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Match Reports

Walsall 2-2 Charlton

26 September 2017

Substitute Daniel Agyei’s goal of the season contender earned the Saddlers a point from a thrilling contest with Charlton.

Tariqe Fosu gave the Addicks an early lead but Tyler Roberts equalised on the stroke of half-time with his second goal in as many matches.

Ricky Holmes’ 88th-minute volley looked to have secured victory for the visitors but Agyei’s spectacular equaliser, barely a minute later, rescued Walsall a draw.

Targeting back-to-back league wins for the first time since March, Jon Whitney’s men started brightly start with Zeli Ismail fizzing a right-footed drive narrowly wide inside four minutes.

Roberts should have done better shortly after as he raced through on goal before treading on the ball, allowing the visiting defence to get back to snuff out the danger.

With their first real chance, Charlton opened the scoring on 13 minutes when Fosu latched onto Jake Forster-Caskey’s lofted pass and calmly slotted through the legs of Mark Gillespie.

The buoyant Addicks almost added a second moments later as Billy Clarke’s left-footed strike was parried by Gillespie at his near post.

It should have been 2-0 on 16 minutes but Gillespie produced an outstanding full-length reaction save to tip Josh Magennis’ free header onto the post, although the striker should have scored.

In a dominant period for the Addicks, Fosu picked out the run of Holmes with an intelligent reverse pass but the ex-Northampton man blazed high and wide from inside the area.

Magennis then saw a 25-yard strike held by Gillespie before Holmes curled a free-kick just off target.

Walsall began to settle down after that rocky spell, with Kieron Morris stinging the palms of Charlton keeper Ben Amos from distance.

And the Saddlers found an equaliser four minutes before the break, Roberts extending his right leg to divert Nicky Devlin’s teasing cross past Amos at his near post.

The home side began the second half in the ascendancy; Oztumer curled a brilliant free-kick just over and the lively Roberts hooked an improvised effort wide from Morris’ centre.

A defensive calamity almost gifted the Addicks a goal, James Wilson under-hitting a back-pass to Gillespie but the keeper made an excellent sliding tackle to thwart the onrushing Holmes.

Just before the hour, Edwards drove purposefully across the box before firing a fierce, rising drive over the bar.

Eight minutes later, the same man swung in an inviting free-kick towards Wilson, left completely unmarked, but the defender mistimed his header.

Roberts then cut inside from the right before testing Amos with a rasping low drive which the keeper could only parry.

Within seconds Charlton broke down the other end, Magennis crossing for Fosu, whose goalbound strike was well blocked by Wilson.

Karl Robinson’s side restored their lead with two minutes remaining, Holmes with a sweetly-struck dipping volley from 20 yards which sailed over the head of Gillespie.

But Walsall responded almost immediately as substitute Agyei curled a magnificent 25-yard effort past the despairing dive of a helpless Amos and into the top corner.

 

Team: Gillespie, Devlin, Wilson, Guthrie, Leahy (Donnellan 87’), Chambers, Ismail (Kouhyar 74’), Edwards, Oztumer, Morris, T Roberts (Agyei 77’).

Subs not used: L Roberts, Kinsella, Flanagan, K Roberts.

Attendance: 3,712 (263 Charlton supporters).


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