Match Report: Walsall 3 Harrogate Town 1 Match Report: Walsall 3 Harrogate Town 1
Posted by: Bescot Banter

Match Report: Walsall 3 Harrogate Town 1

Here's our Match Report from the Saddlers' League Two meeting with Harrogate Town.
Michael Flynn's Saddlers were back in action on Tuesday evening as they welcomed Harrogate Town to WS1 for their latest Sky Bet League Two outing of the season.

Looking to build upon their recent one-all draw with Sutton United, Walsall were being watched by members of the Trivela Group as they and other club officials continued to thrash out plans for the upcoming winter Transfer Window.

After getting the match underway, Walsall felt they should have been awarded a penalty just two minutes into the contest, as Danny Johnson went down under pressure inside the area, but the referee was unmoved by their appeals and waved play on.

The Saddlers continued to see plenty of the ball as the game continued, and almost took the lead in the seventh minute, as Johnson crossed the ball to Tom Knowles, whose effort from outside the box sailed narrowly wide of the target.

Harrogate began to grow into the game as time wore on, and created their first real opportunity of the evening in the eleventh minute, as a Kayne Ramsey cross was deflected behind by Liam Gordon, but nothing would come of the flag-kick.

The hosts had soon worked the ball back to the other end, where Liam Bennett forced a GOOD save from Town 'keeper, Peter Jameson.

Walsall were awarded a penalty, thirteen minutes in, as Liam Kinsella was fouled inside the area by Rory McArdle. Johnson stepped forth to take the spot-kick and emphatically fired the ball into the top corner to put his side ahead.

Just four minutes later, Walsall doubled their advantage, as Gordon connected with a Isaac Hutchinson cross and fired the ball into the roof of the net.

The game settled a little as it continued, but twenty-five minutes in, Walsall should have added to their tally, as Bennett headed the ball on for Knowles, who in turn crossed the ball to Johnson, whose right-footed effort from the centre of the box forced a fantastic save from Jameson.

Harrogate attempted to reduce their deficit moments later, as Alex Pattison attempted to find the target from distance, but his effort was blocked by a well-placed body and the Saddlers remained two goals ahead.

As we reached the half-hour mark, Rory McArdle became the first player to receive a caution, as he was shown a yellow card for a foul on Knowles.

Walsall all but put the game to bed in the thirty-fourth minute, as Jacob Maddox crossed the ball into the area, for Hutchinson who was waiting to turn the ball home at the back post.

With thirty-eight minutes on the clock, Jaheim Headley became the second player to be shown the yellow card, as he was cautioned for a foul on Johnson.

Two minutes were added to end the first-half, during which time, Walsall saw an effort collide with the crossbar, as Manny Monthe narrowly missed the target with a headed effort following a corner kick.

That would be the final action of note, and the sides headed off to enjoy their half-time refreshments with Walsall leading by three-goals-to-nil.


Harrogate opted to make a change to their line-up as the teams returned, with Miles Welch-Hayes sitting out the second-half as Josh Coley took his place. The visiting side began the half brightly, with the recently introduced man sending an effort in from outside the area, just one minute after the re-start, though his left-footed effort failed to trouble Walsall shot-stopper, Owen Evans, who gathered with ease.

Five minutes into the half, Walsall went close to securing a fourth goal, as Bennett lined up an effort from the edge of the box, but the ball would not find the target as it sailed narrowly over the crossbar, moments after Hutchinson had seen a shot blocked.

The Saddlers continued to seek further goals, with Gordon firing an effort goal-wards in the fifty-fifth minute, but the Town 'keeper was alert to the danger and got down well to make the save.

Walsall should probably have further extended their lead in the sixty-third minute, as Knowles beat his marker and crossed the ball in for Hayden White, who was unlucky to see his effort blocked on the line.

With sixty-six minutes on the clock, Harrogate made their second change of the evening, as Daniel Grant was replaced by Sam Folarin.

In the seventy-first minute, Walsall chose to make a double change to their line-up, with Liam Gordon and Danny Johnson making way for Taylor Allen and Andy Williams.

Allen looked to make his mark on the game moments after his introduction, with an effort aimed at the top corner, which whistled inches wide.

With seventy-eight minutes on the clock, Walsall chose to make two further changes to their side, with Tom Knowles and Jacob Maddox making way for Douglas James-Taylor and Danny Cashman. Harrogate also took the opportunity to make a substitution, with Jaheim Headley being replaced by Lewis Richards for the run in.

Eighty-three minutes into the contest, Harrogate pulled a goal back, as Folarin crossed a low ball in for Matty Daly, who turned it home from close range.

Walsall almost restored their three goal lead just one minute later, as Cashman and James-Taylor combined at the other end, but the latter's effort was blocked by a well placed Town body.

Harrogate won a corner four minutes from time, which was played into the area for Luke Armstrong, but the strikers headed effort sailed wide.

Lewis Richards became the third player to see yellow, as he was cautioned for a foul on Cashman in the eighty-eighth minute.

Six additional minutes were added to end the match. Four minutes into those added, Walsall chose to make their fifth and final change of the game, as Donervon Daniels made way for Peter Clarke, but there was little further action of note and the game ended with Walsall winning by three-goals-to-one.

JOHNSON [P] (14')
GORDON (18')
DALY (83')

ATTENDANCE 4,347 (62)
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