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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

2-3
13 August 2019 Venue Banks's Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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Match Previews

Preview: Walsall v Crawley

13 August 2019

Walsall will begin their Carabao Cup campaign tonight against fellow League Two side Crawley Town.

The Saddlers reached the second round of the competition last year, bowing out on penalties after a 3-3 draw against Macclesfield Town.

The Red Devils were knocked out in the first round of the competition last season, losing 2-1 to Darrell Clarke’s Bristol Rovers.

Walsall have made a solid start to the Sky Bet League Two season, taking four points from a possible six.

Crawley have won one and lost one so far. They were beaten 2-1 by Carlisle United on the opening day before they claimed a 2-0 home victory over newly promoted Salford City.

TEAM NEWS                         

Walsall boss Darrell Clarke hinted that he may make a couple of changes to his team for tonight's match. 

Kory Roberts remains an absentee for the Saddlers.

As for Crawley, Joe McNerney is ruled out with a back injury while Josh Dacres-Cogley is cup-tied, having played for Birmingham City in the competition last week.

HEAD TO HEAD

It is the first time the two sides have met in the League Cup.

Walsall have faced Crawley six times, all in League One.

The Saddlers have won one, lost two and drew three against the Red Devils.

Walsall were 5-0 winners when the two sides met back in April 2015 at the Banks’s Stadium. Jordy Hiwula scored twice while Kieron Morris, Andy Taylor and Jordan Cook also netted.

FROM THE DUGOUT

Darrell Clarke: “It’s a cup competition and we want to do well in the cups.

“They are a good source of revenue and every bit we get into this football club helps so we will take them seriously.

“We may freshen one or two things up because we have got a big load now.

 “I’ll say it now, I don’t think we’re going to win the cup but we’ll have a good go at getting as far as we can in it.”

Gabriele Cioffi: “We know the importance of the game.

"For the boys who weren’t involved in the last two weeks, it’s a chance for them to show they are part of the project.

“There’s a chance to be against a Premier League team which would be a chance to the show club and our young talent."               

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Match Reports

Walsall 2-3 Crawley Town

13 August 2019

Walsall suffered their first defeat of the season and bowed out of the Carabao Cup after Crawley Town edged a five-goal thriller.

The Saddlers found themselves 2-0 down after 48 minutes thanks to goals from Filipe Morais and Tom Dallison.

Substitute Caolan Lavery scored a brace either side of an Ashley Nadesan strike but it wasn’t enough for Walsall who couldn’t find an equaliser despite applying late pressure.

The Saddlers made a bright start and were the better of the two teams in the opening fifteen minutes.

Their first meaningful opportunity came after some good work by Elijah Adebayo who carved his way into the area and crossed low to Josh Gordon who hooked in a shot that took a deflection and just trickled wide.

It was the visitors who got the opening goal though and it came after 21 minutes. Ashley Nathaniel-George slipped a nice ball through to Nadesan whose low cross found Morais at the back post and the Portuguese applied the finish from close range.

Walsall responded well to going a goal behind and should have equalised six minutes before half time after a well worked corner which saw Cameron Norman’s kick headed back across by Adebayo to Mat Sadler who forced an acrobatic save out of Michael Luyambula.

The Red Devils could have gone into the break 2-0 up if it wasn’t for Liam Roberts who did well to push away Panutche Camara’s shot after Ollie Palmer’s cross was deflected into his path.

Crawley got their second just three minutes into the second half when Dallison powered in a header from a corner.

Darrell Clarke reacted quickly to the goal and made a triple change which saw James Hardy, Wes McDonald and Caolan Lavery on 52 minutes.

The changes proved effective as two minutes later, the Saddlers were awarded a penalty after Mat Sadler was brought down in the area.

Caolan Lavery stepped up and squeezed the ball through the keeper from the spot to open his Sadlers account.

Walsall’s reprieve didn’t last long though as the visitors went straight down the other end through Josh Doherty who galloped forward and crossed towards Nadesan who converted and restored Crawley’s two-goal cushion.

The Saddlers didn’t give up hope and found themselves back in the game on 71 minutes when Lavery scored his second after quick thinking from Cameron Norman from a free-kick found him in space and the striker found the net.

Walsall came agonisingly close to an equaliser on 83 minutes when Norman rattled the bar with a thunderous strike on the half volley just inside the corner of the area.

Saddlers: Roberts (GK), Norman, Sadler, Clarke ©, Sinclair, Kinsella, Gordon (Lavery 52’), Adebayo, Bates (Hardy 52’), Cockerill-Mollett, Jules (McDonald 52’).
Subs: Rose (GK), Pring, Lavery, Hardy, Kiersey, Facey, McDonald

Crawley: Luyambala (GK), Doherty, Payne, ©, Dallison, Palmer, Nadesan (Grego-Cox 59’), Francomb, Nathaniel-George (Allarakhia 81), Tunnicliffe, Morais (Ferguson 69’), Camara.
Subs: Morris (GK), Grego-Cox, Smith, Ferguson, Allarakhia, Sesay, Galach

Attendance: 2451 (94 away)

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