Match Report: Walsall 2 Brighton U21s 3 Match Report: Walsall 2 Brighton U21s 3
Posted by: Bescot Banter

Match Report: Walsall 2 Brighton U21s 3

Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' EFL Trophy - Southern Group A clash with Brighton & Hove Albion U21s.
Walsall were back in action on Tuesday evening as they welcomed Brighton & Hove Albion Under-21s to Poundland Bescot Stadium for their first EFL Trophy - Southern Group A outing of the new campaign.

Walsall began the game brightly, with Aramide Oteh crossing the ball into the area, looking for Freddie Draper, just three minutes into the contest, but Brighton shot-stopper, Tom McGill was alert to the danger and gathered the ball ahead of the striker.

The Saddlers continued to enjoy a decent spell, with Ross Tierney and Joe Foulkes combining well in the eighth minute, to work the ball to Draper, but the striker cleared the crossbar with his effort on goal.

With thirteen minutes on the clock, Andrew Moran opened the scoring, as the ball fell kindly for him on the edge of the area, with the Brighton forward needing no second invitation to put it past Walsall 'keeper, Jackson Smith.

Ruairi McConville became the first player to see yellow, as he was cautioned following a foul on Douglas James-Taylor, twenty-one minutes in.

The Saddlers continued to look the brighter of the two sides as the match wore on, with Tierney crossing the resulting free-kick towards the back post, with McGill doing well to make the initial save, before Joe Riley's follow-up effort was blocked.

Five minutes later, the Saddlers went close again, as Ronan Maher combined with Oisin McEntee to play in James-Taylor, but nothing would come of the opportunity as the strikers effort was deflected behind, with the resulting corner being crossed in towards the back post by Maher, where McEntee was waiting to head home and level the scores.

Parity was restored for just six minutes, as Brighton restored their one-goal advantage in the thirty-third minute, as Mark O'Mahony headed the ball into the path of Moran, with the striker again finding the target from the edge of the area.

The hosts looked to respond quickly, but Tierney's thirty-fifth minute effort from the edge of the box was well saved by the Brighton 'keeper, who did well to get down to deny him.

Things settled a little after that, but moments before the board went up to indicate that three additional minutes would be played to end the first-half, the Saddlers almost levelled the scores, as Draper crossed the ball in for Riley, whose effort from distance sailed inches wide of the upright.

There was little further action of note, and the sides headed off to enjoy their half-time refreshments with Brighton leading by two-goals-to-one.


The teams returned unchanged after the break, and the match got back underway. The second-half got off to a bit of a slow start, but seven minutes in, Tierney picked up the ball on the edge of the area and turned the ball towards goal, but his effort lacked power and McGill easily made the save.

Brighton looked to extend their lead in the fifty-seventh minute, with Moran working the ball to Cameron Peupion, bit the midfielder was unable to beat Smith in the Walsall goal.

The Saddlers wasted no time working the ball up to the other end, where Maher picked up a loose ball and fired a low shot goal-wards, but unfortunately for the hosts, his effort sailed narrowly wide of the upright.

As we reached the hour mark, Walsall opted to make their first change of the evening, as Freddie Draper made way for Liam Gordon.

Unfortunately for the Saddlers, Gordon's first real impact on the game was to turn the ball into his own net from close range, just five minutes after his introduction, extending Brighton's lead to two.

Walsall responded to the goal by making two further substitutions, with Joe Foulkes and Aramide Oteh making way for Tom Knowles and Jamille Matt.

Twenty minutes from time, the hosts went close to pulling a goal back, as Gordon crossed the ball in for James-Taylor, but the striker headed wide, when he really should have scored.

The Saddlers went close again in the seventy-third minute, as Tierney floated a free-kick towards the back post, where Harry Williams was waiting to head home, but the defender was unable to find the target as he sent the ball inches wide of the target.

With seventy-seven minutes on the clock, Brighton opted to make their first changes of the evening, with Luca Barrington and Cameron Peupion making way for Jamie Mullins and Josh Duffus.

Ten minutes from time, Walsall chose to make a further change to their line-up, with Ronan Maher making way as Dylan Thomas came on to make his first senior appearance.

Taylor Allen became the second player to see yellow, as he was cautioned for a foul in the eighty-third minute.

Four minutes from time, Walsall pulled a goal back, as James-Taylor crossed the ball to Knowles, who drove into the area before firing a powerful, low strike past McGill and into the empty net.

Tom Knowles joined those named in the referee's notebook, in the eighty-ninth minute, as he was booked following a foul.

Five additional minutes were added to end the game. Two minutes into those, Brighton made two further changes to their line-up, with Jack Hinchey and Andrew Moran making way for Benicio Baker-Boaitey and Samy Chourchane.

Tom McGill became the fourth player to see yellow, as he was carded for time wasting in the ninety-third minute.

That would be the final action of note, and the match was brought to it's conclusion with Brighton winning by three-goals-to-two.

McENTEE (27')

MORAN (13')
MORAN (33')
GORDON [OG] (65')
You can keep up to date with all the latest Walsall FC news across our social media channels, we're on 𝕏, Facebook, Threads, and Instagram. We also offer updates via Google News.
If you appreciate our coverage, please consider buying us a coffee via Ko-fi. You can also sign up to make regular contributions via Patreon.
Previous Post Next Post