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14 October 2017 Venue Banks's Stadium Attendance

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Match Reports

Walsall 1-1 Blackpool

14 October 2017

Erhun Oztumer scored a sublime 25-yard free-kick as Walsall were held to a fourth successive home league draw against newly-promoted Blackpool.

The diminutive playmaker opened the scoring on 18 minutes as he curled a sublime free-kick over the wall and into the top corner.

But Blackpool deservedly equalised midway through the second half when substitute Viv Solomon-Otabor fired home.

Jon Guthrie had a goal disallowed as the hosts pushed for a winner, with both teams having to settle for share of the spoils.

The result leaves the Saddlers 16th in League One.

The Seasiders started brightly and could have gone ahead inside three minutes when the unmarked Clark Robertson headed a Jay Spearing corner inches wide.

Robertson met another corner with a downward header which was held by Mark Gillespie, who then made a comfortable near-post stop to keep out Kyle Vassell’s 20-yard drive.

Against the run of play, the Saddlers took the lead on 18 minutes thanks to a moment of magic from Oztumer.

After Colin Daniel was controversially adjudged to have fouled Dan Agyei, the diminutive playmaker stepped up to curl a majestic 25-yard free-kick over the wall and into the top corner.

Pool could have levelled almost immediately when Vassell latched onto a long ball but his low shot was blocked by the legs of Gillespie.

Oztumer went close to a spectacular second on the half-hour as he turned and lashed a left-footed drive just wide of the far post.

Back came the Tangerines, with captain Jimmy Ryan seeing a rasping free-kick beaten away by Gillespie.

Nathan Delfouneso then headed over from Colin Daniel’s left-wing cross before the former whipped in a deep centre which Callum Cooke, unmarked at the back post, nodded straight at Gillespie.

Gary Bowyer’s men continued to dominate proceedings at the start of the second half.

Delfouneso delivered a dangerous cross into the six-yard box but the unmarked Kyle Vassell missed his kick when he should have scored.

Walsall-born Curtis Tilt then headed a Spearing cross harmlessly over as Blackpool continued to press.

The Seasiders scored the goal their dominance deserved on 65 minutes when Vassell’s terrific penetrative pass found Viv Solomon-Otabor, who drove infield and drilled under Gillespie.

The Saddlers hit back, with Oztumer collecting Devlin’s smart pass before firing into the side-netting from inside the area.

Jon Whitney’s men had the ball in the net with 19 minutes remaining as the towering Jon Guthrie headed home Joe Edwards’ corner.

But the goal was disallowed by referee Tom Nield, although it was unclear the reason why.

Walsall, much improved following Blackpool’s leveller, looked the more likely to find a winner in the closing stages.

The closest the hosts came was in the final minute of normal time as Oztumer curled a 20-yard free-kick over the bar.

 

Team: Gillespie, Guthrie, K Roberts, Wilson, Devlin, Edwards, Morris, Leahy, Oztumer, Bakayoko, Agyei (T Roberts 61’).

Subs not used: L Roberts, Chambers, Kinsella, Flanagan, Donnellan, Kouhyar.

Attendance: 4,503 (570 Blackpool supporters).

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