Match Report: Crewe Alexandra 2 Walsall 2 Match Report: Crewe Alexandra 2 Walsall 2
Posted by: Bescot Banter

Match Report: Crewe Alexandra 2 Walsall 2

Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' League Two meeting with Crewe Alexandra.
Walsall were back in action on Saturday afternoon as they made their way to the Mornflake Stadium and took on Crewe Alexandra in their latest outing of the 2023/24 campaign.

Walsall began the game brightly, opening the scoring less than one minute into the contest, as Danny Johnson forced an early save from Crewe 'keeper, Harvey Davies, with Freddie Draper on hand to turn the follow up home, scoring what we hope is the first of many goals in a Walsall shirt.

The Saddlers continued to see much of the ball as the game continued, however, there was little further action of note as the two sides took time to settle into the contest following the early goal.

Nine minutes in, Walsall saw a chance to double their advantage go begging, as Ryan Stirk fired goal-wards from outside the area, but saw his effort blocked.

Crewe soon had the ball up at the other end, winning the first corner of the match in the tenth minute, as Donervon Daniels turned the ball behind, but nothing would come of the flag-kick. However, the hosts did create a chance to level the scores in the thirteenth minute, as Rio Adebisi crossed the ball in for ElliottNevitt who headed goal-wards, but his effort sailed wide of the upright.

The Alex continued to see much of the ball as time wore on, but it was Walsall who looked the more likely to score, as eighteen minutes in, Ross Tierney worked the ball to Johnson on the edge of the area, with the striker stinging the palms of the Crewe shot-stopper as he was forced to make another save.

Moments later, Tierney played in Isaac Hutchinson as the visiting side continued to seek opportunities to extend their lead, but the midfielders effort from outside the box sailed harmlessly over the crossbar.

Unperturbed, the visitors continued to press, with Draper seeking a second Walsall goal with a twenty-third minute strike from the edge of the area, but his effort missed the target as he dragged it wide.

Moments later, Stirk looked to set up Oisin McEntee, whose strike from outside the box sailed wide of the upright, before Draper saw a shot blocked by Zac Williams, with the resulting corner coming to nothing.

Crewe were able to relieve the pressure a little following the flag-kick, with Adebisi crossing the ball into the area for Shilow Tracey, in the twenty-eighth minute, however, nothing would come of the opportunity as his effort on goal was blocked.

With twenty-nine minutes on the clock, Walsall's pressure told, as Draper combined with Liam Gordon to work the ball to Hutchinson who, with the help of the inside of the post, found the target with a powerful strike from the edge of the area.

Walsall went close again in the thirty-fifth minute, as Hutchinson and Johnson combined, with the former seeing an effort on goal deflected behind for a corner by Joel Tabiner, though the flag-kick came to nothing.

Crewe won a corner in the fortieth minute, as Chris Hussey turned the ball out of play. The ball in from Tabiner, towards the back post was well delivered, but Williams was unable to get his head to it to guide it home, allowing the Saddlers to breathe a sigh of relief.

The home team continued to enjoy a brighter spell, with Mickey Demetriou forcing a save from Walsall shot-stopper, Owen Evans in the forty-second minute. Christopher Long was on hand to guide the rebound home, but had mistimed his run and the goal was chalked off for an infringement of the offside rule.

Three additional minutes were added to end the first-half, during which time, the Saddlers almost converted for a third time, as Tierney played a low cross into the box for Johnson, but the striker failed to find the target as he guided his effort over the crossbar.

That would be the final action of note of the opening forty-five, with the sides heading off to enjoy their half-time refreshments with Walsall leading by two-goals-to-nil at the break.


Crewe opted to make a change after the break, with Zac Williams sitting out the second-half, as Matús Holícek took his place.

Walsall began the second-half brightly, with Johnson forcing a save from Davies just two minutes after the restart. The Saddlers went on to win a corner moments later, as Demetriou turned the ball wide, though the Crewe defences were able to clear the danger from the flag-kick.

Adebisi conceded another corner to the Saddlers just one minute later, with the ball being played in for Hutchinson, whose effort on goal from the centre of the box sailed over the crossbar.

Crewe began to grow into the game again after a quiet opening ten minutes, winning a corner in the fifty-sixth minute, as Daniels turned a cross behind, but nothing would come of the flag-kick as the Saddlers defences cleared the danger.

As we reached the hour mark, Crewe pulled a goal back, as they sought to complete their third comeback of the young season. Tracey breaking with the ball before laying it off to Nevitt, who needed no second invitation to slip it past Evans in the Walsall goal from the centre of the box.

Sixty-five minutes into the contest, Ryan Stirk became the first player to see yellow, as he was cautioned following a foul on Long.

The hosts very nearly levelled the scores from the resulting free-kick, as Tabiner crossed the ball onto the head of Demetriou, but the defenders downward header bounced over the bar.

Crewe Alexandra then opted to make their second change of the afternoon, with Ryan Cooney making way for Charlie Finney. 
Two Walsall changes followed four minutes later, as Danny Johnson and Freddie Draper were replaced by Jamille Matt and Aramide Oteh for the final twenty minutes.

The game settled a little as it continued, but fifteen minutes from time, the Saddlers opted to make a third change to their line-up, with Ross Tierney departing in favour of Joe Riley.

Elliott Nevitt became only the second player to see yellow, as he was cautioned for dissent in the seventy-seventh minute.

There was a brief halt to proceedings in the seventy-eighth minute, allowing Joe Foulkes to receive attention from the medical team, but it was soon determined he would able to continue and the action resumed.

The Saddlers almost put the game to bed in the eighty-fourth minute, after a rather quiet spell, but Hutchinson's effort on goal sailed narrowly wide of the upright.

Crewe won a corner at the other end, moments later, as Foulkes turned the ball out of play, but nothing would come of the flag-kick, and Walsall had soon worked the ball back into the Crewe half, where Riley saw a shot saved from outside the area at the second time of asking.

Walsall opted to make a late change to their line-up, as Joe Foulkes was replaced by Harry Williams in the eighty-eighth minute.

Six additional minutes were added to end the game, though unfortunately for him, Charlie Finney would be unable to see them out, as an injury forced him from the game, with Connor O'Riordan taking his place.

Four minutes into the six allotted, Crewe levelled the scores, as a throw-in from Demetriou was turned home by Powell.

That would be the final action of note, and the match was brought to it's conclusion with the sides each taking one point from the contest. A disappointing end to the afternoon for the Saddlers, who had looked set to take all three points back to the West Midlands

NEVITT (60')
POWELL (90+4')
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