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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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27 July 2017 Venue The Scholars Ground Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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Walsall FC
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Match Reports

Chasetown 1-5 Walsall

27 July 2017

Mitch Candlin scored an eight-minute hat-trick as a young Saddlers team thrashed non-league Chasetown in our latest pre-season friendly.

Tobias Hayles-Docherty drilled Walsall ahead on 22 minutes, but Chris Baker equalised just before the hour.

A Cody Fisher header restored the visitors’ lead and Candlin then netted three times in quick succession to earn the Saddlers a resounding win.

In a lively start from the visitors, Milan Butterfield tested home keeper Dale Reaney with a low strike and Cameron Peters had a goal disallowed for offside.

Against the run of play, Chasetown almost took the lead on 11 minutes when Clayton Johnson's thunderous shot on the turn crashed down off the bar.

The opening goal went to the Saddlers midway through the first half, Hayles-Docherty collecting Sam Tonks' short corner and drilling a low right-footed shot just inside the far post.

It could have been 2-0 moments later as Candlin jinked forward down the left and delivered an inviting cross over to Peters in the middle.

The forward took a touch before letting fly, but Reaney blocked well with his legs.

The hosts would have drawn level on 34 minutes but for an outstanding piece of defending from Tonks.

Chris Baker stood up a cross to the unmarked Johnson, who looked certain to score from close range, but the determined Tonks slid in to produce a miraculous goalline block.

The danger wasn't yet averted, as Johnson smashed the follow-up against the post from an acute angle.

But Chasetown did find a way through just before the hour, when Jordan Flattley lifted a clever pass over to Baker, who forced the ball past Liam Roberts.

They could have even gone ahead shortly after as Jake Lovatt raced in behind the Walsall defence but his miss-hit shot was easy for Roberts.

And Walsall made them pay for that miss two minutes later, Fisher rising highest to head Shorrock’s corner in off a defender to put the Saddlers back in front.

Candlin then took centre stage, grabbing the first of his treble on 71 minutes with a cool low finish across Reaney.

Six minutes later and it was 4-1.

After Joe Cairns’ fierce drive was parried, Candlin watched the ball drop onto his right foot and struck a fine volley into the bottom corner.

And the rout was complete 11 minutes from time, when the unplayable Candlin pounced on a Callum Lovatt error, rounded the keeper and slotted into an unguarded goal.

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