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29 December 2019 Venue Banks's Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Reports

Match Report: Walsall 1-2 Carlisle United

29 December 2019

Harry McKirdy’s stoppage-time header saw 10-man Walsall’s six match unbeaten run in the league come to an end against Carlisle united.

After a goalless first half, the visitors took the lead through Nathan Thomas before substitute Elijah Adebayo levelled. 

The game turned when James Clarke received a straight red card and the hosts were unable to hold on. 

Darrell Clarke made five changes to the team that beat Scunthorpe United on Boxing Day. 

Josh Gordon, Rory Holden, Danny Guthrie, Shay Facey and Callum Cockerill-Mollett, who returned from injury, all came into the side while Dan Scarr, Liam Kinsella, Cameron Pring, Stuart Sinclair and Rory Gaffney all dropped out. 

There was also a place on the bench for 18-year-old midfielder Sam Perry. 

After a quiet opening 15 minutes, the first real chance fell to the Saddlers when Caolan Lavery got on the end of Holden’s cross and his close-range effort was brilliantly saved by Adam Collin. He got a second bite at it but failed to hit the target with the rebound in the 16th minute. 

The Saddlers should have gone ahead 10 minutes later when a corner came in and eventually fell to Wes McDonald who miscued his shot and diverted it over the bar from close range. 

Carlisle’s best chance of the half came through Hallam Hope but he dragged his shot wide and the half ended goalless. 

The visitors took the lead just seven minutes into the second half when Thomas’ forced Roberts into a fine save but he got a second bite at it and converted on the rebound. 

Thomas came close again moments later but was denied by Roberts. 

Darrell Clarke made a double substitution as he introduced Adebayo and James Hardy. 

It paid off as on 71 minutes Adebayo equalised after McDonald’s effort cannoned off the bar and fell into his path and he converted from close range. 

The hosts suffered a setback just six minutes later as James Clarke was sent off for denying a goalscoring opportunity. 

Adebayo, who was also struggling with an injury, was sacrificed for Zak Jules to fill in at the back. 

The Saddlers defended well and kept the visitors at bay until the fourth minute of stoppage time when McKirdy’s looping header got the better of Roberts and the Cumbrians claimed all three points. 

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