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Match Reports

Match Report: Walsall 2-1 Stockport County

12 August 2023

Match Reports

Match Report: Walsall 2-1 Stockport County

12 August 2023

Walsall picked up their first victory of the 2023/24 season as a goal in each half helped secure victory over Stockport County at the Poundland Bescot Stadium.

Danny Johnson made it two in two league games so far this season while substitute Aramide Oteh netted his first of the campaign to clinch the points late in the second half.

The visitors got a goal back in injury time through Ryan Rydel but it was nothing more than a consolation as the Saddlers got off the mark for the new campaign.

Mat Sadler made six changes to the team that started against Blackburn Rovers on Tuesday night.

Owen Evans, Liam Gordon, Isaac Hutchinson, Harry Williams and Danny Johnson were all restored to the starting XI while there was a Saddlers debut for Freddie Draper who served a suspension in the first two matches.

Last season’s play-off finalists Stockport looked dangerous in the opening exchanges and came close when Paddy Madden swept a shot that seemed to be heading in after it had taken a deflection but Evans adjusted himself well to make the save.

The visitors appealed for a penalty on 19 minutes when Nick Powell went down under Evans’ challenge but the referee deemed the challenge a fair one.

It was the Saddlers who would have the first word though. Draper did brilliantly to rob the ball off Ethan Pye and burst down the right wing. He got his head up and picked out Johnson with a lovely low cross and the striker made no mistake as he coolly slotted the ball past Ben Hinchcliffe.

Walsall had a couple of opportunities to double their lead before the break when Johnson poked wide after the ball broke off Hinchcliffe before Oisin McEntee headed wide.

Stockport still posed a threat and came close when Louie Barry fired a shot inches above the bar.

Dave Challinor introduce Will Collar at half time for the Hatters and he almost made an immediate impact as he darted into the box and tried to squeeze the ball into the bottom corner but his effort found the side netting.

Sadler made his first changes on 62 minutes and they were both in attack as he swapped Johnson and Draper for Jamille Matt and Oteh.

Hutchinson came close for the Saddlers on 72 minutes when he curled in a shot but he couldn’t find the far corner.

Stockport had the ball in the net moments later when a cross to the back post was cut back to Madden but it was ruled out as the ball went out of play in the build-up.

Just as the pressure was building from the visitors, the Saddlers doubled their advantage when the ball broke for Oisin McEntee who neatly cut the ball back to Oteh who lashed the ball into the back of the net.

The Hatters pushed late on and pulled a goal back when Ryan Rydel headed home deep into injury time.

Sadler’s men dug deep though and claimed all three points.


Evans; Foulkes, Williams, Daniels, Hussey, Gordon; Stirk (Riley 88’), McEntee, Hutchinson; Draper (Oteh 62’), Johnson (Matt 62’).
Subs: Smith, James-Taylor, Allen, Tierney

Attendance: 6008 (935 away)

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