Match Report: Walsall 0 Tranmere Rovers 1 Match Report: Walsall 0 Tranmere Rovers 1

Match Report: Walsall 0 Tranmere Rovers 1

Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' League Two meeting with Tranmere Rovers.
Winless in their last ten all-competition outings, Michael Flynn's Saddlers went into the game in dire need of a return to winning ways as their pre-season hopes of battling towards the top of the table continue to fade.

Tranmere Rovers began the game brightly, seeing much of the early ball, and winning the first corner of the afternoon in just the sixth minute, as Tom Knowles turned the ball behind. However, the Walsall defences stood firm and ensured nothing would come of the flag-kick.

Walsall won a corner kick at the other end in the tenth minute, Josh Dacres-Cogley put the ball out of play, but nothing would come of that either. The Saddlers continued to press though, with Danny Johnson seeing an effort from outside the box saved in the eleventh minute.

The hosts continued to enjoy a brighter spell, winning a free-kick in a dangerous position in the thirteenth minute, which Knowles crossed into the area, aimed towards Donervon Daniels, but Rovers captain, Kane Hemmings was able to clear the danger.

There was a brief halt to proceedings in the fifteenth minute, allowing Jack Earing to receive treatment. Fortunately, it was soon determined he would be fine to continue and play resumed.

The game settled into something of a midfield battle as it continued, with both sides enjoying spells on the ball, without creating much to trouble their opposition defences.

Tranmere were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous spot in the twenty-fifth minute, which Rhys Hughes looked to swing into the box, but Peter Clarke was well positioned to head clear.

With twenty-nine minutes on the clock, Reece McAlear became the first player to see yellow, as he was cautioned for fouling Knowles.

Four minutes later, a cross from Taylor Allen, into the box, found Danny Johnson, who got a shot away, but fired over the crossbar.

The Saddlers continued to press, with Allen crossing the ball to Knowles in the thirty-sixth minute, but the effort on goal, from outside the area, sailed narrowly wide of the upright.

In the thirty-eighth minute, Kane Hemmings became the second player to receive a caution, with the yellow card brandished for a foul on Clarke.

The game settled again as it continued, and after two additional minutes were played to end the first-half, the teams headed off to enjoy their half-time refreshments with the scores still tied.


Tranmere opted to make a change as the sides returned, with Rhys Hughes sitting out the second-half, as former Saddler, Kieron Morris took his place.

Walsall were awarded a free-kick just four minutes into the half, which was played into the box for Johnson, whose headed effort sailed wide.

The visiting side had soon worked the ball up to the other end, where Chris Merrie looked to play in Dacres-Cogley, whose effort on goal was well saved by Walsall shot-stopper, Owen Evans.

There was another brief pause in proceedings in the fifty-second minute, allowing Earing to receive further treatment, but it was soon determined that Jack would be unable to continue, and Liam Gordon was brought on in his place.

The visiting side went close in the fifty-eighth minute, as Merrie fired an effort goal-wards from outside the area, but Evans was alert to the danger and made the save.

Tranmere then took the opportunity to make their first change of the afternoon, as Paul Lewis made way for Elliott Nevitt.

In the sixty-first minute, Jacob Maddox saw yellow, as a foul on Merrie drew a caution.

There was a short pause in proceedings in the sixty-second minute, whilst Dymel Simeu received treatment for a head injury. He was soon able to rejoin the action though as play resumed.

With sixty-six minutes on the clock, Walsall opted to make their second change of the afternoon, with Andy Williams making way for Brandon Comley.

Walsall enjoyed their best chance of the game in the seventy-second minute, as they won a corner, which Knowles swung into the area, with Allen seeing header denied at the last second by Tranmere 'keeper, Ross Doohan.

Five minutes later, at the other end, an effort from Hemmings from the edge of the area, saw Evans forced to parry clear.

Evans was called into action again in the eighty-third minute, as Ethan Bristow played in Jordan Turnbull. The 'keeper doing well to get a hand to his headed effort to turn it behind. The resulting corner lead to a second flag-kick, but nothing would come of that, and the Saddlers came away with the ball.

Knowles found himself in shooting range up at the other end two minutes from time, but his effort from outside the box sailed wide of the mark.

That would be Tom Knowles final involvement in the game, as he was then replaced by Douglas James-Taylor for the run-in.

Five additional minutes were added to end the match, during which time Maddox saw an effort from just inside the area sail wide of the upright. Tranmere also saw a late effort miss the target, as McAlear looked to secure a late goal for his side in the final of the added minutes.

However, Nevitt had more luck moments later, as the ball was crossed onto his head and he nodded home to secure all three points for the travelling side, seconds before the full-time whistle sounded.


NEVITT (90+6')
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