Match Report: Gillingham 1 Walsall 1 Match Report: Gillingham 1 Walsall 1

Match Report: Gillingham 1 Walsall 1

Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' League Two meeting with Gillingham.
Walsall were back in action on Saturday afternoon as they made their way to the Priestfield Stadium and took on Gillingham in their latest outing of the 2023/24 League Two campaign.

Walsall began the game brightly, winning a corner just one minute into the contest, as an Isaac Hutchinson effort struck Max Ehmer and headed out of play. Gillingham were able to partially clear the danger, but Tom Knowles was fouled just outside the box, and a free-kick was awarded, though nothing would come of that, as Hutchinson failed to beat the wall.

Unperturbed, the Saddlers continued to press, with Jack Earing crossing the ball in for Mo Faal, whose headed effort was well blocked, moments before Donervon Daniels got on the end of a cross from the resulting corner and fired wide.

Gillingham began to see more of the ball as the match continued, winning a corner themselves in the seventh minute, as Priestley Farquharson turned a Josh Walker strike out of play, though nothing would come of that either.

Walsall had soon worked the ball back up to the other end, where Brandon Comley saw a shot from outside the area sail wide of the target, shortly before Josh Gordon headed the ball into the path of Faal, whose effort on goal was turned behind by Conor Masterson, with the resulting corner coming to nothing.

Things settled a little as the game continued, with both sides enjoying spells on the ball without creating much to worry their opposition defences, though Gillingham almost found a way through in the twenty-fifth minute, but Farquharson beat Walker to George Lapslie's ball in and ensured the scores remained level.

Josh Gordon was presented with a chance to change that at the other end, just two minutes later, but the striker sent his effort sailing high and wide of the target.

The hosts went close again as we reached the half hour mark, but Hawkins was unable to guide Remeao Hutton's cross home, heading the ball wide of the upright.

Josh Gordon picked up the first yellow card of the game in the thirty-third minute, as he was cautioned following a foul on Ethan Coleman.

There was a brief halt to proceedings in the thirty-sixth minute, allowing Ehmer to receive treatment from the medical team, but the Gills captain was soon back on his feet and ready to continue.

George Lapslie became the second player to see yellow, as he was cautioned following a foul on Comley in the fortieth minute.

Walsall could have taken the lead in the forty-second minute, as a Earing crossed the ball into the area for Hutchinson, but his headed effort was easily gathered by Gills 'keeper, Jake Turner.

Three additional minutes were added to end the first-half, during which time Daniels saw an effort on goal blocked, but there was little further action of note, and the sides headed off to enjoy their half-time refreshments with the scores still level.

HALF-TIME
GILLINGHAM 0-0 WALSALL

The teams returned unchanged after the break and the action got back underway. Gillingham began the second-half brightly, winning a corner just one minute in, as David Okagbue was forced to turn a Lapslie effort from outside the box behind. Nothing would come of the flag-kick.

The game settled into something of a midfield battle as it continued, with both sides enjoying spells on the ball, without creating much to trouble their opposition defences.

David Okagbue became the third player to be shown the yellow card, as he was cautioned following a foul on Hawkins in the fifty-eighth minute.

As we reached the hour mark, Walsall almost found a way through on goal, but Hutchinson was unable to beat the Gillingham 'keeper, who did well to make the save.

Shadrach Ogie joined those already listed in the referee's notebook, in the sixty-first minute, as he was cautioned following a handball. He was further penalised in the form of a penalty awarded to Walsall for the infraction.

Hutchinson stepped forth to take the spot-kick, and duly converted, putting Walsall ahead.

Gillingham responded to falling a goal behind by making a triple change, with George Lapslie, Connor Mahoney and Josh Walker making way for Jonny Williams, Timothée Dieng and Jorge Hurtado, in the sixty-fourth minute.

Two minutes later, Walsall chose to make their first change of the afternoon, with Mo Faal making way for Jamille Matt.

A second Walsall substitution followed in the seventy-second minute, as Jack Earing was replaced by Ryan Stirk, and a third was made four minutes after that, with Josh Gordon making way for Ross Tierney.

Just one minute after the third Walsall change was completed, Gillingham levelled. Conor Masterson firing home from eight yards out after Ehmer rolled the ball into his path.

Things settled again as the game continued, but Gillingham almost found a second goal in the eighty-second minute, as they won a corner which was crossed to Masterson, whose effort on goal sailed narrowly over the crossbar.

Four minutes from time, the Saddlers went close at the other end, as Tierney crossed the ball towards the back post for Stirk, but his effort sailed wide of the target.

Timothée Dieng saw his name added to the referee's notebook in the eighty-ninth minute, as he was shown the yellow card following a foul on Daniels.

Six additional minutes were added to end the match, during which time Gillingham won a corner as Daniels turned the ball behind, though fortunately for the Saddlers, nothing would come of it as the Saddlers defences cleared the danger.

There was little further action of note, until the hosts opted to make their final change of the afternoon, five minutes into those added, with Oliver Hawkins making for Ashley Nadesan.

Stirk was presented with a chance to snatch all three points in the final seconds of the contest, but his effort was blocked and the full-time whistle sounded. The sides sharing the points having scored one-goal-apiece.

FULL-TIME
GILLINGHAM 1-1WALSALL
MASTERSON (77') HUTCHINSON [P] (62')
AT PRIESTFIELD STADIUM
REFEREE CHARLES BREAKSPEAR
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