Match Report: Grimsby Town 1 Walsall 6 Match Report: Grimsby Town 1 Walsall 6

Match Report: Grimsby Town 1 Walsall 6

Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' League Two meeting with Grimsby Town.
Walsall opened 2024 with an away trip to Blundell Park as they took on Grimsby Town with the Saddlers looking to close the gap on a team that could ill afford to drift yet closer to the League Two relegation zone.

Grimsby got the match underway, but it was Walsall who created the first half chance of the afternoon, as Liam Gordon crossed the ball in for Isaac Hutchinson just four minutes into the contest, but the midfielders effort was well blocked.

The sides both settled into the contest as it continued, and ten minutes in, Walsall again created a chance to open the scoring, as Earing worked the ball to Tom Knowles, who fired goal-wards from just outside the area, but Kieran Green was on hand for the hosts to block the shot.

Grimsby soon had the ball up at the other end, where they won as Gordon turned the ball out of play. A second flag-kick followed as the cross in was turned behind and nothing would come of that as Anthony Driscoll-Glennon's cross in was headed wide by Green.

Walsall went close to opening the scoring in the eighteenth minute, as Priestley Farquharson crossed the ball to Gordon, whose low cross was turned into the path of Hutchinson before Knowles picked up the loose ball and fired goal-wards, forcing a good save from Grimsby 'keeper, Harvey Cartright, with the resulting corner coming to nothing.

The hosts had soon worked the ball back to the other end, where Green worked the ball to Abobaker Eisa, who fired goal-wards from outside the box, forcing a save from Walsall shot-stopper, Jackson Smith.

Town created another chance to open the scoring in the twenty-sixth minute, as Danny Rose looked to play in Jamie Andrews, who fired goal-wards but his effort soared high over the crossbar.

Grimsby continued to test the Walsall defences, and their pressure paid in the twenty-ninth minute, when Green's cross into the box was clinically turned home from close range by Rose.

Walsall were forced to make their first change of the afternoon in the thirty-third minute, as Freddie Draper was forced to retire, with Danny Johnson taking his place.

With thirty-eight minutes on the clock, Walsall restored parity, as Douglas James-Taylor beat his man to get onto the end of an Earing cross, before working his way into the box and firing past Cartright to level the scores.

The Saddlers then took the lead just five minutes after drawing level, as James-Taylor turned provider, crossing the ball in for Hutchinson who picked out the bottom corner.

Four additional minutes were added to end the first-half, during which time, the visiting side could have added to their tally, as they broke with the ball in a move which culminated in a shot on goal by Brandon Comley, but Driscoll-Glennon was on hand to keep his side just the one goal behind.

The Saddlers went on to win a corner, three minutes into those added, though nothing would come of it, as Farquharson turned Johnson's cross wide. That would be the final action of note before the sides headed off to enjoy their half-time refreshments with Walsall leading by two-goals-to-one.

HALF-TIME
GRIMSBY 1-2 WALSALL

The teams returned unchanged after the break, and Walsall got the action back underway. The Saddlers began the second-half brightly, seeing plenty of the ball before Donervon Daniels floated a cross towards the back post five minutes in, which Knowles connected with, but the number ten could not find the target with his effort on goal.

Seconds later, Walsall did secure their third goal of the afternoon, as Johnson held the ball up, before playing it into the path of Earing, who fired a low effort home to extend his sides lead.

Ten minutes into the half, Walsall were awarded a penalty, as Kamil Conteh felled Earing inside the area. Hutchinson stepped forth to take the spot-kick, and duly converted.

That was to be Kamil Conteh's final contribution of the afternoon, as he was substituted with Alex Hunt.

The Saddlers continued to press, winning a corner in the fifty-seventh minute as Luke Waterfall turned the ball behind. Another flag-kick followed swiftly, as Niall Maher put the ball out play, but nothing would come of that.

Unperturbed, the visiting side continued to test the Grimsby defences, with Hutchinson playing in Johnson in the fifty-ninth minute, but the strikers effort from the centre of the area was well blocked.

Walsall chose to make a second change to their line-up as we reached the hour mark, with Jack Earing making way for Taylor Allen.

Six minutes after the change was completed, Walsall added a fifth to their tally, as they won a corner which was crossed in by Allen for Farquharson, who bundled home from close range.

Taylor Allen became the first player to see yellow, as he was cautioned following a foul on Hunt in the seventy-first minute.

Walsall continued to seek further goals as the game continued, with a long ball finding Johnson in the seventy-second minute, though the strikers effort sailed across the face of goal and out of play.

Grimsby chose to make their second change of the afternoon in the seventy-second minute, with Kieran Green making way for Aaron Braithwaite.

There was a halt to proceedings in the seventy-sixth minute, allowing James-Taylor to receive attention from the medical staff, but he was eventually back on his feet and able to continue.

Town almost pulled a goal back after the match restarted, as Hunt crossed the ball in for Rose, but Smith was alert to the danger and made the save.

With seventy-nine minutes on the clock, the hosts chose to make two final changes to their line-up, with Jamie Andrews and Abobaker Eisa making way for Otis Khan and Charles Vernam.

The final ten minutes of the match were a pretty quiet affair, as Grimsby enjoyed plenty of time with the ball, whilst struggling to break through the Walsall defences.

Six additional minutes were added to end the match, during which time, Walsall made their third change of the afternoon, as Douglas James-Taylor made was replaced by Ronan Maher.

Walsall won a corner two minutes into those added, as Toby Mullarkey turned the ball out of play, but nothing would come of the flag-kick, as Allen's cross into the box was headed wide by David Okagbue.

The Saddlers secured their sixth goal of the afternoon five minutes into the six added, as Hutchinson crossed the ball across the box for Johnson, who tapped home from close range.

The hosts won a corner in the ninety-seventh minute, as Comley turned the ball out of play, but ultimately nothing would come of it and the match was brought to it's conclusion with Walsall winning by six-goals-to-one.

A fantastic performance to start the year from the Saddlers, who took their chances well and stood firm at the back

FULL-TIME
GRIMSBY 1-6 WALSALL
ROSE (33')





JAMES-TAYLOR (38')
HUTCHINSON (43')
EARING (50')
HUTCHINSON (P) (55')
FARQUHARSON (60')
JOHNSON (90+5')
AT BLUNDELL PARK
REFEREE ED DUCKWORTH
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