Match Report: Accrington Stanley 2 Walsall 1 Match Report: Accrington Stanley 2 Walsall 1

Match Report: Accrington Stanley 2 Walsall 1

Here is our Match Report from Saturday's League Two meeting between Accrington Stanley and Walsall.
Walsall were back in action on Saturday afternoon as they made the trip to the Wham Stadium and took on Accrington Stanley with hopes of extending their recent winning spell.

Accrington Stanley began the game brightly, winning a corner just one minute into the contest, as David Okagbue turned the ball behind. Joe Pritchard crossed a dangerous ball in towards the near post, but Walsall shot-stopper, Jackson Smith was alert to the danger and pushed the ball clear.

The hosts continued to enjoy a bright spell, with Tommy Leigh crossing the ball in for Pritchard in the fourth minute, but the Accrington captain missed the target with his headed effort, sending the ball narrowly over the crossbar.

Just nine minutes in, Accrington took the lead, as Smith cleared an initial effort from Pritchard, only as far as Leigh who tapped home from close range.

Walsall looked to respond to falling a goal behind, working the ball up to the other end in the thirteenth minute, but Ryan Stirk's effort from outside the area sailed over the crossbar.

The hosts soon had the ball back in the Walsall area, with Donervon Daniels forced to turn a fifteenth-minute Jack Nolan effort behind. The resulting corner was swung into the area forcing Smith to punch clear, but the move was ended before Accrington could come again as a foul on Brandon Comley saw a free-kick awarded to the Saddlers.

Walsall won a corner at the other end just two minutes later, as Brad Hills turned the ball out of play, but nothing would come of the flag-kick, as Daniels headed Stirk's cross over the crossbar.

Things settled a little as the match continued, but twenty-four minutes in, Walsall won another corner as Ben Woods turned the ball out of play. Nothing would come of the flag-kick though, as Oisin McEntee's effort was blocked.

Three minutes later, a corner at the other end saw Josh Woods head a Pritchard cross goal-wards, but his effort had a little too much height on it and the ball sailed over.

Walsall soon had the ball back in the Accrington half, as they looked to restore parity, with Stirk crossing the ball in for Freddie Draper in the twenty-ninth minute, but the striker's effort sailed wide of the upright.

The visiting side continued to press, with Draper crossing the ball into the path of Jamille Matt, just two minutes later, though he too was unable to find the target.

Smith was called into action again at the other end moments later, as a mistake at the back allowed Woods a chance to shoot, though the Walsall shot-stopper was equal to it.

The home side won another corner in the thirty-eighth minute, as Priestley Farquharson diverted the ball behind. Nothing would come of the flag-kick though, as Smith denied Hills a goal.

There was a pause in proceedings in the forty-second minute, allowing both Tom Knowles and Okagbue to receive attention from the medical team. Fortunately, both were eventually back to their feet and able to continue.

Five additional minutes were added to end the first half, during which time, Ben Woods picked up the first yellow card of the game, as he was cautioned following a foul on Comley.

Four minutes into the five added, Walsall were awarded a penalty as Daniels was fouled by Joe Gubbins inside the area. Draper stepped forth to take the spot-kick and duly converted, levelling the scores.

The visiting side almost secured a second goal two minutes after the first, as Stirk crossed the ball into the box for McEntee, but the number four was unable to find the target, sending the ball narrowly wide of the upright.

That would be the final action of note before the teams headed off to enjoy their half-time refreshments, with the scores tied at the break.

HALF-TIME
STANLEY 1-1 WALSALL

The teams returned unchanged after the break, and Walsall got the action back underway. Accrington began the second-half brightly, with Pritchard firing wide just one minute after the restart..

The game settled into something of a midfield battle as it continued, with both enjoying spells on the ball without creating much to trouble their opposition defences, although, seven minutes into the half, Stirk worked the ball to Draper, who fired goal-wards from outside the box, sending the ball high and wide of the target.

With fifty-seven minutes on the clock, Accrington's earlier lead was restored, as a Pritchard cross evaded everyone and found the back of the net, after seeing his initial ball in cleared back to him.

As we reached the hour mark, Walsall opted to make their first changes of the afternoon, as Ryan Stirk and Jamille Matt made way for Isaac Hutchinson and Danny Johnson.

There was another break in play in the sixty-seventh minute, allowing David Okagbue to receive attention from the medical staff. It was soon determined that he would be unable to continue, and Jack Earing took his place.

Things settled again as the game continued, but after a rather quiet ten minute spell, Walsall almost equalised, as Draper chested the ball down before attempting an overhead kick, but his effort sailed wide of the upright.

Accrington opted to make their first change of the afternoon in the seventy-ninth minute, as Joe Pritchard was replaced by Shaun Whalley.

The Saddlers continued to seek a late equaliser as the game continued, with Daniels working himself into space inside the area in the eighty-first minute, only to see his effort sail wide of the target.

The hosts had soon worked the ball up to the other end, where Leigh looked to play in Josh Woods, whose strike from the centre of the box sailed high over the crossbar.

Accrington opted to make two further changes to their line-up two minutes from time, as Josh Woods and Tommy Leigh made for Alex Henderson and Leslie Adekoya.

Seven additional minutes were added to end the match, though there was little action of note during them, although five minutes in, Accrington did opt to make their final change of the game, as Jack Nolan made way for Lewis Trickett.

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

FULL-TIME
STANLEY 2-1 WALSALL
LEIGH (9')
PRITCHARD (57')
DRAPER (P) (45+4')

AT WHAM STADIUM
REFEREE SCOTT OLDHAM
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