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Match Report: Crawley Town 1-1 Walsall

16 March 2021

Club News

Match Report: Crawley Town 1-1 Walsall

16 March 2021

Walsall suffered late heartbreak as Crawley Town snatched a point with a 96th minute penalty.

The Saddlers got their noses in front 10 minutes into the second half when Emmanuel Osadebe converted from the spot and they were just seconds away from sealing a valuable victory and deserved three points but the late penalty proved to be the final kick of the game.

Brian Dutton made four changes to the team that fell to defeat against Barrow.

James Clarke made his return from a lengthy injury lay off to replace Dan Scarr, who was forced off on Friday night.

Stuart Sinclair, Cameron Norman and Caolan Lavery also came in while Sam Perry, Alfie Bates and Tyreik Wright all dropped out.

The Saddlers made a positive start at the People’s Pension Stadium and had an early chance through Cameron Norman who saw a powerful effort turned behind.

Brian Dutton’s side looked solid in the opening exchanges but were given a let off when Ashley Nadesan had the goal at his mercy but fluffed his effort on 17 minutes.

Walsall continued to enjoy the majority of the possession in the first half but were met by a stubborn Crawley defence.

It was the hosts who had the best chance of the half on 36 minutes when George Francomb’s cross found Nadesan who headed goalwards but Liam Roberts did well to tip it over.

The Saddlers had a big appeal for a penalty waved away by the referee two minutes before the break when Norman’s cross looked to have struck the arm of Jake Hessenthaler but the half ended all square.

Dutton’s side started the second half well and almost took the lead in sensational style when Lavery struck the crossbar with an acrobatic bicycle kick.

The Saddlers eventually took the lead on 55 minutes when they were awarded a penalty after Josh Gordon was brought down in the penalty area.

Osadebe stepped up and coolly slotted the ball into the bottom corner to score his first goal for the club.

Walsall looked in control and had a half chance when Osadebe’s corner was met by Gordon but he couldn’t divert his header on target.

Crawley began to have more possession and deliver more balls into the Saddlers box but the visitors looked to be holding their own.

Five minutes were announced of stoppage time and with just a matter of seconds left on the clock, the ball was pumped into the Saddlers box and the hosts were given a penalty when Liam Roberts fouled Jordan Tunnicliffe.

Tom Nichols smashed the ball into the roof of the net and claimed a point as the Saddlers were once again left heartbroken beyond added time.

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