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Match Reports

Match Report: Colchester United 2-2 Walsall

30 April 2022

The Saddlers rounded off their final away trip of the season with a 2-2 draw against Colchester United at the JobServe Community Stadium.

Head Coach Michael Flynn made two changes to the side that secured victory against Port Vale last Saturday at the Banks’s Stadium.

Sam Perry came into the fold in place of the injured Joss Labadie whilst Rollin Menayese was brought back into the starting XI ahead of Reece Devine who dropped to the bench. Liam Kinsella returned to the 16-man squad after a spell on the sidelines.

There was little to separate the two sides in the opening stages, with no clear-cut chances to report on.

The first chance of the match eventually came in the 13th minute via the hosts. A delivery from the left-hand side was parried away by Carl Rushworth and Alan Judge was on the edge of the box to collect before taking aim, but Donervon Daniels was on hand to block the effort away from danger.

Midway through the first half and the hosts took the lead. Judge tried his luck again on the edge of the box from a free-kick and although the strike was blocked, the ball bounced around in the penalty area before falling into the path of Freddie Sears and whilst his first effort was parried clear, he was able to fire it home on the rebound.

Michael Flynn’s side responded well to the set back and had a few chances to level the scoring. Brendan Kiernan drove into space and with the goal in his sight took aim but his effort was collected with ease by Sam Hornby in the Colchester net.

Shortly after a well-worked corner routine saw Tyrese Shade free on the edge of the box but his effort lacked power and was again claimed by Hornby.

The Saddlers got their just rewards and levelled the scoring when Kiernan did well to find himself some space on the edge of the box before cutting inside and curling an effort into the far corner, much to the delight of the 328 travelling supporters.

The sides went into the break level but it was the Saddlers who came out firing and took the lead after three minutes of the restart. The ball was played out wide to Kiernan who did brilliantly to deliver a dangerous low ball into the box and George Miller was there at the back post to bundle his effort over the line.

It was now the hosts who were looking to respond and on 55 minutes they were awarded a penalty when Donervon Daniels was deemed to have fouled Brendan Wiredu and Sears stepped up and levelled the scoring. Rushworth managed to get a hand to it but was unable to collect as the ball trickled over the line.

The remainder of the half saw chances for each side come and go. Manny Monthe did well to control the ball in a tight area in the box on 65 minutes but he blazed his effort over the bar. Noah Chilvers then had two glorious opportunities for the hosts; the first being a one-on-one after John Akinde flicked the ball over to the midfielder but he put his effort wide of the post. His second chance came just five minutes later but he was denied this time by the Saddlers goalkeeper who did brilliantly to save and eventually take claim.

The final chance of the game fell the way of the hosts as a ball over the top found Sears in space but Rushworth was on hand to deny the striker his hat-trick.

As stoppage time approached, Michael Flynn handed Jack Shaw his professional football league debut from the bench in place of Kiernan and the two sides ended the game with a share of the points.


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