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Match Reports

Match Report: Walsall 2-1 Crawley

18 January 2020

Wes McDonald scored a stunning winner as Walsall fought back from a goal down to beat Crawley Town at the Banks’s Stadium.

Panutche Camara put the Red Devils in front in the first half but Josh Gordon levelled with 28 minutes to go before McDonald netted in dying minutes.

Darrell Clarke made two changes to the side that lost 3-1 to Cheltenham Town last week.

Cameron Norman and Elijah Adebayo came into the side in place of Zak Jules and Alfie Bates.

It was the third time this season that Walsall and Crawley had met with the first two matches yielding 10 goals between them.

The opening exchanges hinted that it could have been another exciting encounter with both sides having early opportunities in an open first 20 minutes.

Ollie Palmer got a shot away for Crawley while Josh Gordon’s header was caught by Glenn Morris.

It was the visitors who took the lead on 27 minutes when the Saddlers failed to clear the ball and Camara smashed the ball into the net.

Walsall responded well to falling behind. Their best chance of the first half came after 38 minutes when Dan Scarr’s header, which looked like it was touched on by Caolan Lavery, was pushed away by Glenn Morris.

The Saddlers struggled to get going in the second half so Clarke introduced Jack Nolan, for his Walsall debut, and Danny Guthrie.

It seemed to have the desired effect as the Saddlers equalised on 72 minutes when Lavery flicked Cameron Norman’s throw-in into the path of Gordon who raced through and rifled the ball into the bottom corner.

The Saddlers pressed for the winner. James Clarke headed Guthrie’s free-kick over before McDonald and Lavery both had shots blocked.

Walsall’s pressure was rewarded and they took the lead in spectacular fashion. McDonald picked the ball up on the left about 25-yards-out and unleashed an absolute firecracker into the top corner.

The Saddlers held on to claim the victory.


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