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Match Reports

Match Report: Walsall 1-1 Forest Green

10 August 2019

Walsall came from behind to earn a deserved draw against Forest Green Rovers and maintain their unbeaten start.

The Saddlers fell behind against the run of play on the stroke of half time through a Joseph Mills penalty but substitute James Hardy rescued a point four minutes from time with his effort from close range.  

Darrell Clarke made one change to the team that won at Northampton Town last week as Gary Liddle came in for his first start in place of Danny Guthrie.

The first chance for the Saddlers came after eight minutes after Stuart Sinclair crossed for Josh Gordon who hooked a first time shot wide. 

Walsall were the livelier of the two teams in the first half and were on the front foot throughout.

The Saddlers’ best chance of the first half came in the 29th minute when Cameron Norman’s well-struck free-kick from 25-yards was pushed behind by visiting keeper Lewis Thomas.

Forest Green didn’t have an attempt on goal until the 35th when Shawn McCoulsky shot on the turn but his tame effort trickled wide.

Walsall were unlucky not to go into the break with the lead when Liam Kinsella’s curler took a deflection but was well met by Thomas who pulled off a fine save.

All the main action of the half came within the five minutes of stoppage time.

Forest Green defender Farrend Rawson suffered a nasty looking injury after a clash of heads and had to be stretchered off.

Mark Cooper’s side took the lead just a minute later when Aaron Collins skipped into the area but was brought down by James Clarke and the referee pointed to the spot.

Joseph Mills found the bottom corner with an excellent penalty.

The second half started quietly for the Saddlers.

Darrell Clarke made a double change 12 minutes into it by bringing on James Hardy and Rory Holden in place of Gary Liddle and Mat Sadler.

The substitutes made an impact as Hardy should have equalised 10 minutes later after he showed great feet to skip past two Rovers defenders but he blazed his shot over the bar.

Caolan Lavery was also introduced for his Saddlers debut in the 75th minute.

It was a second half of few chances but Walsall looked the more likely.

With 10 minutes to go, Holden scooped a lovely ball through to Hardy who stung the palms of Thomas who saved at his near post.

The Saddlers got the goal they will feel they deserved on the 86th minute. Josh Gordon was unlucky not to have been the man to get the leveller when his spectacular overhead kick cannoned off the post but Hardy was there to tap it into the net.

Walsall pressed for the winner but had to settle for a point in the end.

Saddlers: Roberts (GK), Norman (Lavery75’), Pring, Clarke ©, Scarr, Sadler, (Hardy 57’) Sinclair, Kinsella, Gordon, Adebayo, Liddle (Holden 57’)
Subs: Rose (GK), Lavery, Bates, Cockerill-Mollett, Jules

Forest Green: Thomas (GK), Bernard, M. Mills, Rawson (Kitching 45’), Winchester, Collins (Stevens 69’), Morton (Adams 77’), Dawson, McGinley, McCoulsky, J. Mills
Subs: Wollacott, Grubb, Stevens, Allen, Adams, Mondal

 


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