Match Report: Walsall 1 Leyton Orient 1 Match Report: Walsall 1 Leyton Orient 1

Match Report: Walsall 1 Leyton Orient 1

Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' League Two meeting with Leyton Orient.
Walsall played host to the league leaders on Saturday afternoon and, after failing to win their last three games, were hoping to cause something of an upset and return to winning ways.

Following a minute of silence to think of all who have been impacted by the earthquake in Turkey and Syria, the match got underway. Walsall began the game brightly, winning a corner just two minutes into the contest, as Omar Beckles blocked a throw in, but nothing would come of the flag-kick as Tom Knowles played the ball short to Liam Gordon, whose cross into the box went wide.

Walsall continued to press and felt they should have been awarded a penalty in the fourth minute, as Knowles was grounded inside the area by Idris El Mizouni, but referee, Anthony Backhouse, was unmoved by their appeals and waved play on.

Leyton Orient grew into the game as it continued, with Tom James finding space to shoot in the tenth minute, but his effort on goal from outside the area was well held by Walsall shot-stopper, Owen Evans.

There was a brief halt to proceedings in the eleventh minute, allowing Knowles to receive treatment after a clash of heads as he competed for the ball with Jayden Sweeney, but he was soon back on his feet and able to continue.

With twenty minutes on the clock, Walsall took the lead, as Knowles combined with Isaac Hutchinson to play in Bristol City loanee, Joe Low, whose headed effort from the centre of the area sailed past Orient 'keeper, Lawrence Vigouroux and into the net.

Robbie Willmott became the first player to draw the attentions of the referee, in the twenty-second minute, as he received the games first yellow card for a foul on Kieran Sadlier.

The visiting side almost levelled the scores in the twenty-fourth minute, but Theo Archibald was unable to turn James' cross home, sending the ball inches wide of the upright with an effort from the edge of the area.

With thirty-one minutes played, Jayden Sweeney became the second player to see yellow, as he was cautioned for a foul on Jamille Matt. Nothing would come of the resulting free-kick, as Brandon Comley's effort from the edge of the area was easily saved by the O's 'keeper.

Orient enjoyed a decent spell as the game continued, seeing plenty of the ball but never really testing the Walsall defences, though Sadlier did see an effort from outside the area blocked in the thirty-sixth minute.

Walsall had soon worked the ball back up to the other end, where they won a corner, as James turned the ball out of play, but nothing would come of the flag-kick as the ball was played onto the head of Low, who nodded goal-wards but missed the target.

Leyton Orient looked to restore parity in the forty-third minute, as George Moncur found space in the box to fire goal-wards, but his shot sailed inches wide of Evans' upright.

Two additional minutes were added to end the first-half, but there was little further action of note, and the sides headed off to enjoy their half-time refreshments with Walsall leading by one-goal-to-nil.


The teams returned unchanged following the break, and the match got back underway. Leyton Orient began the second-half brightly, with a few testing balls played into the area, but nothing would come of them as the Saddlers defences stood firm.

With just seven minutes of the second-half played, Walsall opted to make their first change of the afternoon, with Mathew Stevens making way for Conor Wilkinson, moments after the former had headed a Gordon cross wide.

Orient followed suit a mere three minutes later, as Theo Archibald was replaced by Ruel Sotiriou.

Walsall won a corner in the fifty-eighth minute, as James knocked the ball out of play. The ball eventually fell to Saddlers captain, Donervon Daniels whose strike at goal was cleared only as far as Low, whose headed effort was cleared off the line by Sweeney.

As we reached the hour mark, the visiting side went close to levelling the scores, as Moncur collected the ball outside the area and fired goal-wards, but Evans was alert to the danger and made the save.

Back at the other end, the Saddlers felt they should have been awarded a penalty in the sixty-first minute, as Matt was pulled to the ground inside the area, but again the referee was unmoved by their appeals and play continued, with the visitors working the ball quickly back into the Walsall box, where Sadlier curled an effort narrowly wide of the far post.

With sixty-two minutes on the clock, the O's opted to make their second change of the afternoon, as Craig Clay was replaced by Jordan Lyden.

The visiting side went close again in the sixty-fifth minute, as El Mizouni drove into space before firing a left-footed strike goal-wards, but the effort had too much height on it and the ball sailed harmlessly over the crossbar.

Walsall chose to make two further changes to their team in the sixty-sixth minute, as both Jamille Matt and Isaac Hutchinson made way for Andy Williams and Yann Songo'o.

Tom Knowles joined those to have already seen yellow, as he was cautioned for a sixty-seventh minute foul on Sweeney.

With seventy-seven minutes on the clock, Orient opted to make their final change of the afternoon, with George Moncur making way for Charlie Kelman.

The visitors won a corner ten minutes from time, as a Sotiriou effort was turned behind. The initial danger was cleared, but the ball fell to Sadlier, who fired a dangerous ball in, which Walsall managed to clear.

Owen Evans joined those playing on a yellow card in the eighty-first minute, as he was cautioned for time wasting. With eighty-three minutes on the clock, Orient levelled the scores, with Ed Turns firing home from the edge of the area.

There was a brief halt to proceedings in the eighty-sixth minute, whilst Wilkinson received treatment. It was soon determined that he would be unable to continue, and having been stretchered off, he was replaced by Oisin McEntee.

Seven additional minutes were added to end the game, during which time, Orient won a corner as Evans spilled a save that denied El Mizouni, before the ball deflected behind, but nothing would come of the flag-kick, as Sweeney fired wide.

Walsall had the chance to re-establish their earlier lead four minutes into those added, but Low was unable to turn Willmott's cross home, as his headed effort sailed narrowly wide of the upright.

That would be the final action of note, and the game was brought to it's conclusion with the sides sharing the points.

LOW (20') TURNS (83')
ATTENDANCE 6,075 (483)
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