Match Report: Harrogate Town 0 Walsall 2 Match Report: Harrogate Town 0 Walsall 2
Posted by: Bescot Banter

Match Report: Harrogate Town 0 Walsall 2

Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' League Two meeting with Harrogate Town.
Walsall made their way to the EnviroVent Stadium on Saturday afternoon as they took on Harrogate Town in their latest League Two outing of the season.

Harrogate began the match brightly, seeing much of the early possession before seeing the first chance of the game go begging as a Matthew Foulds effort from the edge of the area was deflected to Jack Muldoon, who fired wide, in the sixth minute.

Town continued to see much of the ball as the match continued, though they were unable to create any further chances to test the Walsall defences.

There was a brief halt to proceedings in the sixteenth minute, allowing Liam Gibson to receive attention from the medical staff, but he was soon back on his feet and able to continue.

Walsall began to grow into the game after the short break, winning the first corner of the match in the nineteenth minute as Foulds turned the ball out of play. The flag-kick was swung into the area by Taylor Allen for Josh Gordon, who saw a headed effort blocked before David Okagbue's follow up was saved by Town 'keeper, James Belshaw.

Harrogate were quick to work the ball up to the other end, winning a corner themselves in the twentieth minute, as Tom Knowles put the ball behind, though nothing would come of the opportunity.

Things settled a little as play continued, but in the twenty-ninth minute, Harrogate managed to break through the Walsall defences, with George Thomson playing in Matty Daly, but the midfielders effort was well blocked.

Walsall soon had the ball back in the Harrogate half, with Allen combining with Ross Tierney and Isaac Hutchinson to play the ball through for Knowles, but the unmarked midfielder also saw his effort on goal blocked.

Harrogate soon had another chance, as Abraham Odoh crossed the ball to Derrick Abu, who chanced his luck from outside the area, but the Walsall defences stood firm and the danger was cleared.

The Saddlers saw another opportunity missed in the thirty-seventh minute, as Allen crossed the ball into the area for Jamille Matt, who was lurking at the back post, but the striker was unable to meet it and the chance went begging.

The hosts thought they had found the breakthrough in the thirty-ninth minute, as Dean Cornelius saw a powerful effort from range cannon off the crossbar, only for Daly to follow up and convert the rebound, but fortunately for the Saddlers, the officials had spotted an infringement of the offside rule, and the goal was disallowed.

Two additional minutes were added to end the first-half, but there was little further action of note and the teams headed off to enjoy their half-time refreshments with the scores tied.


The teams returned unchanged after the break, and just two minutes after the restart, Walsall took the lead; Hutchinson and Knowles combining well before a low cross from the latter found Liam Gordon, who turned the ball home from the centre of the area.

Walsall continued to test their hosts defences as the match continued, with Brandon Comley seeing an effort blocked in the fiftieth minute, before Okagbue fired wide from the resulting corner.

The travelling side continued to seek opportunities to add to their tally as the game progressed, but none of them would test the Harrogate defences.

With fifty-seven minutes on the clock, the hosts won a corner as Tierney turned a Thomson shot behind. The ball in from Foulds was good, finding Anthony O'Connor, but the defender was unable to find the target, sending the ball soaring over the crossbar from close range.

The visitors were quick to work the ball back up into the danger zone at the other end, but were unable to make the move pay as Hutchinson ultimately fired over.

Sixty-two minutes into the contest, Harrogate opted to make their first change of the afternoon, with George Thomson making way for Josh March.

The hosts caused the Walsall defences a few problems after the change was completed, with Daly playing in Cornelius, but the midfielders strike ultimately sailed wide of the target.

Walsall chose to make two changes to their line-up in the sixty-fourth minute, as Jamille Matt and Ross Tierney were replaced by Mo Faal and Jack Earing.

Jack Earing became the first player to see yellow, just three minutes after his introduction into the game, as he was cautioned for diving, after going down inside the area as he fought his way past two defenders

There was another brief halt to proceedings in the seventieth minute, allowing Walsall shot-stopper, Jackson Smith and O'Connor to receive attention from the medics following a clash of heads. Fortunately both were soon back on their feet and play resumed.

Walsall almost doubled their lead in the seventy-fourth minute, as Hutchinson broke with the ball, before crossing it in towards the back post for Faal, but the West Bromwich Albion loanee turned the ball wide from close range.

Fifteen minutes from time, Harrogate chose to introduce two further substitutes, with Dean Cornelius and Stephen Dooley making way for Josh Falkingham and Levi Sutton.

The Saddlers continued to seek to add to their tally as play resumed, with Comley played in Knowles in the seventy-seventh minute, but Belshaw was alert to the danger and got down well to make the save.

Walsall continued to press, and eventually doubled their advantage six minutes from time, as Hutchinson floated a cross in for Faal, who brought it down and beat his man before firing a powerful effort in on goal, with the strike deflecting past Belshaw.

The visiting side then opted to make their third change of the afternoon, as Josh Gordon made way for Douglas James-Taylor. Harrogate also took the opportunity to add more fresh legs, with Abraham Odoh departing in favour of Thomas Bloxham.

Six additional minutes were added to end the game, during which time Walsall made another change, with Tom Knowles being replaced by Joe Foulkes.

The Saddlers continued to seek more goals as the game neared it's conclusion, with James-Taylor finding himself through one-on-one with Belshaw, four minutes into added time, but somehow he was unable to find the target, striking the inside of the post before the Town 'keeper got his hands to it.

That would be the final action of note, and the game ended with Walsall winning by two-goals-to-nil. Another good performance from the Saddlers, who defended well and took their chances when they came.


L.GORDON (47')
FAAL (84')
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