earing was brought down inside the area, but once again, the referee did not agree and play continued.

One additional 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 Cheltenham winning by two-goals-to-nil.

HALF-TIME SCORE
CTFC 2-0 WALSALL

Cheltenham opted to make a change to their line-up before play resumed, with Sean Long sitting out the second-half, as Caleb Taylor took his place.
Just one minute after the match restarted, both Dan N'Lundulu and Hayden White were shown the yellow card, as the two were cautioned after getting involved in an argument.

Both sides took time to settle back into the game, but fifty-two minutes in, the Saddlers went close to pulling a goal back, as Liam Kinsella saw an effort on goal blocked, before Isaac Hutchinson's shot was also blocked.

The visitors continued to press, with Cashman also seeing an effort from outside the box blocked moments later before Earing fired over.

Two minutes later, Donervon Daniels looked to have set Cashman up, with a cross into the area, but the strikers effort on goal sailed narrowly over the crossbar.

The hosts had soon worked the ball up to the other end, where Broom looked to play in Ferry, whose right-footed effort from just outside the box sailed high over the woodwork.

As we reached the hour mark, the Robins opted to make a second change to their line-up, with Dan N'Lundulu making way for Christian Norton.

There was a brief halt to proceedings in the sixty-fifth minute, after a collision between Daniels and Charlie Raglan left both men requiring attention. It was soon determined that Raglan would be unable to continue, and Tom Bradbury was brought on in his place.

Walsall also took the opportunity to make a change to their line-up, with Danny Cashman making way for Liam Gordon. It was eventually decided that Donervon Daniels would also be unable to continue, and Taylor Allen was brought on in his place.

The game settled into something of a midfield battle as it continued, but Cheltenham almost put it to bed in the seventy-sixth minute, but Perry's effort sailed over the crossbar, moments before May saw an effort saved by Evans.

With seventy-eight minutes on the clock, Walsall opted to use all three of their remaining substitutions, with Hayden White being replaced by Manny Monthe due to injury, whilst Andy Williams and Isaac Hutchinson also departed early, as Danny Johnson and  Douglas James-Taylor took their places.

There was a brief pause in play ten minutes from time, whilst Knowles received treatment for a knock, but he was soon back on his feet and able to re-join the action.

With eighty-five minutes on the clock, Cheltenham opted to make their fourth change of the evening, with Taylor Perry making way for Ellis Chapman.

Walsall pulled a goal back in the eighty-sixth minute, as Earing crossed the ball into the box for Johnson, who fired home to put his side within one goal of their hosts.

Alfie May joined those already playing on a caution in the eighty-ninth minute, as he was shown the yellow card following a foul on Knowles.

Seven additional minutes were added to end the match, during which time, James-Taylor headed wide from close range, and Johnson saw a headed effort blocked, but the Walsall pressure would come to nothing as the game was brought to it's conclusion with Cheltenham winning by two-goals-to-nil, as Walsall's struggle continued.

FULL-TIME SCORE
CTFC 2-1 WALSALL
N'LUNDULU (38')
SERCOMBE (43')
JOHNSON (86')

AT WHADDON ROAD
ATTENDANCE 1,275 (158)
REFEREE TOM REEVES
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