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Match Reports

Match Report: Walsall 1-1 Crawley Town

7 December 2021

Walsall were held to a frustrating draw against a stubborn Crawley Town side at the Banks’s Stadium.

Brendan Kiernan opened the scoring but his goal was cancelled out by Tom Nichols just before half time and despite seeing plenty of the ball, the visitors frustrated the Saddlers who did manage to end their losing run.

Matt Taylor made two changes to the team that started against Swindon Town at the weekend.

Stephen Ward returned after missing the last two matches with a hip injury while Kiernan also made his first appearance since coming off injured against Port Vale a fortnight ago.

The first chance of the evening fell to the visitors after four minutes when the ball was cut back to James Tilley in the box but he swept his shot over the bar.

Walsall’s first sight of goal came after 14 minutes when Kiernan collected the ball on the left hand side of the area and tried to arrow in a shot but it took a deflection and went behind.

The visitors came close on 40 minutes when Tom Nichols picked up the ball in the penalty area and shot on the turn but his effort just trickled inches wide of the post.

It was the Saddlers who got the opening goal just a minute later when Emmanuel Osadebe threaded the ball through to Kiernan who rifled in a shot that nestled into the far-left corner.

Walsall’s lead didn’t last long and Crawley drew level a minute into stoppage time when Jack Earing was dispossessed in the middle of the park and the ball was worked forward to George Francomb whose cross was met by Nichols as he guided the ball home from close range.

That was the last piece of action of the first half and both sides went in level.

The Saddlers were dealt a blow on 53 minutes when Joss Labadie was forced off with an injury and was subsequently replaced by Liam Kinsella.

A second change soon followed as George Miller replaced Kieran Phillips.

Walsall began to take control and had a couple of great opportunities just after the hour. Rollin Menayese had a close-range effort cleared off the line before Osadebe’s thunderous strike was beaten away by Glenn Morris.

Further chances came and went as Miller and Kiernan both tried their luck but didn’t cause Morris too many problems.

Despite seeing plenty of the ball, the Saddlers were unable to find a winner.


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