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Match Report: Walsall 1-1 Stevenage

13 August 2022

Walsall suffered late heartbreak as Stevenage scored deep into injury time to take a point from the Poundland Bescot Stadium.

Danny Johnson’s 13th minute strike looked like it was going to be enough but Boro substitute Danny Rose netted with the last kick of the game, 10 minutes into stoppage time.

Michael Flynn reverted back to the XI that started the first two league games.

Liam Kinsella, Andy Williams, Brandon Comley and Peter Clarke came back into the starting XI after starting Tuesday’s Carabao Cup victory over Swindon Town on the bench while Taylor Allen returned after serving a one-match ban in midweek.

The Saddlers made a bright start and opened the scoring after 13 minutes when Donervon Daniels’ long throw in caused havoc in the Stevenage box. It was cleared against Andy Williams and fell kindly to Johnson who turned the ball into the net.

Boro responded well to falling behind and Jake Taylor got on the end of a low cross and poked it goalwards but Owen Evans did really well to make the save low to his left.

It was a tightly contested first half between two teams defending 100 per cent records at the start of the season.

Stevenage enjoyed a lot of possession late in the first half but Walsall stood firm and went into the break with their lead intact.

The visitors started the second half as they finished the first but again the Saddlers held their own and went down the other end and had the first opportunity of the second period when Daniels collected the ball and arrowed in a shot from 20-yards out but his effort drifted just wide.

Boro continued to apply pressure but were struggling to break the Saddlers down.

Flynn’s men were dangerous on the counter attack and had a glorious chance when Williams broke forward down the right and squared it across to Johnson but the striker miscued his effort and spurned it wide.

The Saddlers Head Coach introduced Tom Knowles and Jack Earing in place of Isaac Hutchinson and Johnson to freshen it up as Stevenage continued to apply pressure.

There were few clear cut chances in the second half for both teams and it became tense in the closing stages, particularly when the fourth official put eight minutes of additional time up on the board.

Stevenage continued to push for an equaliser as play continued beyond the eight allotted minutes and Arthur Reid’s cross was nodded in by Rose as the Saddlers conceded for the first time this season.

Despite dropping points for the first time in 2022/23, Walsall remain unbeaten in all competitions.

Evans; White, Daniels, P.Clarke, Monthe, Allen; Comley, Kinsella, Hutchinson (Knowles); Williams, Johnson (Earing)
Subs: Przybek, James-Taylor, Maher, Abraham, Bennett

Attendance: 5079

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