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Match Reports

Walsall 1-1 Sunderland

1 December 2018

In a highly entertaining FA Cup game, the Saddlers had to settle for a draw after coming from behind with Andy Cook’s second-half strike cancelling out Aiden McGeady’s low first-half drive.

It was the visitors who had the first clear opportunity when Bryan Oviedo cut inside Luke Leahy and his low shot was turned towards the bottom corner by Josh Maja but the striker saw his effort tipped round superbly by Liam Roberts. 

Moments later and it was Dean Keates’ side who were next to try their luck. A big kick upfield from Roberts found Morgan Ferrier but the striker couldn’t keep his half-volley under control and it flew wide of the mark. 

With seven minutes left to go in the first half, the visitors opened the deadlock through McGeady. 

Oviedo crossed the ball to the back post and the advancing McGeady was able to slot the ball underneath Roberts. 

Eight minutes after the restart and the Saddlers were back in it. Nicky Devlin cut the ball back to Cook who was unmarked 12 yards out and his half-volley bounced into the corner.

Just after the hour mark, there were a flurry of chances for both sides. 

McGeady picked the ball up from 25 yards out but his shot that was moving in the air was well parried by Roberts. 

The ball went straight down the other end and Ferrier raced away from three Sunderland defenders but his low drive was well saved by Jon McLaughlin with his feet. 

Then just a minute later the Saddlers hit the crossbar through Cook. Isaiah Osbourne hung a ball up to the back post but his looping head hit the underside of the bar and came back out. 

With seven minutes left to play, Cook had the chance to put the Saddlers ahead. Gordon looped the ball to the back post following a quick throw-in from Nicky Devlin and Cook’s powerful downward header was well held by McLaughlin.

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