Match Report: Walsall 1 Colchester United 0 Match Report: Walsall 1 Colchester United 0
Posted by: Bescot Banter

Match Report: Walsall 1 Colchester United 0

Here is our Match Report from Walsall's League Two meeting with Colchester United that took place at Bescot Stadium on Saturday, 2nd September 2023.
After winning just one of their opening five league games, the Saddlers welcomed the U's to WS1 with Mat Sadler's men looking to secure three welcome points and avoid an extended winless run.

Walsall began the game brightly, creating the first chance of the afternoon just five minutes into the contest, as Tom Knowles crossed the ball towards the back post for Isaac Hutchinson, who rose well to get his head to the ball but was unable to beat Colchester 'keeper, Owen Goodman, who made the save.

The Saddlers continued to enjoy a good opening spell, with Taylor Allen picking out Jamille Matt in the eleventh minute, but the striker was unable to beat Goodman with a headed effort, as the 'keeper again did well to deny the hosts an early goal.

The home team were unlucky not to find the breakthrough as we reached the quarter hour mark, as Liam Gordon played in Freddie Draper, who saw an effort destined for the back of the net blocked by a well placed defender.

Unperturbed, the Saddlers continued to press, with Hutchinson firing an effort inches wide of the upright twenty minutes into the contest and just four minutes later, a headed cross from Oisin McEntee allowed Freddie Draper a shot at goal, but his acrobatic strike sailed wide of the post.

Walsall won the first corner of the match in the twenty-sixth minute, as they continued to test their opposition's defence, but nothing would come of the flag-kick.

Another Walsall corner followed in the thirty-second minute, as Arthur Read turned the ball out of play, but again the hosts were unable to make the opportunity count as Samson Tovide cleared the danger.

Colchester created their first real chance of the afternoon thirty-four minutes into the contest, as Alex Newby worked the ball to Noah Chilvers, who fired goal-wards from outside the box, but Saddlers shot-stopper, Owen Evans was alert to the danger and made the save.

The hosts were quick to work the ball back to the other end, where Ryan Stirk looked to play in Knowles, whose effort from outside the box was saved by Goodman.

United chose to make an early change to their line-up, in the thirty-sixth minute, with Alex Newby making way for Matt Jay.

Priestley Farquharson became the first player to see yellow, as he was cautioned for kicking the ball away as he sought to prevent the visitors taking a quick free-kick, in the forty-third minute.

One additional minute was added to end the first-half, but there was little further action of note and the sides headed off to enjoy their half-time refreshments with the scores still level.


The teams returned unchanged after the break, and the action got back underway. The sides took some time to settle back into the contest, but seven minutes in, Walsall won a corner as William Greenidge was forced to turn the ball out of play, but ultimately nothing would come of the flag-kick.

Joseph Taylor became the second player to see yellow, as he was cautioned following a foul on Allen in the fifty-fourth minute.

Walsall thought they had opened the scoring in the fifty-fifth minute, as Knowles fed the ball through to Matt, who slotted home, but the latter was offside when the ball was played and the goal was ruled out.

The two combined again just three minutes later, as the hosts won a free-kick in a promising position, with Knowles again picking out Matt with a cross, but the strikers headed effort sailed over the crossbar.

As we reached the hour mark, Colchester chose to make a second change to their line-up, with Joseph Taylor making way for Bradley Ihionvien.

With sixty-five minutes on the clock, Walsall finally found the breakthrough as Stirk found Hutchinson, who picked out the top corner with a strike from some twenty-five yards out.

Two minutes later, the hosts opted to make their first change of the afternoon, with Jamille Matt being replaced by Douglas James-Taylor.

A second Walsall change followed just five minutes after the first, as Tom Knowles made way for Joe Riley.

Colchester also took the opportunity to introduce some fresh legs, with both William Greenidge and Jayden Fevrier departing as Mauro Bandeira and Al-Amin Kazeem took their places.

United won a free-kick in a dangerous position on the edge of the area, fifteen minutes from time, as Stirk fouled Read. The Colchester man stepped forth to take the set-piece, and was a little unlucky to see his goal-ward effort sail wide of the target.

Owen Evans became the third man to see yellow, as he was cautioned for time wasting in the seventy-sixth minute as he looked to slow the game.

The visiting side were awarded another free-kick in a promising position in the seventy-seventh minute, as Riley fouled Tovide, but nothing would come of the set-piece as Chilvers strike from a tight angle sailed wide of the target.

Colchester continued to enjoy a bright spell, going close again moments later, as captain Connor Hall fired an effort in, forcing Evans to make a fine one-handed save to deny him.

In the seventy-ninth minute, Freddie Draper joined those named in the referee's notebook, as he picked up a caution for dissent.

The visiting side won a corner moments later, as Donervon Daniels turned the ball behind. Chilvers swung the ball into the area for Ihionvien from the flag-kick, but the strikers headed effort sailed wide of the target.

An injury to Priestley Farquharson forced Walsall to make their final change of the afternoon in the eighty-fifth minute, with recent arrival, David Okagbue taking to the field to replace him.

Ryan Stirk was cautioned in the eighty-seventh minute, with the referee brandishing the yellow card in his direction following a foul on Chilvers.

Five additional minutes were added to end the game, during which time Hutchinson and James-Taylor combined to force a save from Goodman, before, at the other end, Hall headed goal-wards forcing a save from Evans, who did well to push the ball over the bar, with the resulting corner coming to nothing as Walsall held on to take all three points from the contest, as the match was brought to it's conclusion with Walsall winning by one-goal-to-nil.

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