Match Report: Walsall 1 Newport County 1 Match Report: Walsall 1 Newport County 1

Match Report: Walsall 1 Newport County 1

Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' League Two meeting with the Exiles.
Walsall were back in action on Saturday afternoon as they welcomed Newport County to Poundland Bescot Stadium.

Looking to earn their first win in the month of February, Michael Flynn's side had struggled for form with the goals drying up and fans beginning to wonder whether they'll be able to reach the Pay-Offs before the season comes to an end.

Both teams gave away free-kicks in dangerous positions early in the contest, with Walsall seeing their early set-piece turned wide by Tom Knowles, before Saddlers shot-stopper, Owen Evans was called into action to deny Newport a goal from the edge of the area in the fourth minute.

The game settled a little as it continued, but remained a scrappy encounter and eleven minutes in, Newport gave away another free-kick as Adam Lewis fouled Knowles. The Walsall number ten played a long ball forward, finding Joe Low inside the area, but the defenders effort from close range was well blocked by County 'keeper, Nick Townsend.

Newport created a chance to open the scoring in the sixteenth minute, as the ball was played onto the head of former Saddler, James Clarke, but the defenders headed effort sailed wide.

Three minutes later, Walsall won a corner at the other end, as a Donervon Daniels effort on goal was turned wide by Nathan Moriah-Welsh, but nothing would come of the flag-kick, as the visiting defences eventually cleared the danger.

With twenty-one minutes on the clock, Harry Charsley became the first player to draw the attentions of the referee, as he was shown the yellow card for an off the ball dispute.

The Saddlers looked the brighter of the two sides as the game continued, with Knowles playing in Mathew Stevens in the twenty-sixth minute, but Mickey Demetriou and Priestley Farquharson to block his efforts on goal.

Walsall continued to press, and with thirty-two minutes on the clock, found the breakthrough as Isaac Hutchinson picked up the ball on the edge of the area and fired a powerful strike into the back of the net.

With thirty-four minutes on the clock, Tom Knowles became the second player to see yellow, as he was cautioned for a foul on Cameron Norman.

The game settled into something of a midfield battle as it continued, with both sides enjoying spells on the ball, whilst creating little to test their opposition defences, though forty-three minutes into the contest, Scot Bennett did send an effort in from outside the area, but it lacked precision and sailed high and wide of the target.

As the board was raised to indicate that two additional minutes would be played, Walsall were presented with an opportunity to double their advantage as Hutchinson played in Stevens, but the strikers curling effort was easily saved by Townsend.

That would be the final action of note, and the sides headed off to enjoy their half-time refreshments with Walsall leading by one-goal-to-nil.

HALF-TIME SCORE
WALSALL 1-0 NEWPORT COUNTY

Newport opted to make four changes to their line-up as the teams returned, with Calum Kavanagh, James Clarke, Harry Charsley and Scot Bennett all sitting out the second-half as Offrande Zanzala, Matt Baker, Will Evans and Aaron Lewis took their places as the action resumed.

Walsall began the second-half brightly, with Low collecting a long ball forwards from Evans just three minutes in, but the defenders effort on goal sailed wide of the target.

County had soon worked the ball up to the other end, where they won a corner as Brandon Comley turned the ball out of play. The ball in from Aaron Lewis was good, but Baker was unable to keep his effort on target, sending the ball high and wide.

Newport felt they should have been awarded a penalty in the fifty-first minute, as Omar Bogle went down inside the area, but the referee was unmoved by their appeals and waved play on.

The hosts had soon worked the ball back up to the other end, where Knowles combined well with Hutchinson, but the midfielders effort struck Demetriou and headed out for a corner, which came to nothing.

With fifty-five minutes on the clock, Hayden White joined those listed in the referee's notebook, as he was cautioned for a foul on Will Evans.

As we reached the hour mark, Newport found themselves with a chance to level the scores, as Will Evans worked the ball to Zanzala, but the strikers effort from outside the box was well blocked by the Walsall defences.

Sixty-eight minutes into the contest, Walsall opted to make their first changes of the afternoon, with Matty Stevens and Liam Gordon making way for Douglas James-Taylor and debutant, Joe Riley.

Cameron Norman joined those already playing on a caution, in the seventy-first minute, as the former Saddler was booked for a foul on Knowles.

The game settled again as it continued, with both enjoying spells on the ball without creating anything to trouble their opposition defences, but with seventy-eight minutes on the clock, Newport restored parity, winning a corner as Manny Monthe turned the ball behind, which Adam Lewis swung onto the head of Norman who nodded home.

There was a brief halt to proceedings in the eightieth minute, whilst White received treatment for a knock, and Newport used the pause to make their final change of the afternoon, as Adam Lewis made way for Charlie McNeill. White was soon back on his feet allowing play to resume.

Walsall saw much of the ball as the game continued, but County limited their ability to work their way into shooting range as they kept much of the action contained within the midfield area.

As the board was raised to indicate that a minimum of four additional minutes would be played, the Saddlers won a free-kick in a dangerous position, as Mickey Demetriou fouled James-Taylor and was cautioned for the offence. Nothing would come of the set-piece as Knowles effort was punched clear by Townsend.

Nathan Moriah-Welsh was also shown the yellow card, just two minutes later, as the midfielder was cautioned following another foul on James-Taylor.

There was little further action of note, and the game was brought to it's conclusion with the sides sharing the points

FULL-TIME SCORE
WALSALL 1-1 NEWPORT COUNTY
HUTCHINSON (32') NORMAN (78')
AT POUNDLAND BESCOT STADIUM
ATTENDANCE 5,927 (889 AWAY)
REFEREE SAM PURKISS
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