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Match Reports


7 March 2015


THE SUN was shining as The Saddlers stepped out at Barnsley looking to make it back-to-back away wins.

There were a couple of early corners for Walsall which the home side managed to deal with without too many problems whilst Connor Hourihane had the only real effort on goal in the opening quarter-of-an-hour which was easy for O'Donnell.

The home side managed to take the lead on 17 minutes when a corner was scrambled home from close range by George Waring.

Shortly afterwards another home corner caused concern but this time O'Donnell was able to claim the loose ball.

A long-range effort from Waring landed wide before, at the other end, Adam Chambers' cross looking for Jordy Hiwula saw the Manchester City loanee go down under the challenge of Mason Holgate but the referee was unmoved.

Chances were at a premium at either end as the half went on. Hourihane tried his luck for the home side whilst Baxendale was fouled for The Saddlers and got up to get the resulting free-kick on target but it was easy for the 'keeper.

The half-time whistle signalled the end of a subdued opening period for The Saddlers as we went in at the break a goal down.

There was a double change for the start of the second half with James O'Connor and Ashley Grimes on in place of Ben Purkiss and James Baxendale respectively.

The Saddlers started to show glimpses of some better football with Tom Bradshaw feeding Jordy Hiwula on the edge of the area but the ball just fizzed away from him. Then a ball over the top set Hiwula away but he lifted the ball wide as the 'keeper came out to meet him.

Barnsley went close to extending their lead when a free-kick was whipped in and Waring launched himself at the ball but couldn't make the crucial touch. Then another effort from Waring landed inches wide from close range.

The final change for Walsall saw Michael Cain replace Flanagan.

The home side doubled their advantage when Waring strode through to tuck the ball beyond O'Donnell and make it 2-0 with 20 minutes to go.

With their tails up, John O'Sullivan cut inside from the left and fired just over. The same player then saw O'Donnell make a smart save from his powerful drive.

Andy Taylor saw yellow for a foul as the clock ticked down before a late goal from Sam Winnall made it 3-0 to the hosts as he swept the ball home.

That is how the scoreline remained on a disappointing afternoon for The Saddlers.

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