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Match Reports

Shrewsbury 0-1 Walsall

7 November 2017

The Saddlers qualified for the Checkatrade Trophy knock-out stages with victory at ten-man Shrewsbury, courtesy of Amadou Bakayoko’s last-minute header.

The visitors flew out of the traps and could have taken the lead inside four minutes when Zeli Ismail’s close-range left-footed strike was tipped onto the post by ex-Saddler Craig MacGillivray.

Moments later, Amadou Bakayoko rolled Ben Godfrey in the box before lashing a rising effort wide of the near post from an acute angle.

The match settled down after that frenetic start as Shrewsbury – already through to the knock-out stages – began to gain a foothold.

Salop’s first meaningful attempt came on 24 minutes, Arthur Gnahoua with a low right-footed drive from 20 yards which curled wide of the upright.

Town – the highest-ranked team in the competition – had a double chance to go ahead on the stroke of half-time.

First, Stefan Payne traded passes with Gnahoua before toe-poking an effort towards goal which Liam Roberts parried.

The ball was crossed back in for Joe Riley, who drilled narrowly over at the near post.

After an uneventful start to the second half, Walsall briefly threatened on 63 minutes when Maz Kouhyar’s well-struck 25-yard drive was well kept out by MacGillivray at his near post.

The best chance of the half fell to the hosts six minutes later, Shaun Whalley reaching the byline and cutting the ball back for Stefan Payne to side-foot wide.

Shrewsbury were reduced to ten men with 15 minutes remaining as Ben Godfrey was shown a straight red card for a reckless lunge on Leahy.

The Shrews could have opened the scoring a minute from time but Whalley’s left-footed curler was pushed out by Roberts.

Instead, it was the Saddlers who broke the deadlock barely 60 seconds later as Bakayoko headed home a deflected cross from virtually on the line.

 

Team: L Roberts, Kinsella, Guthrie, Wilson, Leahy (Devlin 82’), Chambers, Edwards (Oztumer 85’), Morris, Kouhyar (Flanagan 73’), Ismail, Bakayoko.

Sub not used: Gillespie, Donnellan, Agyei, Jackson.

Attendance: 1,701 (171 Saddlers supporters).


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