Match Report: Forest Green Rovers 2 Walsall 0 Match Report: Forest Green Rovers 2 Walsall 0
Posted by: Bescot Banter

Match Report: Forest Green Rovers 2 Walsall 0

Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' League Two meeting with Forest Green Rovers.
Walsall were back in action on Saturday afternoon as they made their way to the New Lawn in Nailsworth and took on Forest Green Rovers.

Looking to make it six wins in as many games, the Saddlers were hoping to add to their opponents' woes as Rovers look increasingly likely to be spending next season in the National League.

Walsall began the game brightly, winning a corner within the opening two minutes as Ryan Inniss was forced to turn the ball out of play, but nothing would come of the early flag-kick. Another corner followed for the Saddlers in the third minute, as Harvey Bunker put the ball behind, but again, the visiting side were unable to make the chance pay.

There was a brief halt to proceedings in the seventh minute, whilst Tom Knowles received treatment after he picked up a knock but he was soon back on his feet, allowing play to continue.

The teams both enjoyed time with the ball as the game continued, but neither were able to create much of note, and nothing to trouble their opposition defences.

It became apparent in the seventeenth minute that Tom Knowles would not be able to continue afterall, and Joe Foulkes was brought on in his place. 
Forest Green went close in the twenty-first minute, as they won the ball on the edge of the area, allowing Charlie McCann to get a shot away, but his effort was easily saved by Walsall shot-stopper, Jackson Smith.

Jamille Matt became the first player to see yellow, as he was cautioned following a foul on Jordan Moore-Taylor, in the twenty-third minute.

Walsall won a corner in the twenty-eighth minute, as Jamie Robson turned an Isaac Hutchinson effort from outside the area behind. The ball in from the flag-kick found the Walsall number eight who headed goal-wards from close range, but the ball sailed narrowly wide of the target.

Forest Green were presented with a chance to open the scoring as we reached the half hour mark, as Hutchinson gave the ball away cheaply, allowing Kyle McAllister to send a low cross in for Christian Doidge, but the striker was unable to get a touch on it and the chance went begging.

Walsall were quick to work the ball back up to the other end, where a cross from Foulkes found Jack Earing, whose strike from the centre of the area sailed high and wide of the target.

There was another halt to proceedings in the thirty-fifth minute, allowing Matt to receive treatment from the medical team, but play continued and he was eventually able to rejoin the fray.

Walsall again found themselves with an opportunity to open the scoring in the forty-third minute, as Hutchinson crossed the ball in for Josh Gordon, but the striker was unable to beat Rovers 'keeper, Vicente Reyes.

Four additional minutes were added to end the first-half, during which time, Foulkes crossed the ball in for Earing, but the Walsall man's effort was well blocked and nothing would come of it. That proved to be the final action of note, and the sides headed off to enjoy their half-time refreshments with the scores still tied.


Walsall made a second change as the teams returned, with Mo Faal taking the place of Jamille Matt who was unable to play the second forty-five, having taken a knock during the first-half.

The Saddlers began the second-half brightly, almost taking the lead in the forty-ninth minute, as Faal played Josh Gordon through one-on-one with Reyes, but the Rovers 'keeper was quick off his line to prevent the striker finding the target.

The visiting side continued to press, with Taylor Allen and Faal combining to play in Earing in the fifty-second minute, but the midfielders skied his effort.

Four minutes later, the Saddlers went close again, as Foulkes crossed the ball in towards the back post for Faal, but Reyes remained alert to the danger and made the save.

With fifty-eight minutes on the clock, Forest Green opted to make their first change of the afternoon, with Harvey Bunker making way for Tyrese Omotoye.

Sixty-three minutes into the contest, and rather against the run of play, Forest Green took the lead, as Doidge's initial effort struck the post allowing former Saddler, Emmanuel Osadebe to tap in from close range.

David Okagbue and the recently introduced, Tyrese Omotoye joined Matt in the referee's notebook, in the sixty-seventh minute, as they were cautioned for dissent.

Walsall were awarded a penalty in the sixty-ninth minute, as Robson was penalised for fouling Foulkes inside the area. Hutchinson stepped forth to take the spot-kick, but Reyes got a hand to the ball and Isaac blazed over the rebound when he really should have scored.

Just five minutes after picking up his first caution of the afternoon, David Okagbue received a second and was dismissed from the game, following a foul on Doidge.

Jordan Moore-Taylor was then shown the yellow card just one minute later as he was cautioned for dissent.

There was a brief halt to proceedings in the seventy-seventh minute, allowing Richard Keogh to receive attention from the medical team, but he was soon back on his feet and able to continue.

Forest Green were awarded a penalty in the seventy-ninth minute, as Smith brought Omotoye down inside the area. Before the spot-kick could be taken, the hosts opted to make a second change to their line-up, with Richard Keogh making way for Dominic Bernard.

McAllister stepped forth to take the spot-kick once that was completed and duly converted, doubling his sides advantage.

Dominic Thompson was shown the yellow card in the eighty-fourth minute, as he was cautioned for time wasting.

Walsall chose to make their final two changes in the eighty-ninth minute, with Jack Earing and Isaac Hutchinson making way for Douglas James-Taylor and Ross Tierney.

Eight additional minutes were added to end the game, but there was little further action of note and the match was brought to it's conclusion with Forest Green Rovers winning by two-goals-to-nil. A disappointing result for the Saddlers, who failed to take their chances when they were presented.


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