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Match Reports

Walsall 1-2 West Brom

26 July 2017

Hal Robson-Kanu’s late winner condemned Walsall to a narrow friendly defeat against neighbours West Brom.

Sean Donnellan put the Baggies ahead from a corner just after half-time, before substitute Amadou Bakayoko equalised with 11 minutes remaining.

The match looked set to finish level, but Robson-Kanu netted with a clever dink two minutes from time.

The Saddlers had the game’s first opportunity on 11 minutes, Flo Cuvelier with a rasping 20-yard drive which Boaz Myhill kept out down to his right.

The visiting stopper made another smart save four minutes later as he parried Erhun Oztumer’s curling left-footed effort.

Walsall were looking the more dangerous and went close again on 26 minutes, when Adam Chambers’ well-struck long-range shot was tipped over by Myhill.

Albion became more of an attacking threat as the half wore on.

Nine minutes before the break, Jonathan Leko nipped in behind the Walsall defence but was denied by an excellent recovery block from Luke Leahy.

Leko turned creater moments later, playing in Robson-Kanu who rattled the bar with a first-time strike from inside the area.

The Baggies took the lead eight minutes into the second half, Donnellan lashing home after a scramble from a James McClean corner.

With the Saddlers chasing the game, Cuvelier tried his luck from distance with a thunderous right-footed drive which the impressive Myhill spectacularly pushed behind.

Walsall continued to press, with Joe Edwards standing up a free-kick to the back post but James Wilson, unmarked, could only volley over.

An equaliser finally arrived 11 minutes from time, when substitute Bakayoko collected Callum Cockerill-Mollett’s cut-back and steered home via a deflection off Chris Brunt.

But West Brom snatched victory with two minutes left, Robson-Kanu racing onto Leko’s penetrative pass and dinking the ball over the advancing Mark Gillespie.

 

Walsall team: Gillespie, Edwards (Kouhyar 73’), Leahy (Cockerill-Mollett 46’), Guthrie, Devlin, Chambers, Cuvelier, Jackson (Bakayoko 71’), Oztumer (Candlin 79’), Morris, Wilson (Roberts 84’).

Subs not used: Roberts, Kinsella, Flanagan.


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