Match Report: Stockport County 3 Walsall 1 Match Report: Stockport County 3 Walsall 1

Match Report: Stockport County 3 Walsall 1

Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' League Two meeting with Stockport County.
Walsall made their way to Edgeley Park on Saturday afternoon as they took on League Two table-toppers Stockport County with the Saddlers looking to build upon their recent winning run.

Stockport began the game brightly, winning the first corner of the match just four minutes in, as a ball into the box from Ethan Bristow was turned behind by David Okagbue, though nothing would come of the flag-kick.

County continued to see much of the ball as the game continued, though there was little action of note as the two sides settled into the contest.

The hosts won another corner in the fourteenth minute, as the ball fell to Connor Lemonheigh-Evans, with Okagbue clearing his effort behind. Nothing would come of the flag-kick, but the home team continued to press, with Akil Wright crossing the ball into the box in the fifteenth minute, for Odin Bailey, who headed the ball goal-wards where Walsall shot-stopper, Jackson Smith was waiting to tip the ball over the bar.

Stockport continued to test the Walsall defences, with Ryan Croasdale crossing the ball to Isaac Olaofe in the seventeenth minute, but the strikers shot from outside the box failed was well blocked.

Brandon Comley became the first player to see yellow, as he was cautioned in the twenty-second minute, following a foul on Callum Camps.

Walsall won their first corner of the afternoon in the twenty-sixth minute, as Fraser Horsfall turned the ball behind. The cross in from Tom Knowles looked good, but between Kyle Wootton and Wright, the hosts were able to clear the danger.

Ethan Bristow joined Comley in the referee's notebook in the twenty-ninth minute as he too was cautioned following a foul.

The Saddlers created their first real chance of the afternoon in the thirty-fourth minute, as Knowles fired a low effort in from distance, but his strike was easily saved by County 'keeper, Ben Hinchliffe.

There was a halt to proceedings in the thirty-sixth minute, allowing the referee's assistant to receive treatment following a collision with a Stockport defender, but he was soon back on his feet and able to continue.

Walsall almost took the lead in the forty-third minute, as Knowles darted forward with the ball before crossing to Liam Gordon at the back post, but the midfielder was unable to find the target with his headed effort.

Five additional minutes were added to end the first-half, and two minutes into those, Stockport opened the scoring, as Wright fired home from some twenty yards out.

Their lead, however, was short-lived, as just two minutes later, the Saddlers restored parity. The visitors winning a corner, which Knowles delivered to the near post for Douglas James-Taylor, who headed home.

That would be the final action of note, and the sides headed off to enjoy their half-time refreshments with the scores level at the break.

HALF-TIME
STOCKPORT 1-1 WALSALL

The teams returned unchanged after the break, and play resumed. Walsall began the second-half brightly, winning a free-kick on the edge of the area just two minutes in, as Knowles was fouled. The ball was played goal-wards from the set-piece, but Wootton was first to it to turn it behind, with the resulting corner coming to nothing.

The Saddlers continued to press, with Isaac Hutchinson playing the ball into the area in the fifty-first minute, forcing Horsfall and Hinchliffe to combine to deny the visiting side a second goal.

Stockport regained their earlier lead in the fifty-fifth minute, as the side were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position, from which Camps struck the inside of the post before Olaofe followed up to force the ball over the line.

The hosts continued to press, with Wootton forcing a save from Smith in the fifty-ninth minute.

With sixty-one minutes on the clock, Walsall opted to make their first change of the afternoon, as Danny Johnson was replaced by the returning Josh Gordon.

Things settled a little as the game continued, but sixty-eight minutes in, Walsall went close to a second equaliser, as Knowles worked his way inside before firing a low strike goal-wards, but Hinchliffe was alert to the danger and pushed the effort behind, with the resulting corner coming to nothing, as Hutchinson crossed the ball in towards the back post for Priestley Farquharson, whose headed effort sailed out of play.

Seventy-three minutes into the contest, Stockport chose to make their first changes of the game, with Callum Camps and Kyle Wootton making way for Paddy Madden and Nick Powell.

Walsall also took the opportunity to make a second change to their line-up, as Jack Earing was replaced by Ryan Stirk.

Stockport were awarded a penalty in the seventy-sixth minute, as Liam Gordon fouled Lemonheigh-Evans inside the area. The recently introduced Madden stepped forth to take the spot-kick and duly converted.

That would be Liam Gordon's final action of note, as ten minutes from time, Walsall opted to make their third and final change of the game, and he was replaced by Taylor Allen.

The hosts almost added a fourth to their tally in the eighty-second minute, as Lemonheigh-Evans worked his way into space before firing an effort in on goal, but Smith was alert to the danger and did well to make the save.

The final ten minutes of the match were a quiet affair, with neither side creating anything of note, although in the eighty-ninth minute, the hosts did opt to make their final substitution, as Isaac Olaofe made way for Joel Cotterill.

Four additional minutes were added to end the match, but there was little further action of note and the game was brought to its conclusion with Stockport winning by three-goals-to-one.

FULL-TIME
STOCKPORT 3-1 WALSALL
WRIGHT (45+2')
OLAOFE (55')
MADDEN (P) (76')
JAMES-TAYLOR (45+4')


AT EDGELEY PARK
REFEREE BEN ATKINSON
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