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Match Reports

Match Report: Walsall 2-2 Barrow

23 October 2021

George Miller’s brace proved not to be enough for the Saddlers as they suffered late heartache against Barrow at the Banks’s Stadium.

The 23-year-old opened the scoring after four minutes before George Williams equalised against the run of play late in the first half after a dominant opening 45 minutes for the hosts. 

Miller restored Walsall’s lead in the second half and it looked like it was going to be the winner  but Josh Gordon scored with the last kick of the game beyond added time. 

Matt Taylor made one change to the team that started against Oldham Athletic on Tuesday as Kieran Phillips came into the XI in place of Tyres Shade.

The Saddlers made an electric start and got an early reward for it. After Conor Wilkinson’s powerful strike was pushed behind, Walsall opened the scoring from the resulting corner which saw a couple of blocked efforts from Wilkinson and Manny Monthe before the ball dropped to Miller who stabbed home his sixth of the season. 

The Saddlers went in search of a second and Miller almost doubled his tally four minutes later but his powerful low-strike was well saved by Paul Farman. 

Wilkinson came close from a free-kick and Phillips almost guided the ball into the bottom corner after a great solo run as the Saddlers dominated the opening 15 minutes. 

That pattern continued and Taylor’s men had further chances to increase their advantage through a Jack Earing free-kick and a swerving effort by Osadebe. 

Despite Walsall’s dominance, it was the visitors who scored the second of the afternoon when Williams turned the ball in from close range with their first meaningful attempt on goal and against the run of play. 

The Saddlers responded well to the goal with Osadebe coming forward almost straight away with a good run and a shot cutting in from the left but it was straight at Farman. 

Barrow grew in confidence and saw more of the ball. Williams’ free-kick from distance looked like it might drop into the net but Carl Rushworth ensured it wouldn’t with an important touch and it ended all the square at the break. 

The second half didn’t quite have the intensity as the start of the first but the Saddlers grew into the their rhythm and regained the lead on 62 minutes when Miller’s delicious back-heel found the back of the net. 

Miller was keen to finally turn a brace into a hat-trick and had a chance to when White delivered a cross but he could only head over the bar. 

Rushworth had little to do in the second half but he was alert when he needed to be as Ollie Banks’ took an awkward deflection but the on-loan Brighton man did well to read it and make the save.

The Saddlers looked to be heading to three points but Gordon landed a late sucker punch with the last kick of the game as Barrow snatched a point. 

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