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Match Report: Tranmere Rovers 1-3 Walsall

5 December 2020

The Saddlers picked up all three points on the road against Tranmere Rovers as goals from Elijah Adebayo, Wes McDonald and Dan Scarr were enough to see the game out comfortably.

In what was a bright opening 45 yet again for Darrell Clarke’s side, Rory Holden, who came back into the side having missed the midweek game against Stevenage through suspension, had two glorious chances to open the scoring with both chances coming after just five minutes.

The first chance for Holden came after some good work on the edge of the box as he chopped back on the inside of Manny Monthe but his low effort was well saved by Scott Davies.

Seconds later and the ball was cut back to Holden on the penalty spot and his effort, which looked destined for the bottom corner, was cleared off the line by Peter Clarke.

After 18 minutes though, the Saddlers got their just reward for a bright start to the game as McDonald fizzed in a low, hard cross and Adebayo was on hand to turn the ball home from close range.

However, just after the half an hour mark, the home side found themselves an equaliser as a cross was headed out by James Clarke to the edge of the area where Liam Feeney was in a yard of space and his half-volley found the bottom corner with Tranmere’s first shot on target.

Two minutes before the first half came to a close, towering defender Scarr had another good chance for the Saddlers as Liam Kinsella chipped a ball to the back post and a powerful downward header looked again destined to hit the back of the net but for another fine save from Davies.

Moments into the second half and Clarke’s side were deservedly ahead in the game once again. With the ball cleared to the edge of the box with Liam Kinsella having just hit the crossbar with a header, McDonald shifted it onto his right foot and thumped it into the top corner from 25-yards out.

Seven minutes after the lead was regained, the Saddlers went close to adding a third. Great work from Adebayo allowed him to feed the ball into the path of Holden who saw his effort parried onto the post by Davies in the Rovers goal.

With 66 minutes on the clock, the Saddlers got their third, and it was thoroughly deserved. Another excellent ball in from Holden was met by the onrushing Scarr who poked home into the far corner.

And that wasn’t the end of the onslaught from Clarke’s side as they went in search of their fourth goal of the afternoon.

Two chances came in quick succession with Holden again playing a role in both opportunities. Firstly, he curled in another free kick from the right and Emmanuel Osadebe met it confidently but his header was just wide of the far post.

Shortly after, Kinsella, who was as bubbly as ever in the middle of the park, pinched the ball high up the pitch before playing it through the legs of Monthe to Holden who again saw his curling effort parried by Davies.

With two minutes left of normal time, the Saddlers thought they had found their fourth goal in the game but Davies came to the rescue once again. McDonald worked the ball to the outside and his low shot was well saved by Davies who then denied substitute Josh Gordon on the rebound.

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