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Match Report: Scunthorpe United 0-2 Walsall

26 December 2019

The Saddlers extended their unbeaten run in the league to six games following their hard-fought win against Scunthorpe United.

A goal two minutes before the break from winger Wes McDonald and a goal six minutes before the end of the game from Alfie Bates were enough to secure the victory for the Saddlers.
In a first half that wasn’t littered with chances it was the home side who carved the first chance of the game down the right. Alex Gilliead pulled the ball back for Lee Novak on the edge of the area but his effort was well over Liam Roberts’ crossbar.
It then took until the 24th minute for the game to really spring into life as Kevin van Veen unleashed a fierce drive from 25-yards out only to see it deflected past Roberts’ post with the resulting corner coming to nothing. 
Minutes later and the Saddlers created their first meaningful chance as Alfie Bates whipped in a delightful corner which found the head of Caolan Lavery but the striker could only direct his header into the arms of United keeper Rory Watson.
A third chance in the space of a matter of minutes in the game went the way of the home side as van Veen curled a low free-kick towards the bottom corner but again Roberts parried it behind. 
Just after the hour mark and the Saddlers should really have gone ahead. Rory Gaffney flicked the ball on for Lavery, who’s first touch took the ball past the defender, but his low effort in a one-vs-one situation was well saved again by Watson. 
Two minutes before the break and the Saddlers went ahead. After some great work to get himself into the area, McDonald turned his man before firing into the far bottom corner.
Into the second half and after 11 minutes, Roberts produced the save of the match as Levi Sutton tried his luck from the edge of the box only to see his curling drive tipped brilliantly onto the crossbar by the Saddlers keeper.
It wasn’t until the final 13 minutes of the second half where things once again sprung into life. The first chance went to the home side as van Veen again tried his luck from distance but there wasn’t enough curl on it and it went wide of the far right post.
And with six minutes left of normal time, the Saddlers secured all three points with their second goal of the game. 
After some good work from Cameron Pring down the left, the fullback pulled the ball back to the penalty spot and Bates smashed the ball home past Watson.

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