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Match Reports

Walsall 4-2 Fleetwood

21 November 2017

The Saddlers struck twice in the final two minutes to beat Fleetwood in a six-goal thriller at the Banks’s.

Former Walsall man Jordy Hiwula put Town ahead but efforts from Erhun Oztumer and Zeli Ismail made it 2-1 to the hosts at half-time.

Amari'i Bell levelled but late strikes from Tyler Roberts and Dan Agyei earned Walsall a much-needed win.

In a cagey opening, the Cod Army were first to threaten on 16 minutes as Kyle Dempsey curled a right-footed shot wide from outside the box.

Town took the lead on 21 minutes when Aiden O’Neill’s effort was spilled by Liam Roberts and ex-Saddler Jordy Hiwula pounced to stab home. 

But the hosts equalised just four minutes later as Luke Leahy’s left-wing cross was side-footed home by Erhun Oztumer from ten yards for his eighth goal of the campaign.

Hiwula went close to restoring the visitors’ advantage just past the half-hour mark with a swerving right-footed half-volley which Roberts did well to parry.

The Huddersfield loanee then turned creator, playing Ashley Hunter clean through on goal but Roberts made an excellent save with his legs.

The Cod Army had another good opportunity on the stroke of half-time as Dempsey’s cut-back was diverted wide by O’Neill from close range.

Walsall hit back with Leahy letting fly from 25 yards but Fleetwood keeper Alex Cairns was equal to his near-post effort.

And the Saddlers went ahead right before first half, Oztumer taking a free-kick short to Ismail, who drilled a right-footed shot through a crowd of bodies and into the net.

The home side registered the first attempt of the second half, with Tyler Roberts cutting infield before firing wide of target.

Fleetwood threatened on the hour as Devante Cole burst into the box but his cross-shot was blocked by Liam Roberts at the front post.

But the visitors weren’t to be denied from the resulting corner, O’Neill playing the set-piece short for Amari’i Bell to fire home – almost a carbon copy of Ismail’s earlier effort.

The Saddlers went back on the offensive, with Kieron Morris seeing a rasping first-time strike from 20 yards tipped over by Cairns.

The match appeared to be heading to a draw until some very late drama.

Tyler Roberts received possession out on the right and curled an effort – which might have been intended as a cross – beyond Cairns and into the far top corner.

The Saddlers struck again a minute later to put the game to bed, Dan Agyei playing a slick one-two with Tyler Roberts before firing past Cairns.

 

Team: L Roberts, Kinsella, Guthrie, K Roberts, Leahy, Chambers, Morris, Oztumer (Agyei 83’), Ismail (Flanagan 64’), Bakayoko, T Roberts (Donnellan 90’).

Subs not used: Gillespie, Devlin, Kouhyar, Jackson.

 

Attendance: 3,225 (82 Fleetwood supporters).


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