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Match report: Walsall 0-0 Rochdale

20 November 2021

The Saddlers were made to settle for a point at the Banks’s Stadium against a resolute Rochdale side as neither side were able to break the deadlock in a tight affair.

Matt Taylor made three changes to the team that lost to Harrogate Town last weekend as he welcomed back Conor Wilkinson from injury and Joss Labadie from suspension. 

Otis Khan also came into the side at right back in place of the suspended Hayden White while Brendan Kiernan and Sam Perry dropped out of the starting XI. 

Liam Kinsella was also deemed fit enough for a place on the bench following his injury lay-off. 

In a very even first half, there weren’t many clear cut chances to shout about for either side but those that did happen came the way of Taylor’s side with George Miller having both of them. 

The returning Wilkinson turned into space half way inside the Rochdale half before cutting the defence open with a razor sharp pass into the path of Miller but the striker got caught in two minds and his thundering effort was straight at goalkeeper Jay Lynch. 

Just after the half hour mark and Miller had another good chance to open the scoring as the ball was flicked over the top of the Rochdale defence and the striker chose to take it first time on the volley but once again Lynch was in the way to deny the loanee. 

It wasn’t until the 64th minute when the next clear chance came, with it once again falling the way of the Saddlers. Wilkinson this time knocked it down into the path of Joss Labadie but on the stretch, he could only volley his effort over the bar.

After that chance, the visitors started to turn the screw as they went in search of the opening goal themselves. 

The advancing Corey O’Keeffe had two chances within the space of two minutes with his first effort on his left-foot going just over the crossbar and his second effort from just outside the area on his right foot cannoning back off the underside of the crossbar. 

As the clock ticked towards 90, both sides tried to stretch the game and with eight minutes left, the ball fell Kindly for Jack Earing on the edge of the area but his curling effort was well saved by Lynch. 

But despite the best efforts of both teams, neither side were able to find the finishing touch and both had to settle for a point. 

 


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