The FA Cup: Stockport County 1 Walsall 2 - Match Report The FA Cup: Stockport County 1 Walsall 2 - Match Report
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The FA Cup: Stockport County 1 Walsall 2 - Match Report

Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' Emirates FA Cup - Third Round clash with Stockport County.
Walsall were back in action on Sunday afternoon as they made the trip to Greater Manchester and took on League Two rivals Stockport County in the Third Round of the world's oldest domestic cup competition.

Following a minute of applause to remember those lost during 2022, the match got underway. Walsall began the game brightly, with Douglas James-Taylor forcing a save from Stockport shot-stopper, Ben Hinchliffe just three minutes in, with the resulting corner coming to nothing, with Danny Johnson then seeing an effort blocked moments later.

The Saddlers continued to test their opposition defences, with Liam Kinsella forcing another save from Hinchcliffe in the sixth minute.

Stockport had soon worked the ball up to the other end, where they won their first corner of the afternoon as Akil Wright played in Myles Hippolyte, whose effort on goal was blocked by Manny Monthe, but the flag-kick came to nothing as Ryan Rydel's cross fell to Antoni Sarcevic, whose effort on goal from outside the box sailed high over the crossbar.

The hosts continued to enjoy a brighter spell, with Sarcevic sending another effort sailing over the crossbar in the twelfth minute, before Chris Hussey and Kyle Wootton combined to set up Rydel four minutes later, but the midfielders effort sailed well wide of the target.

Walsall won a couple of corners as the game continued, but were unable to create anything of note from either.

Another Walsall corner followed in the twenty-third minute, as an Isaac Hutchinson effort was turned wide by Hinchcliffe, but nothing would come of the flag-kick as it was turned behind by Joe Lewis for a second, which was cleared.

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

With thirty-six minutes on the clock, County managed to work themselves into shooting range, but Sarcevic was unable to find the target, as he sent his effort sailing narrowly over the crossbar.

The hosts continued to press, with Sarcevic going close again in the forty-first minute, but his effort from outside the area was well blocked behind by Hutchinson, with the resulting corner being cleared by the Walsall defences before the County man could get another shot away.

One additional minute was added to end the first-half, during which time Walsall felt they should have been awarded a penalty as Tom Knowles was felled inside the area by Hussey, but the referee was unmoved by their appeals and waved play on.

There was little further action of note and the sides headed off to enjoy their half-time refreshments with the scores still tied.

HALF-TIME SCORE
STOCKPORT COUNTY 0-0 WALSALL

The teams returned unchanged after the break, and the match got back underway. Walsall began the second-half brightly, winning a corner just four minutes in as Phil Bardsley was forced to turn the ball out of play, but nothing would come of the flag-kick as it was played short, allowing the County defences to close them down and prevent a cross into the box.

With just fifty-two minutes on the clock, Walsall opted to make their first change of the afternoon, with Douglas James-Taylor making way for Andy Williams.

The Saddlers thought they had opened the scoring just one minute later, as Liam Gordon turned the ball home, but an infringement of the offside rules meant the goal would not stand.

Walsall continued to press, winning a corner in the fifty-seventh minute as Hussey turned the ball behind, but nothing would come of the opportunity.

Stockport should probably have opened the scoring in the sixty-second minute, but Rydel's effort from the left side of the area was blocked by Walsall 'keeper, Owen Evans, before the rebound was turned wide from close range.

With sixty-four minutes on the clock, Walsall took the lead, as the ball fell to Danny Johnson outside the area, with the strikers fierce effort beating the 'keeper, who got a hand to it, but couldn't keep it out.

The hosts looked to respond quickly to falling a goal behind, but Will Collar's sixty-seventh minute effort on goal was well blocked.

Seventy minutes into the contest, Stockport opted to make their first changes of the afternoon, with Phil Bardsley and Isaac Olaofe making way for Oliver Crankshaw and Connor Lemonheigh-Evans.

The hosts went close to levelling the scores moments after the changes had been completed, but Collar was unable to turn Rydel's cross home as a Walsall defender got a head to the ball to turn the effort over the crossbar, with the resulting corner coming to nothing.

Walsall were quick to work the ball back to the other end, where Knowles saw a headed effort from outside the box sail narrowly wide.

County were soon back on the attack, with Rydel seeing two shots blocked in quick succession, before a Hippolyte effort was blocked and the danger cleared.

With seventy-six minutes on the clock, Walsall were forced to make a second change to their line-up, with Danny Johnson unable to continue as Robbie Willmott took his place.

Just two minutes later, Stockport opted to make another change to their team too, with Ryan Rydel departing, in favour of Paddy Madden.

With eighty-four minutes on the clock, Walsall opted to make their third change of the afternoon, as Tom Knowles was replaced by Oisin McEntee.

Two minutes from time, parity was restored, as Wootton worked the ball to Madden, who fired an effort into the top corner from the edge of the area.

Six additional minutes were added to end the match, during which time Walsall went close through Hayden White, with the defenders effort being cleared off the line, before Hutchinson saw a headed effort saved, with the resulting corner being headed goal-wards by Williams, whose shot on goal was blocked.

Four minutes into those added, Walsall were awarded a penalty, as Liam Kinsella was fouled inside the area by Paddy Madden, who was shown the games first yellow card for the incident. Williams stepped forth to take the spot-kick, and duly converted to put his side back in the lead, with just one minute left to play.

Stockport looked to restore parity once more in the final minute, as Sarcevic worked the ball to Madden, but he was unable to repeat his earlier success, sending the ball sailing over the crossbar, and Walsall through to the fourth-round of the cup, as the referee called time.

FULL-TIME SCORE
STOCKPORT COUNTY 1-2 WALSALL
MADDEN (88') JOHNSON (63')
WILLIAMS [P] (90+5')
AT EDGELEY PARK
ATTENDANCE 9,798 (1,408)
REFEREE ANDREW KITCHEN
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