Match Report: Crawley Town 0 Walsall 0 Match Report: Crawley Town 0 Walsall 0
Posted by: Bescot Banter

Match Report: Crawley Town 0 Walsall 0

Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' League Two meeting with Crawley Town.
Walsall reached their penultimate game of the 2022/23 campaign on the back of a narrow defeat to Salford City and in search of just their third league win of 2023.

Crawley began the game brightly, with Tom Fellows collecting the ball in the area, inside the opening minute, with the midfielder bringing the ball down well before firing goal-wards. Fortunately, for Walsall, shot-stopper, Owen Evans was alert to the danger and made the save.

The teams settled quickly into the game, and Walsall soon had the ball in the Crawley area, as Isaac Hutchinson crossed the ball in for Tom Knowles, whose shot on goal was well saved, before the ball crossed back into the box, onto the head of Conor Wilkinson, who saw his effort on goal denied by Town 'keeper, Corey Addai.

Crawley won the first corner of the match in the eleventh minute, as Ashley Nadesan forced Joe Low to turn the ball behind, but nothing would come of the flag-kick, as the Saddlers defences stood firm.

Walsall soon had the ball back at the other end, with Matty Stevens playing in Wilkinson, in the fourteenth minute, but the strikers effort from just outside the area, was well saved by Addai.

There was a brief halt to proceedings in the eighteenth minute, whilst Hayden White received attention for an injury, but he was soon back on his feet and the action resumed.

The game settled a little as it continued, with both sides enjoying spells on the ball, without creating much to trouble their opposition defences, though Fellows won a free-kick in a dangerous position, in the twenty-fourth minute, but nothing would come of the opportunity as Jack Powell's curling effort was deflected wide of the post, with the resulting corner coming to nothing.

The hosts continued to press, with Nicholas Tsaroulla crossing the ball into the box, in the twenty-eighth minute, with James Tilley getting underneath it to head goal-wards, but Evans remained alert to the danger and made a great save to deny him.

Crawley won another corner in the thirty-fifth minute, as Brandon Comley turned the ball out of play, but nothing would come of the flag-kick, and Walsall broke quickly with the ball. Liam Gordon playing through Hutchinson, whose effort from outside the area sailed narrowly over the crossbar.

There was a brief delay in proceedings in the thirty-ninth minute, allowing Tilley to receive attention for an injury, but it was quickly determined that he would be fine to continue, and play resumed.

Four additional minutes were added to end the first-half, during which time, Gordon saw an effort sail wide of the upright, before Hutchinson saw a well-struck shot saved by Addai.

The Saddlers continued to seek a goal late into the half, with Low seeing a headed effort blocked moments before the referee called time. The sides heading off to enjoy their half-time refreshments with the scores still tied.

HALF-TIME
CRAWLEY TOWN 0-0 WALSALL

Walsall opted to make a double change to their line-up, ahead of the restart, with Owen Evans and Hayden White sitting out the second-half, as Wolverhampton Wanderers loanee, Jackson Smith and Joe Riley took their places.

The Saddlers began the second-half brightly, with Comley playing the ball to Stevens, five minutes in, allowing the striker to launch an attack from the half-way line, but his eventual effort was easily saved by the man between the sticks.

Walsall's substitute 'keeper, was called into action for the first time in the fifty-third minute, as Tilley beat his man to take aim, but Smith was alert to the danger and did well to stop the powerful strike.

The hosts continued to press, with captain, Ben Gladwin crossing the ball into the area for Nadesan in the fifty-seventh minute, with the striker chesting the ball goal-wards. Smith remained alert and gathered, although it appeared to many that the ball had crossed the line before he did, but the officials were not amongst them, and no goal was given.

The Saddlers won a corner at the other end, just two minutes later, but nothing would come of the flag-kick, as Hutchinson was caught offside. Walsall continued to enjoy a bright spell though, with Knowles seeing an effort from outside the area blocked, two minutes later.

Walsall felt they too could have had the ball over the line, in the sixty-second minute, as an in-swinging corner from Gordon was collected by Addai, but again, the officials were not convinced that a goal had been scored and the scores remained tied.

There was a brief pause in play in the sixty-fourth minute, allowing Hutchinson to receive attention. He was soon back on his feet and able to continue.

Crawley opted to make their first change of the afternoon, in the sixty-ninth minute, as Tom Fellows made way for Anthony Grant.

The game settled a little as it continued, with neither side creating much to worry their opposition defences, and it was paused again in the seventy-seventh minute, allowing Low to receive treatment from the medical team, but it was determined he would be fine to continue, and play resumed.

Crawley won a free-kick in a dangerous position, eight minutes from time, as Tsaroulla went down under a challenge from Low, but nothing would come of it, as Tilley failed to beat the wall.

With eighty-eight minutes on the clock, Ben Gladwin picked up the games first yellow card, as he was cautioned for a foul on Knowles, with the game paused briefly to allow the Walsall man to receive treatment. Fortunately, he was able to see out the final few minutes of the game. Once play resumed, the resulting free-kick was swung into the area by Gordon, but the ball evaded all of his teammates, and nothing would come of it.

Six minutes were added to end the match. Two minutes into them, Isaac Hutchinson became the second player to see yellow, as he was cautioned following a foul on Dominic Telford.

The Saddlers opted to make a late change, as Matty Stevens was replaced by Ronan Maher, with just four minutes of those added left to play.

There was little further action of note though, and the referee brought an end to the contest, with the sides each taking away one point.

FULL-TIME
CRAWLEY TOWN 0-0 WALSALL
AT BROADFIELD STADIUM
REFEREE ANDY WOOLMER
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