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Match Reports

Match Report: Walsall 1-0 Tranmere Rovers

12 February 2022

Walsall picked up their first win of 2022 and ended their losing run with a deserved victory over Tranmere Rovers.

Conor Wilkinson coolly slotted home a penalty in the 85th minute as the Saddlers got their rewards for a battling display. 

Interim Head Coach Neil McDonald made three changes to the team that started against Scunthorpe United in midweek. 

Conor Wilkinson, Brendan Kiernan and Sam Perry came into the side in place of Rollin Menayese, Emmanuel Osadebe and the suspended Joss Labadie. 

It was a quiet opening 20 minutes with neither side able to find their rhythm in the early exchanges. 

The first attempt came after 22 minutes when Tyrese Shade had a shot blocked. Two minutes later, Tranmere had their first chance when Kane Hemmings shot on the turn around the six-yard box but he blazed over. 

Walsall enjoyed plenty of possession in the first half but struggled to unlock a stubborn Tranmere defence. 

Wilkinson had a shot on the turn while Kiernan guided a header wide but neither goalkeeper was tested in the first half which ended goalless. 

Tranmere improved offensively at the start but the Saddlers withstood the early pressure. 

It was Ross Doohan in the Tranmere net who had work to do though as he tipped behind Wilkinson’s header on the hour mark. 

The Saddlers were forced into a change after 77 minutes when Perry went off with an injury and was replaced by the returning Jack Earing. 

Walsall looked the more likely as the game approached its conclusion. 

The Saddlers were presented a glorious opportunity to take the lead when Wilkinson was hauled down in the box and the referee awarded a penalty with five minutes of normal time left to play. 

The Walsall no.9 stepped up and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to break the deadlock and net his fifth of the season. 

The hosts held firm in the closing stages and secured the victory. 

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