Match Report: Harrogate Town 3 Walsall 0 Match Report: Harrogate Town 3 Walsall 0

Match Report: Harrogate Town 3 Walsall 0

Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' League Two meeting with Harrogate Town.
Walsall were back in action on Tuesday evening as they made the trip to the EnvioVent Stadium where they took on Harrogate Town in their penultimate away fixture of the 2022/23 League Two campaign.

After entering a dismal display away to Crewe Alexandra on Saturday afternoon, the Saddlers were tasked with showing an ability to improve as they hoped to secure three much-needed points.

The teams took some time to settle into the game, both seeing spells on the ball in the early goings, with neither able to create anything of note. However, seven minutes in, a lovely ball over the top from Toby Sims, played Luke Armstrong through on goal, but the strikers sent the ball wide of the target as he looked to lift the ball over Walsall 'keeper, Owen Evans.

Just three minutes later, Harrogate had more luck in front of goal, as Armstrong broke with the ball before crossing it to Alex Pattison, whose shot at goal took a deflection, allowing Sam Folarin to turn home from close range to put his side ahead, leaving Walsall with much to do.

The game settled into something of a midfield battle as it continued, with nothing much to excite on show from either side.

The Saddlers created their first real chance of the evening, twenty minutes into the contest, as Tom Knowles fired a powerful shot in on goal, which was blocked into the path of Oisin McEntee, but the Irish defender hit Matty Stevens with his effort and the ball sailed out of play.

There was a brief halt to proceedings in the twenty-second minute, allowing Knowles to receive treatment, but he was soon back on his feet and able to continue.

Walsall continued to enjoy a brighter spell, with Isaac Hutchinson forcing Harrogate 'keeper, Mark Oxley to punch an effort clear in the twenty-seventh minute, moments before Knowles saw an effort sail over the crossbar.

Town thought they had doubled their advantage in the thirty-second minute, as Armstrong found the back of the net, but an infringement of the offside rules was spotted but the officials, and the goal was disallowed.

The hosts continued to enjoy a bright spell, with Matthew Foulds playing in Folarin, moments after the goal was chalked off, but McEntee was well placed to block the strikers effort, with the resulting corner coming to nothing, shortly before Pattison broke with the ball and fired a shot in on goal, but the connection was poor and Evans gathered with ease.

Walsall were quick to work the ball up to the other end following the save, but after some good play from McEntee and Jamille Matt, Stevens failed to find the target, as his effort sailed narrowly wide, moments before Hutchinson saw an shot blocked and a Knowles strike was saved by the Harrogate shot-stopper.

Three additional minutes were added to end the first-half, during which time, the Saddlers won a corner, which was headed on by Matt, for Brandon Comley who was unlucky to see his close-range effort saved by Oxley. There was little further action of note after that, and the sides headed off to enjoy their half-time refreshments with Harrogate leading by a goal to nil.

HALF-TIME
HARROGATE TOWN 1-0 WALSALL

The teams returned unchanged following the break, and the action resumed. The second-half got off to a slow start, with neither team creating much of note, until Walsall won a corner, eight minutes in, as Anthony O'Connor turned the ball behind, though nothing would come of the opportunity, as the ball fell to Hutchinson who fired wide.

Walsall continued to press, with Comley going close in the fifty-ninth minute, but the midfielders strike from outside the area sailed narrowly over the crossbar.

Harrogate opted to make the first change of the evening in the sixty-second minute, with goalscorer, Sam Folarin making way for Matty Daly.

Walsall continued to seek to level the scores, with Liam Kinsella firing goal-wards from range moments after the change was completed, but his shot was blocked.

The hosts wasted no time working the ball up to the other end, with Kazeem Olaigbe picking up a loose ball on the edge of the area in the sixty-sixth minute, before firing a powerful strike past Evans, into the top corner, to double his sides advantage.

With seventy minutes on the clock, Walsall made their first substitution of the game, with Matty Stevens making way for Jacob Maddox.

The game settled into something of a midfield battle as it continued, but six minutes after the Walsall change, Harrogate all but put the game to bed, as Daly played the ball through for Pattison, who coolly slotted past Evans to extend his sides lead to three.

Walsall responded to the goal, by making a second change to their line-up, in the seventy-seventh minute, with Brandon Comley making way for Andy Williams.

Just two minutes later, the hosts were forced to make a second change themselves, as Alex Pattison was unable to continue, and Warren Burrell was brought on in his place.

The Saddlers chose to use two final substitutions just three minutes later, as Isaac Hutchinson and Jamille Matt were replaced by Ronan Maher and Conor Wilkinson.

Town also opted to make further use of their bench, with Kazeem Olaigbe and Luke Armstrong sitting out the final seven or so minutes of the match, as Dior Angus and Jack Muldoon replaced them.

Five additional minutes were added to end the game, but there was little further action of note and the match was brought to it's conclusion with Harrogate winning by three-goals-to-nil.

FULL-TIME
HARROGATE TOWN 3-0 WALSALL
FOLARIN (10')
OLAIGBE (66')
PATTISON (76')



AT ENVIROVENT STADIUM
REFEREE REBECCA WELCH
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