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Match Report: Walsall 1-1 Oldham

16 January 2021

Walsall were left frustrated as Oldham Athletic came from behind to take a share of the spoils at the Banks’s Stadium.

Zak Jules opened the scoring for the Saddlers just before half-time but Davis Keillor-Dunn drew Oldham level with 15 minutes to go.

Darrell Clarke made three changes to the team that lost 2-0 to Carlisle United two weeks ago.

Hayden White, Jules and Jack Nolan, who made his first league start for the Saddlers, all came in for Cameron Norman, Stuart Sinclair and James Clarke.

The Saddlers made a lively start and had a decent chance after 11 minutes when Elijah Adebayo flicked the ball into the path of Josh Gordon whose effort took a deflection and went wide before Jules let fly but his shot also took a deflection and looped just over the bar.

Oldham had Ian Lawlor to thank after 18 minutes when he pushed away Jack Nolan’s free-kick into the path of Gordon who struck first time but Lawlor got down really well to make a fine save low to his left.

The hosts were the team asking most of the questions in the first half. Wes McDonald came close with a low shot from 25 yards but it just missed the target.

The Saddlers continued to probe and finally got their reward on the stroke of half time when Alfie Bates’ cross was picked up by Jules and he turned a shot goalwards that just crossed the line before Harrison Clarke cleared.

The referee blew for half-time almost instantly after and Walsall went into the break with a deserved lead.

Walsall weren’t looking to rest on their laurels in the second half as they searched for a second. Nolan and McDonald continued to cause Oldham problems and the latter had a good chance on 52 minutes when he beat his man, cut inside and arrowed in a shot but it was straight at Lawlor.

Clarke made his first change on 67 minutes when he introduced Emmanuel Osadebe in place of Nolan.

The visitors grew into the game and started to cause Walsall more problems.

Marcel Hilbner came close when his effort from distance forced Liam Roberts into a fine save.

Oldham levelled moments later when substitute Davis Keillor-Dunn struck from close range on 75 minutes.

Clarke reacted and made a double change five minutes later as Gordon and Jules were replaced by Caolan Lavery and Callum Cockerill-Mollett.

The Saddlers looked to regroup and try and find a winner.

Kinsella did well to slide the ball down the channel to McDonald who cut it back across to Lavery in the area. The striker looked to set up Adebayo but the ball was just behind him.

In the end, the Saddlers ended their run of defeat but had to settle for a point.

Roberts; White, Scarr, Sadler, Jules (Cockerill-Mollett); Nolan (Osadebe), Kinsella, Bates, McDonald; Gordon (Lavery), Adebayo
SUBS: Norman, Sinclair, Perry, Wright


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