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Match Reports

Luton 2-0 Walsall

20 October 2018

The Saddlers’ unbeaten away run came to an end as goals from Glen Rea and Jorge Grant gave Luton a comfortable victory.

Boasting the division’s best home record, the Hatters dominated the early stages and took the lead when Rea bundled home Grant’s 18th-minute corner from close range.

The Saddlers were guilty of misplacing far too many passes in a below-par opening half-hour, with a Zeli Ismail free-kick – which hit the wall – the visitors’ sole attempt.

Town were in control and threatened to increase their advantage when Grant turned smartly on the edge of the box before curling a tame right-footed strike into the arms of Liam Roberts.

Walsall finally began to grow into the game on the stroke of half-time, with Andy Cook glancing a header harmlessly wide from Luke Leahy’s deep cross.

The Saddlers’ number nine went close again just before the break as his downward, bouncing header was tipped over by James Shea.

But the visitors fell two goals down ten minutes after the interval when Grant curled a glorious 25-yard free-kick over the wall and into the top corner.

Only the woodwork prevented Luton from making it 3-0 on the hour as Roberts tipped James Justin’s low drive onto the post, with Luke Leahy hacking the loose ball off the line.

With the unbeaten away record in serious jeopardy, boss Dean Keates brought on Connor Ronan and Kane Wilson for Nicky Devlin and Ismail as the Saddlers switched to a 4-3-3.

Ronan was immediately involved, firing well over from distance, moments before Luton’s James Collins saw a deflected drive held by Roberts.

The Hatters should have put the game to bed with 18 minutes remaining as Danny Hylton escaped the attentions of Jack Fitzwater before dragging wide with the goal at his mercy.

Collins headed a cross narrowly wide and Sonny Bradley fired straight at Roberts from six yards as Luton pushed for more goals.

Roberts produced an excellent stop with his left leg to keep out Harry Cornick’s firm near-post drive in the closing stages.

 

Saddlers team (4-4-2): L Roberts; Devlin (Wilson 62’), Fitzwater, Guthrie, Leahy; Ismail, Ismail (Ronan 62’), Kinsella, Dobson, Ginnelly (Gordon 83’); Cook, Ferrier.

Subs not used: Dunn, Morris, Johnson, Wilson, Osbourne, Ronan.

 

Attendance: 8,953 (504 Saddlers supporters).


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