Match Report: Solihull Moors 0 Walsall 3 Match Report: Solihull Moors 0 Walsall 3
Posted by: Bescot Banter

Match Report: Solihull Moors 0 Walsall 3

Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' final pre-season outing ahead of the new campaign.
The Saddlers returned to action on Saturday afternoon as they made the short trip to the ARMCO Arena where they took on National League side Solihull Moors for their final friendly ahead of the new League Two campaign.

Looking to build fitness and go through more tactical options, Head Coach Mat Sadler selected a strong team, with several of the recent arrivals on display, though Danny Johnson wasn't named in the matchday squad as he and his wife are celebrating a recent addition to their family.

The match got off to a slow-ish start with the first opening not arriving 'till around the fifth minute as a Jamey Osborne free-kick saw Mark Beck break free before heading the ball past Owen Evans' post and wide of goal.

Walsall's first real opening of the game also came via a free-kick as Chris Hussey's ball in was met by Priestley Farquharson, with the defender delivering the ball into the path of Joe Riley who could only send an effort high, wide, and not at all handsome.

The Saddlers were soon back on the attack and went close once again as Liam Gordon's driving run down the left resulted in a ball into Aramide Oteh, however, the recent arrival couldn't get a telling touch as the Moors goal wasn't threatened.

Walsall's next attempt to open the scoring saw Oteh and Isaah Hutchinson combine before Hutch saw a first-time shot blocked by a well-placed defender.

The Saddlers weren't finished there, however, as Oteh remained alert to the loose ball and was able to force Solihull stopper Tommy Simkin into a superb save with a left-footed strike on goal.

Solihull were also able to pose a threat in attack and went fairly close to troubling the scorers as Josh Kelly was able to break beyond the Walsall backline before Farquharson showed plenty of composure to dispossess the attacker and end the dangerous move.

With the clock ticking towards the half-time break, Walsall went close once again as Ryan Stirk, Hutchinson, Gordon, and Oteh combined to see the latter send an effort wide of goal. Plenty of potential in the Red's attacking line for the fans in attendance.

Walsall's next opportunity came moments later and saw former Birmingham City man Stirk beautifully control Joe Riley's ball in before curling an effort past the post as the scores remained level at the break.


Mat Sadler opted to make a change at the break with on-loan Lincoln City striker Freddie Draper replacing Aramide Oteh.

It was the Saddlers who produced the first goal-bound effort of the second-half as Jamille Matt held up the ball before finding an onrushing Hutchinson with the former Derby County prospect forcing Simkin into another save with a low, driven shot.

At the other end, the Moors' first effort of the half came via James Clarke (not that one), who couldn't quite make the most of the space afforded to him as he lashed an effort wide of Evans' goal.

Substitute Draper was the next to try and open the scoring as he got on the end of Oisin McEntee's cross before turning his man and forcing the 'keeper into another save.

Draper wasn't satisfied with his first effort being saved and was soon back in attack and, once again, made Simkin work for his clean-sheet with the stopper doing well to deny the loanee.

Solihull were beginning to be forced to sit back for longer spells as the Saddlers' looked to grab the first goal of the game, Jamille Matt being the next to be presented with an opening as Gordon's cross somehow evaded everyone before drifting wide.

The home side made their first two changes of the game as Callum Maycock and Matty Warburton replaced Gur Mafuta and Jamey Osborne.

Fresh off their changes the home side almost took the lead as Kelly got the better of Farquharson before flashing a dangerous ball across goal and in the direction of Beck, who couldn't quite get a touch.

Mat Sadler was soon back on the touchline as he made his second and third changes of the game as Joe Riley and Ryan Stirk were replaced by Joe Foulkes and Brandon Comley.

Not wanting to be upstaged, the home side also made more changes as Jack Stevens and Max Brogan replaced Mark Beck and Kade Craig.

The battle of the substitutions continued as on-loan Motherwell man Ross Tierney was introduced into the action as he replaced Oisin McEntee in midfield.

The first goal of the game arrived shortly after the change as Liam Gordon saw an effort deflect past the 'keeper and into the back of the net. Freddie Draper doing well to create the opening by demonstrating more positive attacking play.

Solihull reacted to the goal by making another change as Connor Hall replaced Josh Kelly, later, the Saddlers made a change of their own as Jamille Matt was replaced by Ronan Maher.

There was a little scare for the Saddlers during the final ten minutes of the contest as Liam Gordon went down and required some treatment from the Physio for a head injury. He was subsequently replaced by Taylor Allen.

The Saddlers made the game a foregone conclusion late in the game as Hutchinson produced a composed finish following Draper's superb defence-splitting pass.

Walsall weren't satisfied with two as second-half substitute Ronan Maher, the second-year pro making the most of his short time on the pitch to add to the Saddler's lead. 


GORDON (76')
MAHER (90+2')
AT 1,034 (570) - ARMCO ARENA
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