Match Report: Southampton 4 Walsall 0 Match Report: Southampton 4 Walsall 0

Match Report: Southampton 4 Walsall 0

Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' FA Cup clash with Southampton.
Attention turned to cup action on Saturday afternoon as the Saddlers travelled to St Mary's Stadium and took on Sky Bet Championship side Southampton in the Third Round of the 2023/24 Emirates FA Cup.

Southampton began the game brightly, with Samuel Amo-Ameyaw crossing the ball towards the back post for Ryan Fraser just one minute into the contest, but between Liam Gordon and Priestley Farquharson Walsall were able to clear the danger.

The Saints continued to press, winning a corner in the fifth minute, as David Okagbue turned the ball behind. Nothing would come of the early flag-kick.

Just one minute later, the hosts took the lead, as a delightful ball over the top from Taylor Harwood-Bellis was chested down by Fraser, before the striker fired home from the centre of the area.

The home team could have doubled their advantage in the tenth minute, as Fraser combined with Jayden Meghoma to play in SĂ©kou Mara, but fortunately for the Saddlers, the strikers headed effort sailed over the crossbar.

Southampton continued to see much of the ball as the game continued, and could have extended their lead in the nineteenth minute, as Carlos Alcaraz curled an effort goal-wards, but his shot failed to trouble Walsall shot-stopper, Jackson Smith, as it sailed wide of the target.

Tom Knowles turned the ball out of play in the twenty-first minute, gifting the Saints a corner, from which Amo-Ameyaw fired over.

There was a brief halt to proceedings in the twenty-fourth minute, allowing Smith to receive attentions from the medical team, after a collision with Mara, but he was soon back on his feet and able to continue.

Southampton were a little unlucky not to double their tally in the twenty-ninth minute, as Amo-Ameyaw crossed the ball in for Fraser, whose shot on goal was blocked by a Walsall man into the path of Mara, who fired a tame effort wide.

Walsall created their first real chance of the afternoon in the thirty-fourth minute, as a ball over the top from Farquharson found Knowles, who did well to work his way into space before firing in an effort on goal that sailed narrowly wide of the target.

The Saints were quick to work the ball back up to the other end, where Alcaraz looked to play in Will Smallbone, whose low effort on goal was easily saved by Smith.

The Saddlers soon had the ball back in the Southampton half, where Isaac Hutchinson worked his way into space before firing a strike straight into the waiting arms of Saints shot-stopper, Joe Lumley.

Smallbone saw another effort go begging at the other end just one minute later, as he looped an effort over the crossbar from close range.

The hosts went close again in the forty-third minute, as Smith spilled a save to deny Alcaraz, with Mara looking to follow up, but the shot-stopper got to the ball to deny the striker a chance on goal.

Three additional minutes were added to end the first-half, during which time, Samuel Amo-Ameyaw became the first player to be shown the yellow card, as he was cautioned following a foul on Hutchinson.

That would be the final action of note, and the sides headed off to enjoy their half-time refreshments with Southampton leading by one-goal-to-nil.

HALF-TIME
SOUTHAMPTON 1-0 WALSALL

The teams returned unchanged after the break, and the action got back underway. Walsall were presented with a chance to level the scores just three minutes into the second-half, as a poor pass from Southampton captain, Jack Stephens allowed Knowles an effort on goal, but Walsall number ten fired high over the crossbar.

The Saddlers were presented with another opportunity to restore parity in the fifty-first minute, Jack Earing picked up the ball and raced into the area, finding himself one-on-one with the Saints 'keeper, but he missed the target, sending the ball wide of the upright.

Things settled a little as the game continued, but Southampton went close in the fifty-seventh minute, as Meghoma crossed the ball into the area for Smallbone, whose flick on sailed over the crossbar.

With fifty-eight minutes on the clock, Southampton doubled their lead, as Alcaraz and Fraser combined to play in Mara, who set himself before firing past Smith.

The Saints almost added a third just two minutes after the second, as the ball found Smallbone inside the area, but the midfielder's effort on goal sailed inches wide of the upright.

The hosts felt they should have been awarded a penalty in the sixty-fifth minute, as Mara was brought down inside the area by Farquharson, but the referee was unmoved by their appeals and waved play on.

With sixty-six minutes on the clock, Southampton opted to make their first change of the afternoon, with Taylor Harwood-Bellis making way for Ché Adams.

Southampton added their third goal of the afternoon in the sixty-eighth minute, all but putting the game to bed, as Alcaraz crossed the ball into the area for Fraser, who fired home into the bottom corner.

Walsall had soon worked the ball up to the other end, where Hutchinson picked it up just outside the area and fired an effort in on goal, but his strike sailed narrowly wide of the target.

The Saints chose to make a second change to their line-up, in the seventy-sixth minute, as SĂ©kou Mara made way for debutant, Tyler Dibling.

Walsall also took the opportunity to introduce some fresh legs, as Jack Earing and Donervon Daniels were replaced by Taylor Allen and on-loan Norwich City defender Emmanuel Adegboyega.

Southampton ensured they would advance into the fourth round draw in the seventy-eighth minute, as Alcaraz played in Adams, who fired home from close range.

In the eighty-fourth minute, the hosts made their third change of the game, as Samuel Amo-Ameyaw made way for Cameron Bragg.

Two minutes later, the visiting side also chose to introduce another substitute, with Danny Johnson being replaced by Joe Foulkes for the final few minutes.

The Saints went close again in the eighty-eighth minute, as Dibling fired an effort goal-wards from close range, but he narrowly missed the target.

Four additional minutes were added to end the match, during which time Southampton went close again, as Fraser looked for his hat-trick, but Smith was alert to the danger in the Walsall goal and managed to hold to deny him.

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

FULL-TIME
SOUTHAMPTON 4-0 WALSALL
FRASER (6')
MARA (58')
FRASER (68')
ADAMS (78')
GOALSCORER



AT ST. MARY'S STADIUM
REFEREE DAVID WEBB
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