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Match Report: Walsall 2-1 Bolton

12 December 2020

Walsall made it back-to-back wins in Sky Bet League Two as they came from behind to beat Bolton Wanderers at the Banks’s Stadium.

Eoin Doyle gave the visitors the lead in the first half before Elijah Adebayo equalised on the stroke of half time.

The Saddlers turned the game on its head early in the second half when Holden struck a beauty that proved to be the winner.

Darrell Clarke named the same team as he did against Tranmere Rovers last weekend.

The Saddlers made a positive start and almost took the lead after two minutes when Wes McDonald tried bend one into the top corner from distance but his effort curled just over the bar.

Both were keen to stamp their authority on the game in the early exchanges as the tempo was high.

It was the visitors who struck first blood after 13 minutes when Nathan Delfouneso’s cross found Doyle at the back post who applied a simple finish from close range.

Bolton had a good spell of possession after the goal and Walsall were looking to get back into their stride.

The Saddlers first chance after falling behind fell Rory Holden’s way as the winger cut on his left foot and got a low shot away but it was straight at Matt Gilks.

Bolton also had a chance to double their lead on 35 minutes when Delfouneso headed over from the middle of the penalty box.

The former Aston Villa striker had another opportunity four minutes later when he drove through the middle and unleashed a powerful shot but it flew just over the bar.

Walsall regrouped and started to enjoy more of the possession.

The Saddlers managed to equalise on the stroke of half-time when Cameron Norman’s teasing cross was met by the head of Adebayo and the ball looped over the goalkeeper.

Walsall made a strong start to the second half and had a glorious chance to take the lead after 55 minutes when McDonald’s cross was met by Holden at the near post but he turned the ball wide from close range.

He more than made up for it two minutes later when McDonald rolled the ball into his path and he smashed the ball into the back of the net from 20-yards out.

The Saddlers were unlucky not to increase their lead on 65 minutes when Adebayo’s strike from inside the area looked to be heading it but Gilks managed to stretch his arm out and pull off an fantastic save to keep it out. He then had to react quickly to deny Dan Scarr who headed the ball back towards goal on the follow up.

Clarke made his first change after 73 minutes when he introduced Josh Gordon in place of Osadebe.

Bolton started to enjoy more possession in the final 15 minutes and Clarke opted to bring on Hayden White for McDonald to add a bit more security.

The Saddlers held on and picked up their fifth league win of the season.


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