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Match Reports

Walsall 1-0 Northampton

28 April 2018

George Dobson scored a last-gasp winner as Walsall took a giant step towards League One safety with a dramatic victory over Northampton.

Dean Austin’s visitors rattled the woodwork through Daniel Powell and Matt Grimes, while Nicky Devlin twice went close for the Saddlers before Dobson struck in added time.

The goal sent the majority of the 8,919 crowd delirious and lifted Dean Keates’ men up to 18th, three points clear of the relegation zone.

The Cobblers almost took the lead inside two minutes when Daniel Powell’s left-footed drive was tipped onto the post by Liam Roberts, with the ball bouncing back into the keeper’s grateful arms.

In a frenetic start, the Saddlers responded with Kieron Morris having a goalbound shot from a corner blocked by a visiting defender.

Town were looking the more dangerous, with Matt Crooks jinking past his man into the area and hitting a low cross-shot which Kory Roberts blocked from virtually on the line.

Northampton went close again shortly after as Matt Grimes curled a left-footed free-kick wide of the far post.

Walsall were struggling to create any real opportunities; Jack Fitzwater’s flicked header from Luke Leahy’s long throw was comfortable for Richard O’Donnell, while Morris’ 20-yarder sailed well wide.

The visitors should have gone ahead six minutes after the break but Sam Hoskins side-footed Shay Facey’s cut-back over from close range.

Keates’ side responded with a strong spell, creating two good chances in quick succession.

First, Erhun Oztumer controlled Jack Fitzwater’s crossfield ball and skipped past a defender before dinking an effort narrowly wide of O’Donnell’s near post.

Oztumer then slipped Nicky Devlin into the area but his fierce strike was straight at O’Donnell.

Northampton had the ball in the net with 13 minutes remaining but the goal was disallowed for a shove on Liam Roberts.

Lady Luck was on the Saddlers’ side four minutes later as Grimes’ over-hit cross looped over Roberts and hit the post, struck the keeper’s back and bounced onto the bar.

Walsall were then inches away from making the breakthrough as Erhun Oztumer’s brilliant, swerving left-footed strike from 30 yards whistled a fraction wide.

Another chance fell the Saddlers’ way as George Dobson sent in a cross which Nicky Devlin glanced wide at the far post.

Just as the match looked set to finish in a draw, the hosts struck the decisive blow a minute into time added on.

The ball was worked out wide to Bakayoko, who delivered a low cross for Dobson to sweep an accurate right-footed shot past O’Donnell and into the bottom corner, sparking wild scenes.

The Saddlers then saw out the final few minutes to secure a hugely-important win!

 

Team (4-4-1-1): L Roberts; K Roberts, Fitzwater, Guthrie, Leahy; Devlin, Chambers, Dobson, Morris; Oztumer; Bakayoko.

Subs not used: Gillespie, Cuvelier, Kinsella, Flanagan, Ngoy, Kouhyar, Candlin.

 

Attendance: 8,919 (1,993 Northampton supporters).


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