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Match Reports

Match Report: Walsall 1-2 Bristol Rovers

25 September 2021

The Saddlers suffered defeat at the Banks’s Stadium as Bristol Rovers came from behind to claim all three points thanks to second half goals from Connor Taylor and substitute Sion Spence.

It was the visitors who started the brighter of the two sides as Harry Anderson was played clean through but his right-footed effort was superbly kept out by a combination of Carl Rushworth and Manny Monthe. 

After 18 minutes, Matt Taylor’s side produced their finest work of the half to that minute in play. Rushworth’s long throw was straight into the path of Phillips on the halfway line. His first touch set him free down the right and his cut back found Brendan Kiernan but his effort was unfortunately over the bar. 

Shortly after the half an hour mark and the Saddlers made the breakthrough. Good work from Kiernan allowed him to prod the ball into the path of Phillips who remained patient and as the ball bounced up in front of him, he volleyed the ball under James Belshaw in the Bristol Rovers goal. 

The visitors went in search of an immediate reply but efforts from Sam Finley and the lively Anderson were both high and wide of the target with neither of their efforts causing Rushworth any trouble in goal. 

Into the second half and it was the Saddlers who came out the quicker of the two sides. On the hour mark, Phillips was slipped in behind the Rovers defence and he looked certain to make it two for him and two for the Saddlers but a great block from Cian Harries denied him that goal. 

Five minutes after the hour mark, George Miller looked like he was going to add to his two goals that he scored against Mansfield Town after being slipped in by Monthe but his toe-poked effort was well saved by Belshaw from close range. 

With 11 minutes left to play, the visitors scored their equaliser after an extended period of pressure. Direct from a corner, the ball evaded everyone in a red shirt and found its way to Taylor at the back post who tapped it into an empty net. 

Just as the fourth official indicated that there would be five minutes of additional time, another corner came into the Saddlers box and it wasn’t cleared and again it ran all the way through everyone in the box and substitute Spence was left to tap the ball into the empty net as Rovers secured all three points. 

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