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Report: Walsall Ladies suffer defeat at Stafford Town

19 February 2018

Walsall visited Stafford Town this weekend, yet it was an afternoon to forget for the Saddlers, losing the game 6-0.

Stafford started the game on the front foot, but it was the Saddlers who went close first. They saw an early corner flash across the face of goal, but unfortunately no one was there to prod it home.  

The home side created the first clear cut chance of the match, yet Walsall keeper Lucy Hargrave showed her class with a fine reflex save. Shortly after, she made another fine stop, keeping the score level.

Stafford then went close with a header coming from a free-kick. There would have been controversy had it found the net, though, as the set piece came from what looked a good tackle by Jade Durnall.

Hargrave came to the rescue again just a moment later, once again preventing a certain goal with an outstretched leg. 

She failed to keep the score level for long though, yet it was no knock on her performance. Stafford delivered the ball into the box, where it was smashed home into the top corner on the half volley. 

The home side quickly doubled their lead, as Walsall were caught napping at a ball to the back post, where it was smartly despatched to make it 2-0.

In the closing stages of the half, Hargrave made another terrific save, keeping the difference between the sides at just two goals heading into the break. 

It was nearly 3-0 in the first minute of the second-half, but Durnall made a superb block on the goal line.

However, nothing could be done to stop Stafford increasing their lead once more, when another one-on-one opportunity was converted to put the game even further away from the Saddlers’ reach.

Stafford added insult to injury just a minute later by making it 4-0. Hargrave made another save from an effort from range, but nothing could be done to stop the onrushing Stafford player from hitting home the rebound.

Walsall needed a lucky break to stop them going 5-0 down, as Hargrave saw the ball hit her far post and roll across the goal line, and it would be 6-0 by full-time as a volley went in off the post from just outside the box.

It would be the final action of a disappointing afternoon for the Saddlers.

“It was a disappointing result,” said manager Sam Simpkins. “We managed to hold them for a while but it wasn’t enough.

“Lucy [Hargrave] was excellent today. There was nothing she could’ve done about the goals.”

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