Match Report: Walsall 2 Carlisle United 1 Match Report: Walsall 2 Carlisle United 1
Posted by: Bescot Banter

Match Report: Walsall 2 Carlisle United 1

Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' Emirates FA Cup - Second Round clash with Carlisle United.
After winning their last five home league games, confidence was high as Walsall welcomed Carlisle United to WS1 as the two sides battled it out for a coveted place in the Third Round of the world's oldest domestic cup competition.

Looking to build upon last weekend's comeback win over Crawley Town, Michael Flynn's side were hoping to continue their fine spell of form and make it through to the Third Round for the first time since 2018/19.

Carlisle started the game brightly, with Jack Armer calling Walsall shot-stopper, Owen Evans, into action just four minutes into the contest, with the 'keeper able to parry the cross away, with nobody able to follow-up and further test the Saddlers defences.

Walsall won the first corner of the match in the sixth minute, as Jon Mellish turned the ball out of play. The flag-kick was played short, but Tom Knowles effort on goal from the edge of the area was blocked.

The Saddlers continued to press, winning another corner in the twelfth minute as Jack Ellis was forced to head the ball out of play, but nothing would come of the flag-kick as the Carlisle defences dealt with the danger.

The game settled a little as it continued, but seventeen minutes in, Walsall won another corner, as Ellis again put the ball out of play. The ball in looked good, but United shot-stopper, Tomáš Holý was able to gather.

The visiting side worked the ball quickly up to the other end, where Owen Moxon saw an effort from the centre of the box blocked in the nineteenth minute, before Gibson also saw an effort denied by the Walsall defences.

Back at the other end, moments later, Knowles saw a shot from outside the area blocked, before the visiting side were once again able to work the ball upfield, with Ellis seeing a headed effort from close range denied by Evans.

The visiting side continued to enjoy a brighter spell, with Gibson doing well to beat the Walsall defences and deliver a ball into the area for Kristian Dennis, whose effort from just inside the area was well saved by the man between the sticks, with the resulting corner coming to nothing.

With twenty-nine minutes on the clock, Carlisle found the breakthrough, as Jon Mellish and Armer combined to set up Ryan Edmondson, who controlled the ball well and fired home to give his side the advantage.

The Saddlers looked to restore parity quickly, with Danny Johnson a little unlucky to see a thirty-third minute close range effort blocked, before Donervon Daniels saw a shot cleared off the line by Holý.

The hosts continued to press, winning a free-kick in a dangerous position ten minutes before the break, but Isaac Hutchinson's headed effort sailed wide of the mark.

Up at the other end, two minutes later, Gibson won a corner for his side as his cross was turned behind, but nothing would come of the flag-kick.

Carlisle thought they should have been awarded a penalty in the thirty-eighth minute, as Dennis went down inside the area, but the referee was unmoved by their appeals and waved play on.

With forty minutes played, Jon Mellish became the first player to see his name taken by the referee, as was shown the yellow card for a foul on Knowles.

Two additional minutes were added to end the first-half, during which time, United won a corner, as Liam Kinsella turned the ball behind, but nothing would come of the flag-kick, as Moxon's ball in was headed clear. That would be the final action of note and the sides headed off to enjoy their half-time refreshments with Carlisle leading by one-goal-to-nil.


Walsall opted to make two changes as the teams returned, with Brandon Comley and Jacob Maddox sitting out the second-half, as Taylor Allen and Jack Earing took their places.

The second-half began quietly, with both sides enjoying spells on the ball without creating much to test their opposition defences, but eight minutes after the re-start, Taylor Charters worked the ball to Dennis on the edge of the area, but the Walsall defences were alert to the danger and cleared the danger before he could get a shot away.

The Saddlers were quick to work the ball up to the other end, where Allen forced a save from Holý from close range.

With fifty-nine minutes on the clock, Walsall opted to make a third change, with Tom Knowles making way for Douglas James-Taylor.

Carlisle chose to make their first change of the afternoon four minutes later, as Kristian Dennis was replaced by Jack Stretton.

The game settled again as it continued, with little action of note, though sixty-nine minutes in, Walsall felt they should have been awarded a penalty as Liam Gordon appeared to have been brought down inside the area by the Carlisle 'keeper, but the referee didn't agree and play continued.

The Saddlers were a little unlucky not to level the scores in the seventy-first minute, as Manny Monthe crossed the ball in from the left, with his teammates unable to get a touch on the ball to turn it home.

With seventy-two minutes on the clock, Walsall opted to make their fourth change of the afternoon, with Liam Gordon making way for Andy Williams.

The Saddlers went close moments after the change was completed, but Hutchinson's effort from the right of the box sailed wide of the upright.

With seventy-six minutes played, United chose to make their second change of the game, with Jordan Gibson making way for Jayden Harris. The Saddlers also took the opportunity to introduce their fifth and final substitute of the day, as Liam Kinsella made way for Danny Cashman.

It became apparent, in the eighty-second minute, that Corey Whelan would be unable to continue as he struggled to shake off a knock picked up during a collision with his goalkeeper four minutes earlier. He was replaced by Ben Barclay, and United manager, Paul Simpson, also took the opportunity to replace goalscorer, Ryan Edmondson with Tobi Sho-Silva.

Walsall looked to secure a late equaliser as the game continued, winning a corner in the eighty-sixth minute as Moxon was forced to turn the ball out of play, but nothing would come of the flag-kick as Holý gathered.

Unperturbed, the Saddlers continued to seek a late leveller, and were rewarded in the eighty-eighth minute, as Holý failed to deal with a long ball over the top, allowing Williams to fire home from close range.

Jack Armer became the second player to see yellow, as he was cautioned for a foul on Earing in the ninetieth minute.

Six additional minutes were added to end the match, during which time Cashman saw an effort from outside the area sail over the crossbar, before his side won a corner, following which Hutchinson saw a shot from range blocked.

Three minutes into those added, Walsall found the breakthrough, as Hutchinson played in James-Taylor who coolly slipped the ball past Holý to put his side ahead for the first time in the game. That would be the final action of note, and the Saddlers advanced into the Third Round of the FA Cup, winning by two-goals-to-one.


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