Match Report: Walsall 0 Bradford City 0 Match Report: Walsall 0 Bradford City 0

Match Report: Walsall 0 Bradford City 0

Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' League Two meeting with Bradford City.
Walsall returned to action on Tuesday evening as they welcomed Mark Huges' Bradford City to WS1 with the Saddlers searching for just their second win in 2023.

After slipping to a narrow 1-0 defeat to Barrow on Saturday afternoon, the Saddlers had gone some nine games without a win and were desperate to avoid falling further behind the teams currently battling it out for a place in the Play-Offs.

Both sides enjoyed spells on the ball in the early goings, but it was Walsall who created the first chance of the evening, as six minutes into the contest, Tom Knowles crossed the ball into the area for Andy Williams, whose headed effort sailed narrowly wide of the target.

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

Bradford City almost opened the scoring as the game began to liven up, with a twenty-fourth minute cross into the box from Brad Halliday finding the head of Andy Cook, whose looping header collided with the crossbar before the Saddlers cleared the danger.

Walsall were quick to work the ball up to the other end, where they won the first corner of the match, as Sam Stubbs put the ball behind, but nothing would come of the flag-kick as the Bantams defences stood firm.

The Saddlers went close to opening the scoring as we reached the half hour mark, but Conor Wilkinson was unable to keep his effort on target after some good work from Knowles to work the ball to him.

The hosts continued to press, with captain, Donervon Daniels seeing a shot blocked moments later, before Isaac Hutchinson played in Wilkinson, who fired goal-wards from just outside the area, with his effort sailing narrowly wide of the upright.

City went close again back at the other, in the thirty-third minute, as Halliday played in Jamie Walker, but the shot on goal from outside the box sailed wide of the target.

Walsall were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position in the thirty-seventh minute, after Walker fouled Hutchinson. Knowles stepped forth to take the set-piece but Bradford 'keeper, Harry Lewis was well placed to prevent the thirty-five yard effort hitting the back of the net.

Bradford were presented with another opportunity to open the scoring in the forty-first minute, as Walker picked up the ball on the edge of the area and fired an effort goal-wards, but the shot failed to test Walsall shot-stopper, Owen Evans as it sailed high over the crossbar.

Back at the other end, Lewis was again called into action by the Saddlers, as Hutchinson fired goal-wards from distance, but the 'keeper was alert to the danger and made the save.

One additional minute was 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 the scores still level.

HALF-TIME
WALSALL 0-0 BRADFORD CITY

The teams returned unchanged after the break and the action got back underway. Walsall started the second-half brightly, winning a corner just three minutes in, as Liam Ridehalgh turned the ball out of play, but nothing would come of the flag-kick.

Unperturbed, the Saddlers continued to press, winning a second corner kick as a Brandon Comley shot from outside the area was blocked behind by Walker in the fiftieth minute, though again, nothing would come of the opportunity.

Bradford saw an effort blocked themselves three minutes later, as Dara Costelloe's effort from close range was denied by a well placed defender, after some good work from Richard Smallwood to set up the chance.

There was a brief halt to proceedings in the fifty-fourth minute, allowing Adam Clayton to receive treatment for a knock, but he was soon back on his feet and able to continue.

The Bantams went close to opening the scoring in the fifty-seventh minute, as Halliday crossed the ball into the area for Cook, but the former Saddler saw his effort sail over the crossbar.

Sam Stubbs became the first player to draw the attentions of the referee, as he was shown the yellow card for a foul on Andy Williams, sixty-one minutes into the contest.

Brad Halliday became the second player to see yellow, as sixty-nine into the match, he was cautioned following a foul on Liam Gordon.

Fifteen minutes from time, Walsall opted to make their first change of the evening, with Jacob Maddox making way for Liam Kinsella. City also took the opportunity to make changes to their line-up, as Adam Clayton and Alex Gilliead were replaced by Scott Banks and Ryan East.

The visitors went close moments after the changes were completed, but Cook's headed effort from the centre of the box was blocked.

Just three minutes after making their first change of the game, Walsall chose introduce a second substitute,  with Conor Wilkinson making way for Douglas James-Taylor.

Things settled again as the game continued, with both sides seeing plenty of the ball without creating anything to test their opposition defences.

Richard Smallwood became the third player to see yellow, as he was cautioned for a foul on Kinsella in the eighty-seventh minute.

Bradford used the pause in proceedings to make their third change of the evening, with Dara Costelloe making way for Romoney Crichlow-Noble.

The visiting side almost found the breakthrough in the final of the regulation ninety minutes, as East fired goal-wards from just outside the area, but his left-footed effort sailed narrowly wide.

Four additional minutes were added to end the game, as Donervon Daniels joined those to have seen their names added to the referee's notebook, as he was cautioned for a foul on Banks. The resulting free-kick, from the edge of the area, was taken by Banks, but the midfielder's effort sailed harmlessly over the crossbar.

The Bantams won a late corner as they continued to seek a winning goal, but Banks' cross in was headed over by Cook, and the match was brought to its conclusion with the scores still tied.

FULL-TIME
WALSALL 0-0 BRADFORD CITY
AT POUNDLAND BESCOT STADIUM
REFEREE LEWIS SMITH
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