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Match Previews

Previous Meeting: Walsall 3-2 Rochdale

25 August 2018

Ahead of the Saddlers' match against Rochdale, Joshua Bunting takes a look at a previous meeting between the two sides, this one coming in February 2015...

The Saddlers raced into a three-goal lead, with James O'Connor nodding in the first from winger Anthony Forde's corner.

Forde notched a long-range second before on-loan Jordy Hiwula made it 3-0 after 22 minutes, but Rochdale mounted a fightback after the break.

Peter Vincenti pulled one back for the Dale, then Ashley Eastham's close-range shot set up a nervous end for Walsall.

After the game, Dean Smith said: "It feels a little disappointing because, after going three goals up, we were hanging on a bit.

"But the aim of the game is to score more than the opposition, we've scored three goals at home, got three points and beaten a good team.

"We were outstanding in the opening 30 minutes. We broke well, created chances and everything went to plan. Our two wide players were fantastic but they were both struggling with tight groins at half-time and Anthony Forde had to be replaced.

"We were too loose on the ball at the start of the second half and it encouraged them. We were sloppy for their first goal and it gave them a lift as we started to look nervy.

Keith Hill's Dale were slightly unlucky to end up on the losing side after enjoying 54% possession and registering 12 shots to Walsall's nine.


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