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Match Reports

Match Report: Walsall 1-0 Tranmere

13 April 2021

Emmanuel Osadebe celebrated signing his new contract by scoring a sensational goal that helped Walsall secure their second successive victory against Tranmere Rovers at the Banks’s Stadium.

The 24-year-old curled a beauty in off the crossbar midway through the second half before Jay Spearing was sent off as the Saddlers stretched their unbeaten run to six.

Brian Dutton made one change to the side that saw off Forest Green Rovers on Saturday as Tom Leak came in for Hayden White who was forced off on Saturday.

The visitors made a bright start and enjoyed the majority of the early possession.

Their first chance came through Peter Clarke who headed straight at Jack Rose after eight minutes.

The Saddlers grew into the game and created their first opportunity on 12 minutes when Josh Gordon collected the ball 25 yards out forced a good save out of Joe Murphy with his first time shot.

Tranmere were the side who looked the more likely in the first half.

Liam Feeney and Ali Crawford both fired off target after decent moves from Rovers who enjoyed a lot of the ball without really testing Jack Rose in the opening 45 minutes and the half ended goalless.

Dutton made a change at half time as brought on Cameron Norman in place of Leak.

The Saddlers made a bright start to the second half and almost took the lead when Holden lifted the ball into the area and Josh Gordon directed a header that looked destined for the net but Murphy did brilliantly to tip the ball over the bar.

Dutton made a double change on 67 minutes to freshen it up for the hosts as Wes McDonald and Caolan Lavery were introduced in place of Holden and Gordon.

Three minutes later, the Saddlers took the lead in sumptuous style when Osadebe picked up the ball 25-yards out, produced a lovely bit of skill before he unleashed an absolute firecracker that went in off the crossbar.

Tranmere were dealt a further blow four minutes later when Jay Spearing was given a second yellow card and sent off after a late challenge on Liam Kinsella.

Walsall had their tales up and went in search of a second. Lavery forced a decent save out of Murphy with a well struck free kick on 79 minutes.

The Saddlers looked in control in the closing stages although Tranmere did apply pressure in injury and had an appeal for a penalty waved away, claiming a handball, but the referee wasn’t interested.

That proved to be the last bit of meaningful action and the Saddlers took home three points and a clean sheet.

Rose; Leak (Norman), Clarke, Sadler, Melbourne; Kinsella, Perry; Wright (Bates), Osadebe, Holden (McDonald); Gordon (Lavery)
Subs: Roberts, Vincent, Osei Yaw


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