Match Report: Tranmere Rovers 1 Walsall 3 Match Report: Tranmere Rovers 1 Walsall 3
Posted by: Bescot Banter

Match Report: Tranmere Rovers 1 Walsall 3

Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' League Two meeting with Tranmere Rovers.
Walsall were back in League Two action on Saturday afternoon as they travelled to the Wirral where they were hoping to make it two wins in as many games when they took on Tranmere Rovers.

Tranmere began the match brightly, winning a corner just two minutes into the contest, as Ryan Stirk blocked an early shot from Regan Hendry, however, nothing would come of the flag-kick, as Reece McAlear's ball in was cleared.

Walsall were quick to work the ball up to the other end, with Emmanuel Adegboyega and Isaac Hutchinson combining to work the ball into the box for Stirk, whose effort on goal sailed wide of the target.

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

The hosts created a chance to open the scoring in the thirteenth minute, as Rob Apter broke with the ball before crossing it in for Josh Hawkes, whose effort on goal sailed high and wide.

Tranmere went close again four minutes later, as McAlear played a low ball into the box, which Adegboyega cleared only as far as Regan Hendry, who turned his effort narrowly wide.

Walsall went close at the other end in the nineteenth minute, as Josh Gordon broke with the ball before pulling it back for Hutchinson, but Rovers 'keeper, Luke McGee did well to keep the ball out.

The hosts were quick to work the ball back into the danger zone at the other end, but Hendry's curling effort sailed wide of the post.

Tranmere continued to press, winning a corner in the twenty-third minute, as Brandon Comley turned a McAlear shot behind, but nothing would come of the flag-kick as the Saddlers cleared.

Rovers did find the breakthrough just one minute later though, as Apter cut the ball back for Hendry, who fired goal-wards from outside the box, finding the bottom corner to put his side a goal to the good.

The hosts went close again in the twenty-seventh minute, as the ball fell to Apter, but Walsall shot-stopper, Jackson Smith was alert to the danger and turned the ball over the bar. Several Tranmere corners followed, but the Saddlers continued to stand firm under pressure, dealing with each.

Rovers continued to test the Saddlers defences, winning a free-kick in a dangerous position in the thirtieth minute, which McAlear fired goal-wards, finding the crossbar, with Apter then firing the rebound over.

There was a brief halt to proceedings in the thirty-first minute, allowing Smith to receive attention from the medical team, but the 'keeper was soon back on his feet and able to continue.

Rob Apter became the first player to see yellow, as he was shown the yellow card in the thirty-fifth minute following a foul on Smith.

Another pause in play followed, allowing Smith to receive further attention from the medical staff, but fortunately, he was soon back on his feet and ready to continue.

Lee O'Connor became the second player to be shown the yellow card, as he was cautioned in the fortieth minute for a foul on Stirk.

Walsall almost levelled the scores in the forty-first minute, as Hutchinson floated the ball in towards the back post for Adegboyega, but McGee was alert to the danger and got his hand to the ball to turn it behind, with the resulting corner coming to nothing.

Five additional minutes were added to end the first-half. Two minutes into the added five, Walsall restored parity, as Joe Foulkes crossed the ball into the area for Jamille Matt, 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 one-goal apiece.


The teams unchanged following the break, and Tranmere got the action back underway. Walsall created a few half chances early in the second-half, with Stirk playing the ball through for Josh Gordon, who saw an effort blocked, before Matt found Ryan in space, with the midfielder firing wide from thirty-five yard yards out.

Tom Davies became the third player to be shown the yellow card, as he was added to the referee's notebook following a foul on Josh Gordon in the fifty-sixth minute.

The resulting free-kick was taken by Taylor Allen, who fired Walsall into the lead as he picked out the far corner with a powerful, curling strike.

Tranmere opted to make their first change of the afternoon in the fifty-third minute, with Josh Hawkes making way for Harvey Saunders.

Saunders looked to make an immediate impact, sending a low ball in across goal just two minutes after his introduction, which was turned behind. The resulting corner was played short, but the Walsall defences dealt with the danger well.

Walsall chose to make their first change of the game in the sixty-sixth minute, as goalscorer, Jamille Matt was replaced by Mo Faal.

The Saddlers almost added a third goal in the sixty-seventh minute, as Liam Gordon picked out Hutchinson with a cross, but the number eight was unable to find the target with his effort from range.

The visiting side had more luck just one minute later, as Foulkes passed the ball to Comley, twenty-five yards from goal, with the midfielder firing a powerful shot into the far corner to double his sides advantage.

Tranmere responded to the goal by making their second change of the afternoon, in the seventy-third minute, as Lee O'Connor made way for Kristian Dennis.

The hosts almost pulled a goal back in the seventy-sixth minute, as James Norris and Saunders combined to win a corner, which McAlear played in for Apter, whose headed effort struck the post and stayed out.

Walsall introduced their second substitute in the seventy-seventh minute, as Josh Gordon made way for Douglas James-Taylor.

Tranmere continued to seek goals as the game continued, with Hendry curling an effort in the eighty-first minute, but Smith was alert to the danger and got his fingertips to the ball to keep it out, with the help of the upright.

The hosts came again in the eighty-seventh minute, with Apter curling a strike towards the top corner, after some good play from Saunders to work the ball to him, but his shot was blocked and the Saddlers advantage remained.

Walsall were presented with a chance to secure a fourth goal, in the eighty-ninth minute, as James-Taylor played in Liam Gordon, but the midfielder's effort sailed wide of the target.

Four additional minutes were added to end the game, during which time, Liam Gordon was shown the yellow card after getting into an argument with Apter, but there was little further action of note and the match was brought to it's conclusion with Walsall winning by three-goals-to-one.

APTER (24')

MATT (45~2')
ALLEN (57')
COMLEY (68')
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