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Match Reports

Match Report: Walsall 1-2 Cheltenham

19 October 2019

Walsall fell to their third successive defeat after a disappointing afternoon at the Banks’s Stadium.

Ben Tozer gave the visitors the lead in the first half before Josh Gordon struck from the penalty spot to level for the Saddlers early in the second half. 

Luke Varney restored the hosts lead just before the hour mark and it proved to be decisive.

Darrell Clarke made three changes to the team that fell to defeat at Leyton Orient.

Cameron Pring made a welcomed return from an ankle injury after a just over a month on the side-lines.

He came in for Dan Scarr who was serving a one-match ban for picking up five yellow cards.

Elsewhere, Alfie Bates and Josh Gordon replaced Danny Guthrie and Rory Holden.

The first 25 minutes was pretty quiet as both sides tried to find their feet.

Josh Gordon came agonisingly close to given Walsall the lead when Scott Flinders spilled the ball under pressure from Rory Gaffney and the ball fell to the striker but his effort trickled inches wide of the post.

He tested came close again just a minute later with a snapshot inside the area but was thwarted by Flinders.

It was the visitors however who opened the scoring. Liam Roberts dropped the ball as it came in and it fell to Tozer who stabbed it home.

The Saddlers made the perfect start to the second half and equalised on 51 minutes. Gordon was bundled over in the box by Chris Hussey and the referee awarded a penalty. Gordon stepped up and found the net from 12-yards to open his account for the season.

Walsall’s reprieve didn’t last long though as seven minutes later, Varney skipped past Gary Liddle to get into the area and arrowed a shot into the far corner to restore their lead.

The visitors had their tales up and came close three minutes later when Varney’s powerful strike took a slight deflection off Liddle and went over the bar.

The Saddlers boss reacted and made a double change on 68 minutes as Elijah Adebayo and Rory Holden were introduced in place of Gary Liddle and Liam Kinsella.

A chance came and went for Adebayo who skied one over the bar but despite their best efforts, the Saddlers couldn't find an equaliser. 

Walsall: Roberts (GK); Liddle (Holden 68’), Clarke ©, Jules, Pring; Sinclair, Bates, Kinsella (Adebayo 68’); Gordon, Gaffney, McDonald.
Subs: Rose (GK), Norman, Sadler, Adebayo, K. Roberts, Holden, Hardy


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