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Match Report: Oldham 2-3 Walsall

15 December 2020

Walsall extended their winning run to three matches after they edged a five-goal thriller against Oldham Athletic.

 

Josh Gordon gave the Saddlers the lead from the penalty spot in the first half before an own goal from Carl Piergianni early in the second half put the visitors in a commanding position. 

Oldham came roaring back as goals from Dylan Fage and Piergianni saw them draw level but Adebayo’s strike on 73 minutes proved to be the decisive one.

Darrell Clarke made one change to the team that beat Bolton Wanderers on Saturday as Josh Gordon came in for his first start since returning from injury in place of Emmanuel Osadebe. 

The Saddlers made a bright start at Boundary Park and assumed control early on having a good spell of possession. 

There was little in way of goal mouth action in the opening 20 minutes but the Saddlers were the team in the ascendency. Their early pressure was rewarded when the Saddlers were awarded a penalty after 22 minutes when Wes McDonald was brought down by Fage. 

Gordon stepped up and rolled the ball low past Ian Lawlor to give Walsall the lead. 

The Saddlers continued to press and put the hosts under pressure. Gordon had a chance to double his tally when he met Rory Holden’s cross at the back post but his header took a deflection off Cameron Borthwick-Jackson. Adebayo also had a chance but his shot brushed the post. 

Oldham grew into the game and started to create chances of their own. They came agonisingly close when Conor McAleny’s powerful shot was saved by Jack Rose before he struck the crossbar from the rebound. 

Walsall were dealt a blow a minute before half time when Zak Jules was forced off with an injury and replaced by Hayden White. 

Oldham struck the woodwork again a minute later, this time Dylan Bahamboula’s low shot was tipped onto the post by Rose and rolled across the line before it was eventually cleared. 

The Saddlers made the perfect start to the second half and doubled their lead after 52 minutes when Norman’s cross was saw Lawlor punch the ball off Carl Piergianni and into the back of the net. 

Oldham responded well and struck the woodwork again when Rose was forced into a fine save low to his left but the ball fell to Grant but Rose managed to recover and push his follow up ono the bar. 

Oldham did finally pull a goal back on 55 minutes when Bahamboula’s low cross was turned in by Fage. 

The game opened up from there as both sides were intent on attack. It was the hosts who got the fourth goal of the game and draw level when Bahamboula’s free-kick from the left was met by Piergianni who made up for his own goal as he nodded Oldham level. 

Walsall showed their own resolve to react to the set back and regained their lead on 73 minutes when McDonald’s cross found Adebayo at the near and the striker poked the ball past Lawlor for his eighth of the season. 

Clarke introduced Stuart Sinclair, Jake Scrimshaw and Caolan Lavery in place of Gordon, Adebayo and McDonald to add some fresh legs for the closing exchanges and the Saddlers saw the game out to pick up another crucial three points.

Rose; Norman, Clarke, Scarr, Jules (White); Kinsella, Bates; Gordon (Sinclair), Holden, McDonald (Scrimshaw); Adebayo (Lavery)
Subs: Roberts, Guthrie, Osadebe


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