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Match Reports

Match Report: Walsall 2-1 Crawley Town

19 November 2022

Match Reports

Match Report: Walsall 2-1 Crawley Town

19 November 2022

Danny Johnson scored a dramatic stoppage time winner as Walsall came from behind to beat 10-man Crawley Town.

Dom Telford opened the scoring before Hayden White levelled for the Saddlers.

The Red Devils were reduced to 10-men moments before half-time when Ludwig Francillette was dismissed after picking up a second yellow card.

The Saddlers dominated in the second half and Johnson came up trumps in the dying minutes to win it and make it five consecutive home league victories.

Michael Flynn named an unchanged team but did welcome back Liam Kinsella to the bench after he missed last weekend’s trip to Carlisle United.

Walsall’s first opportunity came on nine minutes when Isaac Hutchinson found Liam Gordon in space and the left wing-back lashed in a shot that tested Ellery Balcombe in the Crawley goal.

It came after the visitors made a good start to the game and moments after that chance, they went down the other end and opened the scoring after a well worked move that saw Ashley Nadesan feed Telford who applied the finished well inside the area on 11 minutes.

Crawley’s lead didn’t last long though as the Saddlers drew level just three minutes later when Tom Knowles’ free-kick was met by Hayden White who guided the ball into the bottom corner.

Walsall went in search of a second and had a good chance when Liam Bennett made an excellent run down the right and crossed for Hutchinson who struck on the volley but it was straight at Ellery Balcombe.

Knowles had a decent opportunity after a neat bit of footwork before he unleashed a shot but it sailed over the bar.

As the Saddlers got a foothold in the game, Crawley’s task was made tougher when Francillette was sent off for a second bookable offence after he fouled Danny Johnson six minutes before half time.

Flynn’s men made a strong start to the second half and almost took the lead immediately after the restart when Jacob Maddox's flicked effort was saved before Knowles blazed over the rebound.

The Saddlers Head Coach made a double change just before the hour mark as he introduced Jack Earing and Andy Williams in place of Liam Bennett and Brandon Comley.

Walsall continued to push for a goal and thought they found it but for some excellent goalkeeping by Balcombe who denied Hutchinson with an excellent save low to his left before he stopped Knowles’ acrobatic effort moments later.

As well as Balcombe, the post also denied the Saddlers as Liam Gordon’s cross took a deflection before it cannoned off the upright.

Walsall’s pressure eventually paid off as Hutchinson pulled the ball back to Johnson who lashed home the winner and his 12th of the campaign.

Evans; Bennett (Earing 58’), White, Daniels, Monthé, Gordon (Allen 88’); Comley (Williams 58’), Hutchinson, Maddox (James-Taylor 88’), Knowles; Johnson
Subs: Kinsella, James-Taylor, McEntee, Allen, Maher

Attendance: 6201 (172 away)

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