Match Report: Walsall 2 Accrington Stanley 1 Match Report: Walsall 2 Accrington Stanley 1
Posted by: Bescot Banter

Match Report: Walsall 2 Accrington Stanley 1

Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' League Two meeting with Accrington Stanley.
Walsall played host to Accrington Stanley on Tuesday evening as Mat Sadler's side looked to make their way into the League Two Play-Off places.

Following a minute of applause in memory of former Walsall manager, Chris Nicholl, the Saddlers got the match underway.

The hosts began the game brightly, creating the first chance of the evening just three minutes in, as Tom Knowles played in Jamille Matt, but the strikers' effort on goal lacked power, allowing Accrington 'keeper, Radek Vitek to make the save.

At the other end, moments later, the visiting side were presented with their first chance of the evening, as a Tommy Leigh cross found Korede Adeoyin in space, though his strike was well blocked.

Accrington continued to test the Walsall defences, with Jake Bickerstaff working the ball to Leigh in the seventh minute, but the midfielder's long-range effort sailed high and wide of the target.

Walsall went close in the tenth minute, up at the other end, as Liam Gordon broke with the ball before crossing to Taylor Allen, but the defender could not get a clear shot away, with the ball deflecting into the path of Matt, who fired over.

The visiting side had soon worked the ball back to the other end, with Bickerstaff doing well to slip his marker before firing an effort goal-wards from the edge of the area, in the thirteenth minute, but Liam Gordon was on hand to ensure the ball would not find the target, with the resulting corner coming to nothing.

The end-to-end action continued, with Walsall going close again in the nineteenth minute, as Emmanuel Adegboyega broke into the box, before passing to Jack Earing, whose strike sailed inches wide of the far post.

In the twenty-second minute, Dan Martin picked up the first yellow card of the game, as he was cautioned following a foul on Liam Gordon.

There was a brief halt to proceedings in the twenty-ninth minute, allowing Leigh to receive treatment from the medics, but he was soon back on his feet and able to continue, allowing play to resume.

Walsall believed they had opened the scoring in the thirty-third minute, as Liam Gordon raced into the area, before seeing a cutback diverted goal-wards. The hosts believed the ball had crossed the line, but the officials deemed it to have been cleared off the line and no goal was given.

The Saddlers continued to press, winning a free-kick in a promising position in the thirty-sixth minute, which Allen played into the area, but David Okagbue, who rose to meet the ball, headed over.

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


The teams returned unchanged after the break, and Accrington got the action back underway. Walsall began the second-half brightly, being awarded a free-kick just two minutes after the restart, as Kelvin Mellor was penalised for a foul on Matt, but nothing would come of the set-piece as Knowles fired over.

Accrington had soon worked the ball up to the other end, winning a corner as Brandon Comley blocked an Adedoyin effort, though nothing would come of the flag-kick.

The visiting side were awarded a penalty in the fifty-sixth minute, as Liam Gordon handled inside the box. Former Saddler, Jack Nolan stepped forth to take the spot-kick and duly converted, putting his side ahead.

Accrington's lead was short lived, as just four minutes after they had taken the lead, Walsall levelled. Connor O'Brien conceding a corner on the hour mark, which Isaac Hutchinson delivered to the back post, where Okagbue was waiting to head home.

With sixty-four minutes on the clock, Walsall opted to make their first change of the evening, as Josh Gordon made way for Mo Faal.

Twenty minutes from time, the Saddlers almost took the lead, but Earing's powerful strike from distance sailed inches over the crossbar.

There was a brief halt to proceedings in the seventy-second minute, allowing Korede Adedoyin to receive attention from the medical team. It was soon determined that he would be unable to continue and both he and Jake Bickerstaff departed the game, in favour of Anjola Popoola and Leslie Adekoya.

Things settled a little as the game continued, with both sides enjoying spells on the ball, without creating much to trouble their opposition defences.

Walsall created a chance in the eighty-first minute, but Hutchinson was unable to find the target, as his headed effort was blocked.

The hosts went on to win a corner in the eighty-fifth minute, which was swung into the box by Hutchinson for Okagbue, who headed on to Faal, who found Adegboyega who turned the ball home from close range to put his side ahead.

Jack Nolan became the second player to see yellow, as he was cautioned following a foul in the eighty-seventh minute.

Walsall opted to make two further changes to their line-up in the eighty-ninth minute, as Jack Earing and Jamille Matt made way for Ross Tierney and Douglas James-Taylor.

Six additional minutes were added to end the game, during which time, Accrington chose to make another change, with Connor O'Brien departing, as Oliver Patrick took his place.

Hutchinson almost put the game to bed for Walsall, five minutes into those added, but his deflected effort ultimately missed the target by an inch or two, with the resulting corner coming to nothing.

Liam Gordon picked up the third yellow card of the game six minutes into added time, as he was cautioned for time wasting, and he was joined in the referee's notebook just one minute later, by Mo Faal, who was similarly cautioned.

That would be the final action of note, and the match was brought to it's conclusion with Walsall winning by two-goals-to-one and making it four wins in as many games!

NOLAN [P] (56')

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