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04 August 2018 Venue Banks's Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Reports

Walsall 2-1 Plymouth

4 August 2018

Walsall enjoyed a great start to the new campaign as they came from behind to beat Plymouth Argyle thanks to goals from Andy Cook and Luke Leahy either side of the break.

An equaliser right on the stroke of half time from Cook drew Dean Keates’ side level after Ryan Edwards had scored five minutes before for the visitors following a Conor Grant free-kick from deep.

But just after the hour mark the Saddlers got what they deserved when Leahy fired in a beautiful free-kick from 20-yards out into the bottom left corner.  

In the opening 10 minutes of the game, a new-look Saddlers side looked the brighter of the two teams with new signing Morgan Ferrier and George Dobson both going close.

After a promising start from the Saddlers, it was the visitors who took the lead five minutes before the break through Edwards. Former Everton man Grant whipped a ball in from deep and Edwards was on hand to volley home from close range with an effort that left Liam Roberts helpless in goal.

But as stoppage time was announced, Walsall broke through Josh Ginnelly, who looked lively throughout, and the winger played in Ferrier down the left and the striker was bundled over by Joe Riley. 

Despite Ferrier wanting to take the penalty, Cook took charge and stepped up to take the resulting spot kick but Arsenal loanee Matt Macey saved the initial shot. However, similar to his goal in the final pre-season game against Cheltenham Town, Cook followed up his effort and tapped in the rebound to level things up.

Second-half substitute Kieron Morris was a danger for the half an hour that he was on the pitch and it was his free-kick which set up the winner. After receiving the ball on the edge of the area, Morris was brought down and up stepped Leahy. 

The left back strode up to the stationary ball and his curling effort found the back of the net with Macey only managing to get a fingertip to the ball.  

Despite plenty of late pressure from Argyle, it was the Saddlers who went close again after the goal as Cook came close to getting his second of the afternoon. After a brilliant take down on his chest, the big striker stepped inside his marker and his effort rebounded off the post. 

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