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Match Reports

Match Report: Walsall 0-2 Exeter City

22 January 2022

Walsall fell to a frustrating defeat after playing the majority of the second half with 10-men against Exeter City.

The visitors opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time through Tim Dieng before Rollin Menayese was sent off five minutes after the restart to add salt to the wound for the Saddlers. 

The hosts kept themselves in the game until the final five minutes when Cheick Diabate added Exeter’s second and secured them the victory. 

Matt Taylor made two changes to the team that started against Mansfield Town last weekend. 

Liam Kinsella and Conor Wilkinson were both restored to the starting XI in place of Emmanuel Osadebe and George Miller who dropped to the bench. 

The Saddlers got off to a bright start and went straight at Exeter in the opening minute as Hayden White got in behind, beat his man and delivered a cross but it was cleared behind. 

Exeter found their feet and fashioned a brilliant chance of their own as Offrande Zanzala was  denied by Carl Rushworth pulled off an outrageous double save to keep both of his headers out of the net. 

There was little in terms of goal mouth action after that in the opening 30 minutes but it was the visitors who looked the more likely. 

The Saddlers were dealt a blow after 34 minutes when Stephen Ward was forced off with an injury and replaced by Zak Mills. 

Walsall’s first meaningful attempt on goal came four minutes later when Wilkinson tried his luck with a free-kick from just outside the area but he curled his effort wide. 

It was the Grecians who got the opening goal on the stroke of half time when Tim Dieng headed in Archie Collins’ corner and the Saddlers went into the break with work to do. 

The Saddlers had an early chance in the second half as Wilkinson flicked the ball up and let fly with a shot from distance but his ambitious attempt was straight at Dawson. 

The task go tougher from there though as Rollin Menayese was sent off for a second bookable offence and were subsequently reduced to 10 men. 

Taylor introduced George Miller and then Kieran Phillips in place of Tyrese Shade and Wilkinson to freshen things up. 

Exeter enjoyed the majority of the possession and the Saddlers kept them at bay until the 85th minute when Diabate headed in from a corner. 

The Saddlers looked to respond and Phillips had a shot that was deflected behind but the Grecians saw out the game and took home the three points. 

 

Attendace: 4,750


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