Match Report: Walsall 2 Salford City 1 Match Report: Walsall 2 Salford City 1
Posted by: Bescot Banter

Match Report: Walsall 2 Salford City 1

Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' League Two meeting with Salford City.
Walsall were back in League Twp action on Easter Monday as they welcomed Salford City to the Poundland Bescot Stadium, with Mat Sadler's men looking to bounce back from a disappointing defeat to MK Dons.

Walsall began the game brightly, seeing plenty of the early ball, although it was Salford who created the first chance to open the scoring, winning a free-kick in a dangerous position just four minutes in, as Theo Vassell was fouled by Josh Gordon. Elliot Watt crossed the ball in from the set-piece, for Callum Hendry, but the strikers effort sailed over the crossbar.

Just nine minutes into the contest, Walsall opened the scoring, as Isaac Hutchinson floated a flag-kick, conceded by Vassell, into the area for Jamille Matt, who rose highest to nod home.

Salford looked to respond quickly to falling a goal behind, winning a corner in the twelfth minute, as Liam Gordon put the ball out of play, but nothing would come of the flag-kick as Matthew Lund's header on was cleared by the Saddlers defences.

The visiting side continued to seek to level the scores as the game continued and were rewarded with a free-kick in a promising spot in the seventeenth minute, but Luke Garbutt was unable to find the target from the set-piece, sending the ball narrowly wide from range.

Unperturbed, City continued to press, with Lund seeing an effort saved by Walsall's keeper, Jackson Smith, in the nineteenth minute, before the shot-stopper was again called into action in the twenty-third minute, as he was tasked with saving a twenty-yard Conor McAleny strike.

Salford perhaps should have restored parity in the twenty-seventh minute, as a lovely ball into the area from Connor McLennan was met by Lund, but the midfielder turned the ball over the bar from close range.

City continued to dominate as the match continued, with McAleny finding time to compose himself before firing an effort in from the edge of the area in the thirtieth minute, but Smith remained alert and did well to get a hand to the ball to keep it out.

Walsall were able to work the ball up to the other end, in the thirty-fourth minute, with Hutchinson doing well to hold off Watt, before crossing the ball into the area for Josh Gordon, who controlled well before firing a powerful strike in, which unfortunately for the Saddlers, was aimed directly at Salford shot-stopper, Alex Cairns.

Luke Garbutt became the first player to be shown the yellow card, in the forty-first minute, as he received a caution following a late challenge on Joe Foulkes.

One minute was 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 Walsall leading by one-goal-to-nil.


Walsall opted to make a change to their line-up as the teams returned, with goalscorer, Jamille Matt sitting out the second-half, as Douglas James-Taylor filled his place.

Adrian Mariappa became the second player to be shown the yellow card, as he was cautioned, five minutes into the half, for a foul on Josh Gordon.

Salford created the first real chance of the second-half, in the fifty-third minute, but Hendry's effort from outside the box failed to test Smith, as it sailed over the crossbar.

After a fairly quiet spell, with little action of note, Salford levelled the scores in the sixty-first minute. Watt winning a corner for his side, as David Okagbue turned the City captain's effort on goal behind, with Ryan Watson crossing the ball back in after the flag-kick for Lund, who fired home from close range.

The hosts looked to respond quickly to the goal, with Hutchinson seeing a low strike sail wide of the target in the sixty-third minute.

Back at the other end, moments later, Salford almost took the lead, as Lund fired goal-wards again, but Emmanuel Adegboyega was well positioned to block the effort, with the resulting corner coming to nothing as Hendry headed over from close range.

Walsall opted to make two further changes to their line-up, in the sixty-fifth minute, with Ross Tierney and Josh Gordon making way for Ryan Stirk and Mo Faal.

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

Another delay followed eight minutes later as Callum Hendry picked up a knock that required attention. It was soon determined that he would be unable to continue and a double change followed, as Matt Smith replaced him whilst Matthew Lund made way for Kelly N'mai.

The substitutes looked to make their mark on the game moments after their introduction, with N'mai flicking the ball on for Smith,  but the strikers effort on goal lacked power and was easily saved by the Walsall shot-stopper.

Salford won a free-kick in a dangerous position in the eighty-fourth minute, which Watt played short for McAleny, who almost caught the Walsall 'keeper out, but Smith was able to make the save at the second time of asking to keep the scores level.

Four minutes from time, Walsall chose to make another substitution, with Joe Foulkes making way for Danny Johnson.

Five additional minutes were added to end the game, and two minutes into them, Walsall regained their earlier lead, as Adegboyega picked out Faal, who did well to beat his man before firing a low effort past Cairns.

The Saddlers continued to press, winning a corner four minutes into added time, as Mariappa turned a Brandon Comley shot behind, but nothing would come of the flag-kick, and ultimately that would prove to be the final action of note, as the match was eventually brought to its conclusion with Walsall winning by two-goals-to-one. A decent performance from the Saddlers, who defended well and refused to let their heads drop.

MATT (9')
FAAL (90+2')
LUND (61')

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