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Match Reports

Match Report: Walsall 3-1 Wrexham

29 December 2023

Match Reports

Match Report: Walsall 3-1 Wrexham

29 December 2023

Jack Earing marked his first start in exactly a year with a goal to set Walsall on their way to an excellent victory over Wrexham.

Despite Paul Mullin scoring an equaliser from the penalty spot, second half goals from Isaac Hutchinson, his ninth of the season and substitute Taylor Allen’s first for the club, saw the Saddlers storm to victory.

Mat Sadler made two changes as David Okagbue, who returned after picking up a head injury away at Accrington Stanley, and Earing both came in for Oisin McEntee and Ryan Stirk who were both missing through injury.

It was a lively atmosphere in front of a packed out Poundland Bescot Stadium and that rubbed off on the pitch in the opening exchanges as both teams had early opportunities.

Luke Young rifled a low shot wide of the mark before the ball ricocheted off Isaac Hutchinson and rolled across the Wrexham six-yard box but there was no one in a red shirt to meet it.

It was the Saddlers who got their noses in front and in some style when Earing latched on to Freddie Draper’s delicious back heel and slotted the ball past Arthur Okonkwo on 16 minutes.

Wrexham were presented with a glorious opportunity to equalise when they were awarded a penalty just eight minutes later when the referee adjudged the ball to have struck Tom Knowles’ arm.

Mullin stepped up and smashed the ball into the rough off the net to level the contest.

The visitors came close to taking the lead moments later when Jackson Smith failed to keep hold of the ball and it spilled out to Mullin but the striker fired over from close range.

Walsall regrouped and ended the first half on top. Hutchinson and Donervon Daniels both had shots from distance but they didn’t test Okonkwo and the two teams went into the half time break with nothing to separate them.

Sadler made a change at the interval as he replaced Jamille Matt with Douglas James-Taylor.

After a positive start to the second half, the Saddlers regained the advantage when Hutchinson found the bottom corner with a lovely free-kick just outside the area which he won after a fantastic run forwards.

Draper had a chance to add a third but his glancing header was stopped by Okonkwo.

Wrexham responded and forced Smith into couple of good saves as he parried Mullin’s powerful low drive and held Lee’s effort at the second attempt.

Hutchinson almost added his second of the night with a strike from 25-yards but it whistled just wide.

Sadler made another change as Allen entered the fray in place of Jack Earing.

Phil Parkinson’s side came within a lick of paint of equalising on 80 minutes when Mullin’s piledriver from 25-yards smacked against the bar and was eventually cleared.

Three minutes later, the Saddlers gave themselves the breathing space they desired when David Okagbue broke forward well and floated the ball over Okonkwo and after a ricochet it was bundled in by Allen.

Wrexham tried to respond as McClean’s volley was tipped over by Smith but that was as close as they came and the Saddlers made it back-to-back wins!

 

 

Smith; Knowles, Okagbue, Farquharson, Daniels, Gordon; Comley, Earing (75’), Hutchinson; Draper, Matt (James-Taylor 45’)
Subs: Evans (GK), Foulkes, Maher, Williams, Johnson

 

Attendance: 8709 (2258 away)


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