Leamington 1 Walsall 4: The Saddlers Begin with a Win Leamington 1 Walsall 4: The Saddlers Begin with a Win
Posted by: Bescot Banter

Leamington 1 Walsall 4: The Saddlers Begin with a Win

Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' pre-season clash with Leamington.
Walsall were in action on Tuesday evening as the faithful were given their first opportunity to see Mat Sadler's side in action ahead of the new League Two campaign with a pre-season clash away to Leamington.

The first goal of the game arrived within a minute of the game getting underway, and it was a familiar face who slipped the ball beyond ex-Walsall Wood stopper Callum Smith in the Leamington goal as summer signing Danny Johnson opened his account.

The game settled down for the next ten minutes or so as the teams remembered it was really a fitness exercise as they continue to prepare for their upcoming campaigns.

Leamington's first real opening came via a Jack Edwards header, his effort not really troubling Walsall stopper Owen Evans, as the former Cheltenham Town man saved comfortably.

The Brakes' next effort on goal saw Callum Stewart drag an effort past the post as he was afforded a little too much space in front of the Saddlers goal.

The second goal of the game also went the way of the visitors as a second former loanee grabbed his first goal since making a permanent move to WS1 as Douglas James-Taylor got on the end of Tom Knowles' perfect pass to pop the ball into the back of the net.

James-Taylor was soon back on the scoresheet as with around five minutes of the opening forty-five to be played, Douglas and Knowles combined before the former poked the ball home from inside the six-yard box.

The home side didn't allow their heads to fall and were soon able to put a dent in the Walsall lead as Callum Stewart continued the trend of close-range goals as he slipped the ball beyond Evans to give his teammates something to build upon in the second forty-five.


Mat Sadler rang the changes at the break with A.Trialist, Joe Foulkes, Chris Hussey, Taylor Allen, Joe Riley, B.Trialist, C.Trialist, D.Trialist, Isaac Hutchinson, Jamille Matt, and first-year pro Marvellous Onabirekhanlen looking to impress.

The new-look Saddlers didn't waste too much time before adding to their trio of goals as Isaac Hutchinson bagged a goal from the edge of the Leamington area.

Walsall's first in-play substitution happened with ten minutes of the half played as scholar Tom Owen replaced Chris Hussey in defence.

As many of the crowd continued their attempts to identify the trialists, the Saddlers almost added a fifth midway through the second-half as C.Trialist and D.Trialist combined with the latter seeing a header drift just wide of goal.

Later in the half, there was a brief battle of the trialists, much to the chagrin of Mr. and Mrs. Trialist no doubt, as Leamington's B.Trialist forced Walsall's A.Trialist into a save, though the Saddler was more than up to the challenge.

Walsall continued their push for more goals and were nearly rewarded with five minutes of normal time remaining as second-half substitute Owen's cross almost landed perfectly for Jamille Matt, though the striker failed to get enough on it to threaten the 'keeper.

Leamington stopper Daniel Moore was also a factor in Walsall's thwarted efforts to add to their tally as he denied Joe Riley with a strong save as the game reached the dying embers.

A strong start to pre-season for the Saddlers, who looked confident on the ball and will be looking for more of the same as they face Aston Villa at the weekend.


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