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Match Report: Solihull Moors 0-2 Walsall

23 July 2022

Walsall concluded their pre-season campaign on a high with a comfortable victory over National League side Solihull Moors.

New signing Danny Johnson netted on his debut before a second half strike from Andy Williams, his third in pre-season, capped off a productive afternoon for the Saddlers.

Michael Flynn made six changes to the team that started against Coventry City with Owen Evans, Manny Monthé, Peter Clarke, Isaac Hutchinson, Andy Williams and Johnson all coming in to the starting XI.

The first opportunity of the afternoon came after seven minutes and it fell to the hosts after some good one-touch football led to Callum Maycock firing in a shot but it was parried behind by Evans.

Walsall’s first sight of goal came after 17 minutes when Hayden White crossed for Hutchinson but it was just a touch too high for the attacking midfielder who only managed to get a light touch as he diverted the ball wide.

The home side carried a real threat in the first half and had a good chance when Joe Sbarra teed up Trialist B who let fly with a shot but it was charged down and blocked by White.

It was the Saddlers who opened the scoring on 38 minutes and it didn’t take Johnson long to break his duck as he slid in to poke home Taylor Allen’s low cross.

The Saddlers had a glorious opportunity to double their lead when Hutchinson’s teasing cross was met by Allen who touched it goalwards from close range but was denied by a superb reaction save by Louie Moulden.

Michael Flynn’s men made a strong start to the second half and were unlucky not to add a second on 50 minutes when Hutchinson controlled the ball with a clever turn and unleashed a powerful drive that just missed the target from 20-yards out.

Johnson himself could have had his second six minutes later when Hutchinson floated in a cross but the striker diverted his first-time effort wide.

The Saddlers made five changes on 63 minutes as Evans, Monthé, Johnson, White and Hutchinson made way for Adam Przybek, Liam Bennett, Douglas James-Taylor, Ronan Maher and Flynn Clarke.

Moors still looked dangerous themselves and came close when Alex Reid headed over just moments after the substitutions.

Walsall eventually got their second on 74 minutes when Williams got on the end of James-Taylor’s flick on and coolly slotted past Moulden with a fine finish.

The 35-year-old forward made way a minute after his goal as he was replaced by Trialist A.

The Saddlers had to endure the final 10 minutes with 10 men as Allen was forced off with an injury and Flynn had already used all available substitutes.

Solihull piled on late pressure and substitute Jamey Osbourne's fierce drive took a slight deflection as it just went over the bar before Reid headed against the crossbar.

Walsall defended well and held on for the victory and the clean sheet.

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