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Match Reports

Rushall Olympic 2-1 Walsall

6 July 2018

Match Reports

Rushall Olympic 2-1 Walsall

6 July 2018

The Saddlers’ first pre-season friendly ended in a 2-1 defeat at Rushall Olympic.

Rushall looked the more threatening team in the early stages; Liam Roberts made a decent save to parry Yusifu Ceesay’s long-range strike and Justin Richards headed a deep Sam Whittall cross over.

Two summer signings combined for the Saddlers’ first chance on 14 minutes, Zeli Ismail sending in a right-wing centre which Andy Cook headed off target.

The hosts spurned a good opportunity midway through the half when an unmarked Richards volleyed Lund’s low cross wide from close range.

But the striker made no mistake six minutes before half-time, poking the ball beyond Roberts after good work from Ceesay down the Rushall right.

Walsall showed more attacking intent at the start of the second half; a Kieron Morris effort was spilled by Pics keeper Joe Slinn, who then tipped over Luke Leahy’s 25-yard free-kick.

His opposite number Chris Dunn produced an impressive double save on 66 minutes, first keeping out Gurjit Singh’s cross-shot before pushing away Ashley Sammons’ follow-up.

The Saddlers drew level with 18 minutes remaining when Trialist 2’s left-footed shot squirmed under Slinn.

The glovesman atoned for his error with a fine stop to beat away Amadou Bakayoko’s rasping angled strike.

But Rushall fortuitously regained the lead with eight minutes left as Singh’s dangerous cross hit the unfortunate Nicky Devlin and bounced over the line.

Walsall went close to a second equaliser in the dying stages but a stretching Jordon Sangha could only divert Cameron Peters’ cut-back wide.


First-half team (4-4-2): L Roberts; Little, Trialist 1, Guthrie, Cockerill-Mollett; Ismail (Hayles-Docherty), Kinsella, Dobson, Ginnelly (Trialist 2); Cook, Candlin (Parker).

Second-half team (4-4-2): Dunn; Devlin, Trialist 1 (Leivesley), K Roberts, Leahy; Trialist 2, Chambers, Sangha, Hayles-Docherty (Kouhyar); Bakayoko, Parker (Morris).

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