WALSALL v OLDHAM ATHLETIC
THE SADDLERS stepped out for our final home game of the season, looking to sign off with a victory in front of the Banks's Stadium faithful.
It was Walsall who had the first opening when Adam Chambers and Tom Bradshaw linked up well for the latter to strike low across goal as Joel Coleman was able to claw away before the loose ball was cleared.
The opening quarter-of-an-hour saw neither 'keeper seriously tested, but it was The Saddlers who took the lead with 18 minutes on the clock when Kieron Morris linked up with Jordy Hiwula who in turn set Tom Bradshaw away and he broke the offside trap before slotting home past the 'keeper.
Within five minutes, it was 2-0 as Mal Benning was fouled by Liam Kelly for our first home penalty of the season. Bradshaw stepped up and fired powerfully down the middle for his second of the afternoon.
A free-kick just outside the area following a foul on Adam Chambers saw Mal Benning thwarted by the defensive wall.
Following a brave defensive header inside his own penalty area, Benning then picks out Jordy Hiwula with a neat ball as The Saddlers look to extend our lead. On this occasion, Hiwula is denied by a block from The Latics' 'keeper.
The Saddlers were well in control at two goals to the good as the opening period came to a close.
There was a change during the interval as Reece Flanagan replaced Adam Chambers.
It was the visitors who saw more of the early ball in the second half as they searched for a way back into the game without troubling debutant Craig MacGillivray too much. At the other end, Michael Cain's cross-come-shot had the 'keeper back-tracking as it sailed just over.
A positive burst from Hiwula saw him cut inside the area only for his strike to be bravely blocked by a Latics' defender.
The Saddlers are defending resolutely to keep The Latics at bay and leave with MacGillivray with little to do other than a couple of routine clearances.
Our best chance of the half fell to Sam Mantom who was picked out by Flanagan but his low strike flashed inches wide of the target.
With just over ten minutes to go, Cain was replaced by Romaine Sawyers and then Bradshaw came off as Jordan Cook took his place.
There were a couple of late chances for Hiwula as firstly he delayed his strike too long on the edge of the area and was crowded out. Then moments later he found himself through only to be thwarted by the 'keeper who was alert to the danger.
That was to be the last of the action as we ended our home fixtures with a fully-deserved 2-0 victory in a game which saw Tom Bradshaw bag a brace and Craig MacGillivray keep a clean sheet on his senior debut.