Match Report: Walsall 0 Harrogate Town 1 Match Report: Walsall 0 Harrogate Town 1
Posted by: Bescot Banter

Match Report: Walsall 0 Harrogate Town 1

Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' League Two meeting with Harrogate Town.
Walsall were back in league action on Saturday afternoon as they welcomed Harrogate Twon to Poundland Bescot Stadium with the Saddlers hoping to build upon last weekend's cup win over Sheppey United.

After an impeccably observed moment of silence to remember the fallen, the match got underway.

Walsall began the game brightly, winning a corner just one minutes into the contest, as Abraham Odoh blocked a Joe Riley strike, but nothing would come of the flag-kick.

The hosts continued to test their opposition defences during the opening minutes of the contest, with Riley and Brandon Comley working together to see the latter fire a powerful effort goal-wards from outside the box, with his shot blocked by Josh Falkingham. The resulting corner also came to nothing as Ryan Stirk's ball in to the near post was cleared by Harrogate 'keeper, Jonathan Mitchell.

There was a break in play in the eighth minute, allowing Joe Riley to receive treatment after colliding with Levi Sutton, but it was soon determined that he would be unable to continue, and Joe Foulkes was brought on in his place.

The Saddlers continued to test their opposition defences as the match continued, with Tom Knowles forcing a corner in the fourteenth minute, which was initially cleared before the hosts managed to work the ball back into the box, where Isaac Hutchinson headed a Liam Gordon cross goal-wards, but failed to find the target.

Gordon looked to open the scoring himself moments later, but dragged his effort wide of the mark before things settled a little.

With twenty-four minutes on the clock, Knowles crossed the ball into the path of Hutchinson, creating another opportunity for the Saddlers to open the scoring, but the number eight blazed the ball over the crossbar.

The Saddlers won a corner two minutes later, as Falkingham turned the ball behind, but nothing would come of the set-piece, as Knowles' cross was headed on by David Okagbue, with his effort being blocked behind by Rod McDonald. Stirk delivered another cross into the box from the flag-kick, but Donervon Daniels headed effort from close range cleared the crossbar.

The Saddlers continued to press, with Knowles seeing an effort from outside the area blocked in the thirtieth minute, moments before Hutchinson played in Gordon, whose strike from the centre of the box was well saved by Mitchell.

Harrogate created their first real chance of the afternoon in the thirty-third minute, as Kayne Ramsay worked the ball to Sam Folarin, who fired an effort goal-wards from the edge of the area, forcing Walsall shot-stopper, Owen Evans into action for the first time, with the resulting corner coming to nothing.

Walsall were awarded a free-kick in the thirty-sixth minute, as Knowles was fouled by Matthew Foulds. Comley crossed the ball into the box from the set-piece, finding the head of Oisin McEntee, but the number four failed to find the target, sending the ball wide of the upright.

At the other end, Matty Daly crossed the ball in for Foulds, in the thirty-ninth minute, but the defenders strike was blocked by McEntee, with the resulting corner coming to nothing.

Walsall were soon back on the attack, winning a corner in the forty-second minute, which was played in by Douglas James-Taylor for Daniels, whose strike from the centre of the area sailed wide.

There was a brief halt to proceedings in the forty-third minute, allowing Foulkes and Folarin to receive attention after a clash of heads, but both were soon able to continue and play resumed.

Four additional minutes were added to end the first-half, during which time Hutchinson saw an effort from range sail wide of the target, but there was little further action of note, and the sides headed off to enjoy their half-time refreshments with the scores still tied.


The teams returned unchanged after the break, and the action resumed. Walsall began the second-half brightly, as Knowles playing the ball across the face of goal just two minutes in, with James-Taylor looking to turn home at the back post, but fortunately for the visitors, Ramsay was first to the ball to deny him a goal and the resulting corner came to nothing.

Walsall should probably have taken the lead in the fifty-second minute, as McEntee, Gordon and James-Taylor combined to play in Comley, but the midfielder sent his effort sailing over the crossbar.

Levi Sutton became the first player to see yellow, as he was cautioned in the fifty-second minute, following a poorly timed tackle on Foulkes.

With sixty-one minutes on the clock, Harrogate opted to make their first change of the afternoon, with Levi Sutton making way for Dean Cornelius.

The Saddlers went close again in the sixty-second minute, as Gordon crossed the ball to Hutchinson who curled an effort goal-wards, but a deflection ensured Mitchell was able to make the save to deny him.

Walsall opted to make a second change to their line-up in the sixty-fourth minute, as Douglas James-Taylor was replaced by Danny Johnson.

The visiting side created a decent chance in the sixty-seventh minute, as Falkingham played in Daly, whose low effort towards the near post was denied by Daniels, who did well to block the strike. The resulting corner came to nothing.

Walsall soon has the ball back at the other end, where Knowles was unlucky not to open the scoring in the seventy-first minute, as he fired an effort goal-wards from twenty yards out, hitting the post.

The Saddlers continued to press, with Johnson crossing the ball across the face of goal, with Stirk racing to get a touch, he failed, but the ball was picked up by Hutchinson who did get a shot away, but unfortunately he too found the post, before the hosts cleared, with the resulting corner being headed wide by Daniels.

Harrogate opted to make a double substitution in the seventy-sixth minute, with both Matty Daly and Matthew Foulds making way as George Thomson and Liam Gibson joined the fray.

Ten minutes from time, Walsall chose to make their third change of the afternoon, with Brandon Comley making way for Ronan Maher.

Josh Falkingham became the second player to see yellow, as he was cautioned in the eighty-second minute.

With eighty-four minutes on the clock, against the run of play, Harrogate took the lead, as Ramsay played the ball in for Thomson who fired home from twenty-five yards out.

The game settled a little after the goal, and there was little further action of note before the board went up to indicate that four additional minutes would be added to end the game.

The match was ultimately brought to it's conclusion with Harrogate winning by one-goal-to-nil. A disappointing result for the Saddlers, who failed to take any of their many chances.


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