Match Report: Walsall 0 Crewe Alexandra 0 Match Report: Walsall 0 Crewe Alexandra 0

Match Report: Walsall 0 Crewe Alexandra 0

Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' League Two meeting with Crewe Alexandra.
Walsall were back in action on Tuesday evening as they welcomed Crewe Alexandra to WS1 with both sides looking to close the gap on the top-half of the League Two table.

Crewe began the game brightly, as Tariq Uwakwe saw a shot blocked, before the ball fell to Rio Adebisi inside the area, just two minutes into the contest, with the midfielder's effort being easily saved by Walsall shot-stopper, Owen Evans.

There was an early pause in proceedings in the third minute, whilst Hayden White received attention from the medical staff, but he was soon back on his feet and able to continue.

The game settled a little as it continued, but eight minutes in, Elliott Nevitt saw an effort from outside the area blocked by the Walsall defences, before the hosts worked the ball up to the other end, where Isaac Hutchinson saw a shot gathered by Alex 'keeper, James Beadle.

With fourteen minutes on the clock, Crewe won the first corner of the evening, as Taylor Allen turned the ball out of play, but nothing would come of the flag-kick as the Saddlers defences stood firm.

The visiting side felt they should have been awarded a penalty in the seventeenth minute, as Sean Robertson went down inside the area, but the referee was unmoved by their appeals and waved play on.

Walsall could have opened the scoring in the eighteenth minute, after some good work from Allen to play in Hutchinson, but Isaac's shot from thirty yards sailed inches wide of Beadle's upright.

The game settled again as it continued, but twenty-six minutes into the contest, Hutchinson again found himself in shooting range, but his curling effort from outside the area sailed wide of the far post.

The Saddlers continued to press, winning a corner in the twenty-ninth minute, as a Jamille Matt effort was turned behind, but nothing would come of the flag-kick as Hutchinson's effort was well cleared.

With thirty-four minutes on the clock, Luke Offord became the first player to draw the attention of the referee, as he was cautioned for a foul on Tom Knowles. The resulting free-kick was floated in by Robbie Willmott, but Allen was unable to convert with an effort from twenty-five yards.

There was another halt to proceedings in the thirty-eighth minute, whilst Daniel Agyei received attention, but it was soon determined that he would be fine to continue and play resumed.

Walsall won a corner in the fortieth minute, which Willmott swung into the area for Matt, but the strikers' downward header was easily gathered by Beadle.

The visiting side won a flag kick at the other end just one minute later, as Allen turned the ball out of play, but nothing would come of the set-piece as the Saddlers' defences dealt with the danger.

Three additional minutes were added to end the first-half, during which time White saw a headed effort from the centre of the area saved, moments before Crewe won a corner at the other end, though that opportunity would come to nothing.

With forty-eight minutes played, Agyei put the ball past Evans in the Walsall goal, but fortunately for the Saddlers, an infringement of the offside rule meant the goal was disallowed.

Tom Knowles joined Offord in the referee's notebook in the forty-ninth minute, as he was cautioned for a foul on Adebisi, but that would be the final action of note, as the resulting free-kick came to nothing, and the sides headed off to enjoy their half-time refreshments with the scores still tied.

HALF-TIME SCORE
WALSALL 0-0 CREWE ALEXANDRA

Walsall opted to make a change to their line-up as the sides returned, with Jamille Matt sitting out the second-half, as Andy Williams took his place. Crewe began the half brightly, winning a free-kick in a dangerous position, just two minutes after the restart, but nobody was able to get on the end of Joel Tabiner's ball in.

The Saddlers won a free-kick themselves just three minutes later, which Willmott stepped forth to take, but his effort from a difficult angle sailed inches wide of the far post.

Walsall continued to enjoy a good spell, with the ball finding Knowles after some patient build-up play, but the midfielders effort on goal ultimately trickled wide of the far post.

The home side went on to win a corner moments later, from which Williams fired an effort goal-wards, but his shot was blocked, with Hutchinson able to turn the rebound back towards goal, but Beadle was alert to the danger and made a fine save to keep the scores level.

With sixty-two minutes on the clock, Walsall felt they should have been awarded a penalty, as Matty Stevens was felled inside the area, but the officials were unmoved by their appeals and allowed play to continue.

Unperturbed, the Saddlers continued to press, with Allen playing in Hutchinson in the sixty-third minute, with the midfielder working his way through the defences before firing goal-wards, but Beadle was again on hand to deny him.

With sixty-seven minutes on the clock, Crewe opted to make their first change of the evening, with Joel Tabiner making way for Callum Ainley.

Sean Robertson joined those already listed in the referee's notebook in the sixty-eighth minute, as he was cautioned for a foul on Allen.

Nineteen minutes from time, Crewe chose to make their second change of the evening, with Rio Adebisi making way as Conor Thomas joined the fray. Walsall also took the opportunity to introduce a second substitute, as Matty Stevens was replaced by Douglas James-Taylor.

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

With seventy-eight minutes on the clock, Walsall were forced to make their third and final change of the game, as Taylor Allen was unable to continue. Liam Gordon was brought on in his place.

The game settled again following the change, with neither side able to create anything note worthy, though Ainley did see an effort from thirty-five yards out sail wide of the target in the eighty-third minute.

With eighty-six minutes played, the visiting side chose to introduce their third and final substitute of the game, as Elliott Nevitt was replaced by Bassala Sambou.

Brandon Comley became the fourth player to see yellow, as he was cautioned for a foul on the recently introduced Sambou, in the eighty-ninth minute.

Four additional minutes were added to end the match, during which time Beadle was forced to make a save to deny Knowles, before the visitors won a corner at the other end, as Agyei played the ball across the box for Ainley, with Manny Monthe forced to turn the ball behind, but Evans was alert to the danger as Uwakwe played the ball in for Connor O'Riordan and cleared the ball off the line.

Ryan Finnigan was shown the yellow card in the final added minute, following a poor challenge on Gordon, but that would be the final action of note, and the game was brought to it's conclusion with the scores still tied.

FULL-TIME SCORE
WALSALL 0-0 CREWE ALEXANDRA
AT POUNDLAND BESCOT STADIUM
ATTENDANCE 5,071 (350 CREWE)
REFEREE DAVID ROCK (HERTFORDSHIRE)
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