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

Match Report: Tranmere Rovers 1 Walsall 1

Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' League Two meeting with Tranmere Rovers.
Walsall returned to league action on Saturday afternoon as they made the trip to the Wirral where they took on Tranmere Rovers with the Saddlers looking to both build upon their FA Cup victory over Stockport County and rebound from a league defeat to Mansfield Town.

Tranmere got the match underway, but it was Walsall who started brighter, winning the first corner of the match just three minutes in, as Tom Davies was forced to turn the ball behind, but nothing would come of the early flag-kick as Isaac Hutchinson's cross found Tom Knowles, whose headed effort from the centre of the box was blocked by Josh Dacres-Cogley.

The game settled as it continued, but twelve minutes in, former Saddler, Kieron Morris created the first real chance of the afternoon, as he picked up the ball in space and fired goal-wards from twenty-five yards out, but the shot failed to test Walsall shot-stopper, Owen Evans as it sailed wide of the upright.

The hosts continued to press, winning their first corner of the afternoon fifteen minutes into the contest, as Manny Monthe was forced to turn the ball behind, but the Saddlers defences did well to clear the dangerous ball in from Ethan Bristow.

Rovers went on to win a free-kick in the eighteenth minute, as Joel Mumbongo was fouled by Monthe. The cross in from Josh Hawkes was good, but Davies was unable to find the target with a headed effort.

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

With twenty-seven minutes on the clock, Tranmere won another corner kick, as Monthe again put the ball out of play, but the Walsall defences were again able to clear the danger.

The hosts continued to push forwards, with Hawkes seeing an effort from outside the area blocked in the thirty-second minute.

Again the game settled, with neither side creating anything of note, until Jacob Maddox conceded a corner in the forty-first minute, however, nothing would come of the flag-kick, as Davies saw an effort blocked by Evans, before the match was temporarily paused as a clash of heads left Mumbongo requiring treatment.

It was soon determined that Joel Mumbongo would be unable to continue, and as the board went up to confirm that three additional minutes would be played, Jake Burton was introduced in his place.

There was little further action of note, though Hayden White did concede a late corner as he turned a Bristow cross out of play, but nothing would come of the flag-kick and the sides headed off to enjoy their half-time refreshments with the scores still tied.


Walsall opted to make a double change as the sides returned, with Tom Knowles and Isaac Hutchinson sitting out the second-half, as Robbie Willmott and Andy Williams took their places, as the side got the second forty-five underway.

The Saddlers began brightly, winning a corner just five minutes into the half, as Chris Merrie put the ball behind. The two recently introduced men combined well, with Willmott crossing the ball in for Williams, whose effort on goal was deflected behind by Mateusz Hewelt, for a second corner, which Willmott swung into the area, for White, whose effort from the centre of the area sailed wide.

Tranmere won a free-kick in a dangerous position ten minutes into the half. Morris' strike was well blocked by the Walsall wall, with the ball falling kindly for Bristow, but the defenders effort on goal was gathered by Evans.

With fifty-seven minutes on the clock, Jordan Turnbull became the first player to see yellow, as he was cautioned for arguing.

There was a brief pause in proceedings in the fifty-ninth minute, whilst Liam Kinsella received treatment, but he was soon back on his feet and able to re-join the action.

The game settled back into something of a midfield battle as it continued, with neither creating anything to test their oppositions defences, until Brandon Comley won a free-kick for his side in the sixty-ninth minute, which Willmott crossed into the box for Monthe, whose headed effort sailed narrowly wide of the upright.

Tranmere were quick to work the ball up to the other end, where Dacres-Cogley crossed the ball into the area for Hawkes, whose right-footed effort sailed wide of the post.

A foul by Manny Monthe in the seventy-first minute saw the defender become the second player to be shown the yellow card.

Walsall took the lead just one minute after the booking, as Danny Johnson latched onto a cross and chipped the ball over Rovers 'keeper, Mateusz Hewelt.

The hosts almost restored parity fifteen minutes from time, as the side won a corner, which was swung into the area by Bristow, for Turnbull, but fortunately for the Saddlers, his close range effort sailed inches over the crossbar.

Manny Monthe received his marching orders in the seventy-sixth minute, as he drew a second yellow card for a foul on Kane Hemmings.

With seventy-eight minutes on the clock, parity was restored, as the free-kick conceded by Monthe was turned home by Hawkes.

Walsall responded by making their third change of the afternoon, as Danny Johnson was replaced by debutant, Joe Low.

In the eighty-fourth minute, Kieron Morris' name was added to the referees notebook, as he picked up a caution for a foul on Liam Gordon.

Tranmere went close to securing a second goal in the eighty-fifth minute, as a deflected ball was picked up by Hawkes, but the Saddlers shot-stopper was alert to the danger and made the save to keep the scores level.

Two minutes from time, Walsall opted to make their fourth change of the afternoon, as Jacob Maddox was replaced by Conor Wilkinson.

One minute later, Hayden White joined those to have seen their names taken by the referee, as he was cautioned for wasting time.

Six additional minutes were added to end the game, during which time, Turnbull fired a powerful effort wide of the upright following a corner kick. There was little further action of note though, and the match was brought to it's conclusion with the sides sharing the points.

HAWKES (78') JOHNSON (72')
ATTENDANCE 6,027 (681)
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