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Match Reports

Match report: Walsall 3-1 Exeter

7 March 2020

Walsall stretched their unbeaten run to five games as a brace from substitute Elijah Adebayo and an early strike from Rory Holden secured a deserved three points against Exeter City.

Holden struck after just four minutes before Ryan Bowman equalised for the visitors early in the second half but Adebayo proved to be the key man again for the Saddlers as he scored twice to earn Walsall three points.

Darrell Clarke made five changes to the team that drew with Port Vale two weeks ago.

Liam Roberts returned to the side after illness while James Clarke, Stuart Sinclair, Cameron Norman and Caolan Lavery replaced Mat Sadler, Liam Kinsella, Shay Facey and Elijah Adebayo.

The Saddlers made the perfect start and took the lead after just four minutes when Gordon’s cross was parried into the path of Holden who slotted home.

Clarke’s men were on the front throughout the first half. Wes McDonald tried to bend on into the top corner but Ward pushed it away

The Saddlers missed a glorious chance on 17 minutes. A great move culminated in Danny Guthrie playing it across to Caolan Lavery in the six-yard box but the striker scooped the ball over the bar from close range. 11 minutes later, Dan Scarr met Guthrie’s free-kicked but headed just over the bar.

Exeter made a strong start to the second half and equalised six minutes into it when Randell Williams got in behind and cross for Bowman who headed the visitors level from close range.

Walsall responded well to the equaliser. Gordon drove forward and unleashed a powerful shot that flew just over the bar on 54 minutes.

There was controversy on 63 minutes when Williams’ free-kick was turned in by Bowman, who thought he had his second of the game but after consulting with the linesman, the referee ruled the goal out for offside.

Clarke made a double change on 68 minutes as he introduced Liam Kinsella and Elijah Adebayo in place of Stuart Sinclair and Caolan Lavery.

It proved to be a masterstroke as Adebayo headed the Saddlers into the lead five minutes later, heading in Cameron Norman’s cross.

Exeter pressed for an equaliser but it was the Saddlers who sealed the victory deep into stoppage time when Gordon broke forward and after his initial shot was blocked, he crossed for Adebayo who tapped in from close range.

 


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